This is a blog in which I express my personal opinion. At the end of the day, I am used to a restraint coming from being a public servant since fourty years, but there are things that need to be said.
I have watched the development on occasion of the upcoming U.S. Presidential Elections with an increasing amount of worry. I guess I am kind of witnessing what many did: First, I did not take the loudness, the bombastic self representation, the simplified language for four-year-olds, serious. I was kind of laughing at it, like many. Reading the blogs, the increasing amount of stories got amusing. Then annoying. Then worrying. Then scary. Yet, like all, I was devouring these stories, with disgust.
In December, late December, there was a climax in these stories and in the hate and xenophobia being expressed, something that appeared to go over the top, people were shocked, other people ranted and showed raw emotions of hate for everything alien, everything black, everything Mexican, everything Muslim. Then, for a few weeks, there was a sort of silence. It was like sobering up from getting drunk on all these stories we had gotten used to read, with mad fascination.
Some said that perhaps they had enough, that the Republican Party might have had enough. For a few days, there was silence, and some believed that somebody had silently taken the gloves offs, saying “Shut up, now”.
I was skeptical. I saw everything from a perspective of a calculated rant undertaken by a demagogue, that we see somebody exploiting democracy and its weaknesses in plain sight. I guess I was very right. We see what is happening in the primaries. We see a terrible, horrible, disgusting, hate- and spiteful demagogy rising. We see somebody rising to becoming the nominee of his Party for the Office of the President of the United States who has no hesitation to top it all out. People realize this is getting real. There is this strange acceptance: “Well, so be it. Then Hillary has to beat him.” But what if she does not? Then, silence, like sheepish acceptance: At the end, it’s democracy in the works.
Yesterday, I was remembering what I have read about how his political rallies are: We all have seen black Americans and Muslim Americans opposing his stances in these events, with democratic means. Wonderful people, true Americans. We all have seen that the climate of these events is of a kind that people with opposing opinions will not be tolerated, will be sent back by security if identified, or being thrown out in case of their expression of opposing opinion. Sometimes they will be handled roughly, with thinly veiled triumph from the podium, if veiled at all.
I remembered what happened in Weimar. They used these security guards as well. Later on then, after Hitler won, they changed the color of their uniforms from brown to black. Those who did beat people up during the campaigns, they became members of Armageddon’s hellish armies. All of a sudden, all my memory of how things went in the Weimar Republic, when it was taken over in the open by a demagogue who did not withhold any of his intentions, all that came up. There is a reason in post-war Germany why we use the term “wehrhafte Demokratie” for a form of constitutional setup which enables our democracy to act against demagogues who try to undermine it, to destroy it: The reason is that the Weimar Republic got destroyed this way. We woke up after the Holocaust.
And then I read this article below. Read it! Please. Read it! It is one of the best articles I have read in a long while, and I could not agree more. I was almost relieved that somebody with a U.S. passport said what I felt, with a great unease.
The moment of truth: We must stop Trump https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/moment-of-truth-we-must-stop-trump/2016/02/21/0172e788-d8a7-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html
It is time, really time, to stand up and to say “No”. And to say it loudly.
Already in December I said that the damage done even if this candidate won’t make it is already too much. Now, towards end of February and in the middle of the primaries, the divisions in this country go deeper than ever. The moderate and reasonable people need to speak up, now, and loudly. There needs to be a debate. It needs to be inclusive. All those who have begun to follow this demagogue, they need to be able to reconcile. It will be hard for them to admit they were following a demagogue. It’s typical for conservative minds that they will not admit a mistake of this kind. It’s typical for many other people, too. It’s basic human psychology. But reconciliation of this division will require being gentle with each other, Democrats and Republicans. Otherwise the divisions will persist.
Just dreaming. In case this nightmare would end. It’s up to us All to end it. I really hope it does. This man is young enough to try it again, in four or eight years, if he does not succeed now.