This is how it begins. With a curtain of legitimacy. After months of crude bullying and threats to destroy and jail his opponents, there is a win, and then an appeal to legitimacy. "I'm ok. I belong. All is forgiven as long as I get my way and lead."
The ascent to power comes by an appeal to racism, sexism, nativism, and anti-intellectualism. "It is the foreigners who cause our problems. I will fix it by getting rid of them and banning them."
Scientists and intellectuals are out to get you.
Salvation is offered only through the specific virtues of the leader, the winner, the Fuhrer. "Only I can fix it. Only I can make you safe from the foreigners trying to kill you. Not the army or the Generals. Just me."
"I know more about our enemies than the generals. Only I can make you safe."
"Lebensraum" is the desire for living space for the German race that the foreigners (Poles and Slavs) took in previous wars.
"I will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it."
The Treaty of Versailles crippled the German people. They cannot earn a living. "Give me the power and only I can fix it. I will break the treaty that destroyed our country."
NAFTA and TPP are taking away American Jobs.
"Give me the power and I can fix it. I will break NAFTA. I will cancel TPP. I will withdraw our country from the Paris Global Warming Accords."
"Jews are engaged in a conspiracy to destroy our country. They should be rounded up. They've stolen our jobs and wrecked our economy."
"Muslims need to be banned. They are dangerous. Muslims are engaged in a conspiracy to destroy us. Foreigners are stealing your jobs. I will round up and deport ten million illegals who are murderers and rapists."
"I've given you the answers in my best selling book Mein Kampf."
"I've written a best selling book telling you how to succeed like me. The Art of the Deal."
January 1933: Hitler elected to Chancellorship.
February 1933:The Reichstag is set on fire by a bomb planted on orders of Hitler. Hitler blames foreigners. The Jews and the Communists.
March 1933: Facing a crisis of national security, the (the bombing of the Reichstag) the Reichstag passes "The Enabling Act" allowing the Fuhrer to issue laws without the consent of the Reichstag (Parliament) to protect the people.
Kristallnacht November 9-10, 1938: 78 years ago this week, the mob errupts, egged on by Hitler and his party over a thousand Jews are killed, their businesses looted and destroyed (Kristallnacht refers to all of the broken glass in the streets from the windows of Jewish businesses looted).
2016: Crowds, egged on by their leader, chant "Lock her up" Rudy Gulliani- candidate for attorney general- gives an interview the day after the election indicating that he will seek the indictment and prosecution of his leader's political opponent. Winning is not enough.
Books were burned.
Our President Elect was overwhelmingly supported by people without college educations.
Anti-intellectualism: the hatred of those who are learned and smart thrives. Scientists are scorned. Professionals are blamed for the problems of the mob.
Education is scorned. The mob has the power.
This is how darkness descends upon a society and the world.
Those who ignore the lessons of history and condemned to repeat them.
Make no mistake about this. America will pay for it's choice this week. Greatness is not bestowed. It is earned every day. There is no such thing as American Exceptionalism without exceptional Americans.
There are exceptional Americans who, by virtue of their work made America Exceptional. Martin Luther King. Bobby Kennedy. Teddy Roosevelt. Woodrow Wilson. Abraham Lincoln. John Adams. Thomas Jefferson. Dwight Eisenhower. Ulysses Grant. Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Henry Ford. Every American who landed at Normandy. Every American who fought in the Ardennes forest during those freezing cold weeks in December, 1944. Paratroopers wearing summer uniforms, dug into the snow, stopping German tanks.
Thurgood Marshall. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. John Kennedy who quoted poetry to Americans. Joe Louis and Jackie Roosevelt Robinson and Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks.
These are the people from whom American Exceptionalism sprang.
Darkness descends when the mob rules.
Darkness has descended upon our country.
Where will you be when your neighbors are rounded up and deported?
What will you do when our President's opponents are prosecuted?
Will you speak up when our wives and daughters and our disabled friends are mocked and harassed and shamed and shunned?
The world is watching and history will judge.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King
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