Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It's 1933 all over again.

When you grow up in the shadow of the Holocaust, as I did, you do a lot of wondering.

You put yourself in the shoes of those doctors, scientists, artists, writers, lawyers and even soldiers, who lived in Eastern Europe during the calamitous 1930's and you think to yourself, "what would I do?"

I don't know if gentiles do this, although they should, but I do know members of the Tribe do.

And though we are said to be a smart, crafty people, it strikes me as the height of human stupidity for 6 million people to have walked, almost willingly, to their ashen or mud covered graves.

As a student of the Third Reich and all things Nazi-related, I'm well aware of the Warsaw Rebellion and the pockets of Jewish resistance that arose in Poland, Hungary and Russia. Sadly, it was too little, too late.

It wasn't just a great loss for Judaism, it was a great loss for humanity. Can there be any doubt that among those 6 million shriveled corpses there was not one budding genius, who through the dint of hard work and god given smarts, could have given the world a cure for cancer? Solved the mystery of cold fusion? Or somehow marshaled his or her talents to change the course of mankind?

A quick glance at the list of 20th century Nobel Prize winners will provide that answer.

And so when I place myself in those shoes, I ask, how can they not have seen what was coming? How could they resign themselves to inertia? How could they rest on the Sabbath when there was so much evil around them?

Sadly, the hypothetical no longer seems hyperbolic.

This country, our country, has never skirted so close to Fascism as it is currently doing in 2018.


Well, I'm glad you asked.

* We are currently living under one party rule. All dissent has been quashed, see House Intelligence Committee. See spineless Republicans in the Senate and the House.

* The president has said "maybe it's time we had a president for life."  He said it jokingly, the same way Hitler said, we should get rid of the Jews.

* The administration has enabled white supremacists, engaged openly in hate talk and has requested a military parade.

* The administration is calling for the militarization of our schools.

* The Republican party nominee for an Illinois Congressional seat is an official stiff armed, Jew hating Nazi.

* The president engages in nativist populism. His former senior advisor claims people should wear their racism like a badge of honor.

* Our system of Checks and Balances has been replaced by a system of checks. From the NRA, Big Pharma and Defense Contractors.

* The FBI and the CIA are being attacked. See Night of the Long Knives.

* There are "very fine Nazis" carrying torches on our public streets.

* Disinformation is being weaponized. The Free Press (a pillar of our democracy) is being delegitimized.

* The president and his cabinet members are fleecing the taxpayers. Corruption is not the exception but the rule.

* The Rule of Law is being ignored in favor of the rule of whim. "We'll do due process later."

I know the naysayers will stipulate that the economy is doing well and the stock market is going through the roof. I'm not going to argue those points (though I easily could) suffice to say that it is a total shame our once-great nation, a nation of ideals and aspirations, can seemingly be purchased for an $11.79 bump in a bi-monthly paycheck. That's 138 rubles if you're curious.

This is nothing less than the rise of the Fourth Reich.

And I'm not sitting this one out.


george tannenbaum said...

Rich, if you haven't already, this book is worth doing that thing people used to do with.

Dave Trott said...

Rich, here's how London's East End confronted fascism in 1936: