The signposts on the road to hell.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I am a big fan of Dr. Timothy Snyder’s book, On Tyranny, 20 Lessons from the 20th Century.

The book is an easy read-and very much necessary in the age of the Orange Menace. His 20 lessons are coming true before our eyes. The entire list can be found here.  But a few of the highlights are worth repeating.

5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.

There are clear signs that this is what Trump is praying for. He is practically cheering for a terrorist attack on the United States. He seems hell bent to provoke one, if only for the reason, that it might vindicate his sick and twisted vision of the country.

And then there is this one:

8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

Ever wonder what Trump’s obsession with Fox News and Fake News are about? ( They are both the same).

“While the information stream to past commanders-in-chief has been tightly monitored, Trump prefers an open Oval Office with a free flow of ideas and inputs from both official and unofficial channels. And he often does not differentiate between the two. Aides sometimes slip him stories to press their advantage on policy; other times they do so to gain an edge in the seemingly endless Game of Thrones inside the West Wing.”

This is one of the most dangerous parts of Trump’s ideas. Because while people are recoiling at the obvious bullshit, he is doing irreparable harm.  The court appointments he is making, the rules he is undoing, the health care bill-which is nothing but a means to give the rich a tax cut-these are all being blinded by the amazing audacity of the statements he does make.

And then there is this one-which is what I personally believe has been the objective of the Republican party is to achieve a one party state run by their own oligarchs.

13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can. 

If you really want to understand the agenda that the misguided souls who voted in this last election voted for,  remember that statement.

Republicans, in other words, have repeatedly broken their promises and defied public opinion in order to release health care bills that cut spending on the poorest Americans to fund massive tax cuts for the richest Americans. (The Tax Policy Center estimates that 44.6 percent of the Senate bill’s tax cuts go to households making more than $875,000.)

 

If they would simply stop doing that, their health care problems would vanish: They could craft a bill that would rebuild the health care system around more conservative principles and do so without triggering massive coverage losses. But at some point, we need to take them at their word: This is what they believe, and they are willing to risk everything — their reputations, their congressional majorities, and Donald Trump’s presidency — to get it done.

And it’s not just health policy. Though Trump said he would raise taxes on people like himself during the campaign, the tax reform plan he released amounted to a massive tax cut for the richest Americans. That cut will ultimately have to be paid for, and because Republicans refuse to increase taxes to close deficits, and because they support increasing spending on the military, the only plausible way to pay for their tax cuts will be by slashing programs that serve the poor and/or the elderly. (This isn’t just hypothetical: Trump’s budget relies on massive cuts to programs that serve the poor.)

Which gets to Dr. Snyders main point in his book.

20. Be a patriot. The president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.

I reiterate-the clock is ticking and the ability to save the land of my birth is diminishing.  Read the book.

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It's not easy being me-but the adventures I get to have- make it totally worth it. "One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny."- Bertrand Russell

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