It has been said that Evil succeeds when good men and women do nothing to prevent it. The Presidential election of 2016 could well become an example on point.
I am not one of those who contends that Trump is another Hitler (although he does a good imitation of Mussolini) nor do I believe that all Trump supporters are closet Nazis. I do believe that those in our country who admire the Ku Klux Klan, who consider themselves alt-right nationalists; are white supremacists, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim as well as xenophobic are supporters of Trump. Make no mistake about it Trumpism is home grown American Fascism wrapping itself in the banner of patriotic populism. Trump’s candidacy has appealed to the evil elements of people’s natures not as Lincoln called for the Better Angels. Trump’s candidacy has unleashed those elements and let that genie out of the bottle -even his defeat may not be able to put the genie back in . But, Trump's victory would legitimatize those hate groups as acceptable to the American President.
There are those in America who have not learned the lessons of the past nor even perhaps are aware of them. They do not understand why hundreds of thousands died in a Civil War to abolish slavery when one candidate tells them that African-Americans have never had it so bad. They do not understand why the “greatest generation” sacrificed so much to save the world from Nazism, Fascism and Militarism. And quite frankly many do not even realize the evilness of the Stalin Soviet Empire that fell with the Berlin Wall nor how close we came to nuclear war in 1962.
If Trump wins and the forces of evil are unleashed with the imprimatur of respectability lent them by a President there will come a time decades from now when the grandchildren of today's voters will ask “What did you do to stop Trumpism” If Trump wins it will be because so many will answer that question with “When ballots could stop him I didn’t vote or didn’t see a difference between him and his major opponent. And when only bullets could stop the evil it was those forces that had them.”
One can only hope that those elderly voters of the greatest generation remember what happened when evil was unleashed in 1939 and will vote to make sure it doesn’t happen here.
And I pray that my own generation, the baby boomers, will remember the idealism and the sacrifice of the 1960's and vote for the candidate that embodies the best of us - Hillary Clinton.
If you believe that America is a great country that has come a long way toward being that shining city on a hill that the Puritans envisaged and the last best hope of mankind that Lincoln labeled it you are on the other side of the Trump evil forces who believe that the America of the past fifty years has been in decline and they must make America Great -White - Straight- Christian Again.
Will it happen here? Will America succumb to the politics of hate and fear?
Our country rejected that path in the 1930's and then preserved some 60 years of relative world peace and the spread of democratic values. American leaders have become icons and symbols throughout the world: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy. And we have elected some Presidents who have become the synonym for corruption Warren Harding and Richard Nixon. To which model of leader will American voters look to this November? To those who were bold enough to envision a better future or those who were afraid of the progress of the past.
6 Oct. 2016