The Pathway to Perdition

The pathway to perdition is paved in ignorance. They say there are only seven original stories in the world. If you read enough, and pay attention to life, you can actually begin to see them unfold in realtime. You grow able to predict what the author of that real life story is going to do next. Which story they seek to recreate in their own life.

Donald Trump is far from an original. In fact we’re all familiar with this story he’s writing. For many of us it’s our favorite movie, book or television show. We’ve seen it unfold countless times, albeit in differing variations.

The agents of fear and oppression rise up, usually in the form of a privileged older male pseudo populist whose good fortune depends on preserving the status quo. He uses fear and oppression as his primary tools. His speech comprised of thinly veiled dog whistles that call upon the deplorables of society to rise up. His policies implicitly condone the dirty work and agenda of those who once sat on the fringe of society.

His nationalistic rhetoric encourages them to sow discord; to intimidate others to get on board. to bully, peer pressure, threaten and blackmail similar patriots and relatives who may agree with the message but be resistant to the harsh methods. Over time they too will join the cause or face excommunication from the party. Those branded race or party traitors to be forever blacklisted and cast out.

As he consolidates power the narcissist grows. He begins to divide traditional alliances through rumor, false promises and chaos. He discredits opponents with lies, misinformation and alternative facts.

As the story progresses the emerging authoritarian begins to act more erratic. The threat of a “deep state”, and traditional checks and balances begin to weigh heavy on he who chases the crown.

As the opposition grows and coalesces, the motive of the dictatorial villain grows more transparent. The desire for ultimate power drive increasingly brutal and more brazen tactics. Dissent must be suppressed! Foreign enemies abound! A caravan of rapists and criminals approach unchecked! Now is not the time for #resistance!

Midway through the story a cataclysmic event occurs. The stuff of nightmares. A society’s worst fears realized. Freedoms must be restrained as a new threat rises. At this point resistance is futile. The takeover complete.

That’s the story Trump and his caravan of the corrupt are trying to write. The appointment of Whitaker. The war on the press and needless taunts of our closest allies. It’s clear that we’re already very close to that midway point.

There’s another version of this story though. The one written about the protagonist. A story of hope, freedom and perseverance. How love saves the day. A last minute miracle. A heroic act that thwarts catastrophy and exposes the naked emperor, unmasks the fraud.

In that story truth, justice and the “American” way win out. “We, the people,” can still write that story. Look around, look around. The resistance is real. We are the majority. We simply need that hero to step forward to lead us

Either way; the good news is the story always ends the same way. Love, empathy, sacrifice and acceptance win the day. A new hope emerges in the blooms of renewed unity and tolerance. The villain is denounced and rejected. Grows to be nothing more than a cautionary tale in history’s annals.

I’ve read this book a thousand times. Societies advance, grow more civil and tolerant.

The question is not if freedom wins. It’s how long and at what cost it will take for her to do so. Progress knows but one direction #Forward

Maybe it’s Evolution

All of my grandparents immigrated here from Europe. European Jews who fled their homelands in the face of rising nationalism. Crossed the ocean with little more than a dream of a freer and more open society. My father in turn was raised mostly in foster homes. Passed around from family to family. Valued more for the monthly check he’d bring in than for his intellect or kindness.

To turn away refugees and treat them as greater threats than the head of our National Security Agency. To tear an innocent child away from a parent. To lose them in the system as if their worth is equal to that of a UPS parcel. As a father to two small girls my thoughts immediately turn to them. The possibility that they may ever experience such pain. It wrecks me.

How can it be that not everyone feels the same. How can this be a political issue? How can Republicans stay silent in the face of these horrors that are taking place within shores?

It comes down to empathy. The contrast between parties; whether in response to immigration, preemptive war, healthcare, mass shootings can only be explained by empathy. The GOP respond with a “that would never be my child” attitude. Extend their thoughts and prayers. Mourn the national tragedy, the innocent civilians, the fallen soldier, the lost children, and then move on to he next day.

Progressives react with a “what if that was my child!” response. They express outrage, demand #GunContolNow, exhaust diplomacy, protest the wars, wonder where are the children, and then spend thousands of sleepless nights worrying “what if tomorrow…”

Never Forget

Prior to the ascension of Donald Trump I had never used social media as a platform, felt compelled to write a blog, but consider me an alarmist. I believe we all have a responsibility to speak out. The only thing I ever learned in Hebrew school was “never forget,” and I haven’t.

All of America is faced with a simple choice, it’s either #Resistance or #Appeasement.

America has a long history of standing up to bullies and Nazis. The vast majority of us teach our children that name calling and excluding other kids on basis of race, gender or religion is not okay. We take pride in the melting pot that is America. Recognize that diversity IS the American identity. We can’t change that anymore than a tiger its stripes. A list of all the great contributions immigrants, minorities and refugees have made to this country would dwarf a list of their misdeeds a million times over. Americans are waking. We know who we are. And we like it that way.

This is not about politics. Look at Trump’s words. Log into twitter and review his timeline of tweets. It is repulsive. You’d be ashamed of your child if that was the method they used to become class president. He is a man of flawed character. He does not share OUR values and we must stand up together and punch him in the nose.

I urge all in #GOP, including the so called “moderates” who serve this administration, to declare yourself an independent, a freedom fighter or whatever heroic name you wish to give yourselves. Find the courage within you. Make clear to our Comrade in Chief that you stand for the people and the constitution and he will have trouble if he messes with either.

This madness has gone on long enough. It’s time to cut commercial and bring the adults back into the room. We can no longer afford to play Russian roulette with our democracy #HistoryHasItsEyesOnYou