Fearing for our democracy

Lessons from history go unheeded

We need to put recent national events in historical perspective. We are all supposed to learn from the past and so it is painful to see so much of America has failed to learn from its own history.

The Nazis were evil. Just plain evil. Their Aryan race superiority nonsense proved to be historically foolish because white Aryans ruling Germany brought devastation on its population. Adolf Hitler’s plan to rid the world of Jews and to conquer Europe (then presumably the world) was historically foolish because their inhumane cruelty cast them forever as pure evil and as the enemy that we defeated. My own father, and the fathers of many others in this city, fought and suffered against Hitler. Anyone embracing the neo-Nazi movement or its variations is a fool and a traitor. Nothing less.

Anyone thinking whites and their culture are supreme should examine facts. History has proven in many ways the frightening cruelty and violence of the white race itself, as seen in their treatment of Indian nations, white man’s lynching of blacks, white homegrown terrorists blowing up the Murrah building, and murdering children in a school, and more, all signs of arrogance and cruelty in the white race.

Does that mean all whites are evil? No. Just as not all blacks and Hispanics and Muslims are. Diversity is a reality. Look at the people who came to the rescue of others in the Texas floods. I saw white, brown and black people helping victims, some religious, atheist, straight, gay, Democrat or Republican.

No one wants illegal criminals to enter the country, and President Barack Obama’s administration did a well thought out, fair, and persistent job of ridding the country of criminal aliens. Look it up on factcheck.org. No wall will eliminate people crossing borders. America’s greatness comes from its ability to bring together diverse people when needed to defeat the enemy, and so America — led by the federal government– defeated the Confederates, the white supremacists, and the Nazis.

The Confederacy was historically foolish. The South disdained and defied the federal government, seceding from the Union, beginning a war that caused more military deaths than any other war we have endured. They believed that states had the right to supersede the power of the federal government. Their delusions and their arrogance resulted in their defeat.

It is reprehensible that an American president should grasp white supremacists and neo-Nazis as part of his core supporters. It means he lacks ethics. It means an American president accepts evil. Shame on him. There is no excusing Trump for seeking support from people whose ideologies helped kill more than 250,000 Americans in World War II.

President Donald Trump is not the victim. The nation is. Our democracy is a victim of his ceaseless lies, manipulation of truths, undermining of our democracy as he attacks our free press. We are the victims of those who decided that his being a loud mouthed, arrogant, unethical bully whom they thought would “bomb the hell” out of our enemies and push immigrants around. They liked that he defied the norms and political correctness. They admire thuggery and dismiss the “old America” that dealt with issues with seriousness and reflection, not impulsiveness and anger.

One writer complained that the liberal media, “radical factions,” are unfair to Trump. The fact is the liberal along with some Republicans recognize Trump is a danger. His irresponsible statements and Tweets are often at odds with his own advisers. There is confusion in the White House, not leadership. Trump is the exact opposite of the great Franklin Roosevelt, who urged Americans to unite, to not fear, to stand with other nations. His policies and Truman’s enabled America to be the strongest leader in the world and form strong alliances, including Germany and Japan, allies who admired us and counted on us. That is the lesson of history. “America first” means everyone else last.

I allow real newsmen to bring me facts. I have trust in our free press and understand their value to democracy. Liberals are pro-democracy and pro-freedom. The media will unearth the truth regarding Trump — as they did the unhinged Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. History proves the media and Republicans investigated Bill Clinton as much as they do Trump. And, did “Obama never face this coverage?” Wouldn’t the Republicans have investigated him had they had anything to pin on him? Instead Trump accused him of not being born in America — a fact easily proven wrong. “Give him a chance,” Trump’s supporters beg. I am not willing to give my democracy to his very unstable leadership. Some 66 percent of the nation agree with me, while a mere 34 percent still has faith in Trump — and they seem to love his antics, love his message that “I give you permission to be as nasty and unethical person, to lash out at anyone not like you.” There is no desire in Trump to make himself a unifying leader.

I can accept the fact Hillary Clinton lost the election, as I accepted the fact Al Gore lost and Jimmy Carter. But history and facts teach me those were different losses. This was not a loss for me or for Democrats. This is a loss for democracy. Anyone not lost in his anger and resentment sees that democracy is losing.

Here are the facts of history as we are living it today. Trump and his cronies seem to want an oligarchy — similar to what Putin has established in Russia. His supporters are blind to that. What supporters really wanted was to get back at something, to be allowed to be angry at blacks or hispanics or gays or muslims or affirmative action or welfare cheaters — rather than trying to solve problems. They wanted their own fear or hate or resentment to be given permission and Trump gave it. His failed leadership makes America weak, making the entire world doubt our moral strength. Trump has no ability to make America great.

In my 65 years on this planet I have never been more afraid for our democracy than I am now. You should be too.

Diane Andrasik is a Dunkirk resident.

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