Facism starts through democratic means
July 31, 2018
The Glenn Beaton column "Cool the Hitler rhetoric" (Commentary, The Aspen Times, July 28) does a disservice by comparing bad behavior from the left with the actual creeping toward fascism that Donald Trump is responsible for. It has been said that none of his actions are accidental, that things like putting children in cages is a calculated part of desensitizing the population to treating others as inhuman. It's all part of the plan.
In a recent speech to the VFW in Kansas City, Trump said: "Don't believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening." Wait what — you can't believe what you see or what you read? Only the president and his team can tell you what's really going on? In other words, trust no one but us.
On Monday, Madeline Albright brought a glimpse of reality to town. The former secretary of state, promoting her book warning of fascism, was careful and diplomatically avoided calling Trump a fascist, but she provided a list of the things fascists do to consolidate and retain power. And the things we are seeing are the things on her list, demonizing the other, calling the press the enemy of the people, reducing trust and breaking down democratic institutions.
Beaton gave some good examples of uncivil behavior from the left but who has loosened this incivility? Who has reveled in breaking with conventional norms? Is the left now subject to special restrictions that don't apply to the right?
Most all the previous fascists got their power through democratic means. We must use democratic means to put a stop to this, and calling out what is happening is by no means un-democratic.
When our president does something that is un-American it's up to each one of us to point it out and do something. And if that something is comparing him to Hitler, so be it. We can still argue whether the comparison is justified or not. Let's hope we can have such arguments without fear as long as we have the need.
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