A friend of mine keeps sending me emails staking out his strongly-held conservative positions, attacking and ridiculing liberals and Democrats. I feel very sad about this, but not because I think he’s necessarily wrong. Like any of us, sometimes he is, sometimes he isn’t. I’m sad because it’s like watching someone trying to hit an 8-iron into a tight pin while staring at his competitor’s Titleist. Eye on the wrong ball.
This election is not about policy. It’s not about left vs. right or what we’re going to do about healthcare, and so on. That day will come again. But it is not today.
This election is, or should be, about only one thing: eliminating the risk that our precious republic will slide into tyranny.
It doesn’t matter what label you attach to Donald Trump’s behavior – narcissism, psycho- or sociopathology, anti-social personality, etc. Whatever you call it, it is beyond question that he is not exactly right in the head. Look at this list and try to explain it any other way:
- Lack of empathy or the ability to see others as humans
- Complete disregard for the truth
- Willingness to contradict himself without remorse
- Willingness to use others for his own ends, again without remorse
- Profound, deep-seated need for power
- Profound, deep-seated need for approval or adoration
- Admiration of tyrants
What makes these behaviors concerning is that while not everyone who has them becomes a tyrant, everyone who becomes a tyrant has them.
Tyranny starts when the person described above meets a population that feels deeply belittled, weakened and aggrieved. This is post-Versailles Germany. When that population sees a potential strongman who offers what looks like a path to feeling strong (great?) again, tyranny begins. This is the history.
When it happens, the tyrant and those who embrace him engage in a love affair that is completely irrational. People who are otherwise reasonable and good sometimes wind up believing and doing unreasonable and abhorrent things. The scapegoating and dehumanizing of recognizably non-majority people is always at the core of this love. Again, this is the history.
And then there are the people who aren’t so reasonable and good to begin with. They find a happy home.
Tyranny may begin as populism. It never, ever ends well.
The beginnings of this exist in America today. Donald Trump is a would-be tyrant, even if he isn’t self-aware enough to realize it. 40% of Americans see him as their savior. If we get to 50%, we’re done.
Can’t happen here? It couldn’t happen in Germany in 1932, either. There was no way Donald Trump was going to win in 2016. And he just said that he thinks he can change the Constitution by executive order.
The risk is real, and even small odds are deeply frightening.
We are lucky that our would-be tyrant is not very competent and is something of a buffoon. But it’s not a great idea to bet our future on that.
It is the duty of patriots to put a brake on this guy. This is not partisan. It’s about nipping potential tyranny in the bud. OK, not the bud. 40% means we’re post-bud. And that the other 60% need to stop it.
Sadly, what calls itself the Republican party these days has shown itself to be completely servile and willing to put the nation at risk in exchange for short-term political gain.
For patriots, that leaves only one alternative, which is to vote for Democrats. Not because you like or agree with them (I often don’t), but because before we deal with policy, we need to take tyranny off the table. We can’t wait for someone else to do it for us. It’s in our hands.
So that’s where we are. The single most non-partisan thing you can do in this election is to vote straight Democrat.
Who’d have thought?