A disturbing global trend away from liberal democracy and towards authoritarianism has taken hold in recent years. Just last week, we learned that Chinese President Xi Jinping consolidated power and potentially extended his tenure as China’s leader for life. Behind closed doors at his Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump praised Xi’s giant step towards totalitarianism: “He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.” It’s not the first time Trump has embraced tyranny. He has a long history of authoritarian proclivity. During his short tenure in the Oval Office, Trump has rapidly pushed the United States away from its democratic norms and into Constitutional crisis. Every patriotic American must strongly resist our country’s current descent towards fascism.
Renowned spiritual leader John Neuhas once remarked that “genuine tolerance does not mean ignoring differences as if difference made no difference. Genuine tolerance means engaging differences within the bonds of civility and respect.” Neuhas was not completely right. Fascists, white supremacists, nazis, and bigots lambast progressives for not tolerating their views. However, hateful extremists use tolerance merely as a tool to gain acceptance and obtain power. Once fascists and bigots are in power, they vilify all who are different and all who dare to disagree. They only care about one thing: consolidating power. Authoritarian bigots care not for the rule of law, historical precedent, or preserving democratic institutions. They strive to destroy any independent authorities that challenge their hold on power. Checks and balances are enemies to be pulverized.
Trump has no respect for democracy. That’s why he attacks the free press, our judicial system, and the FBI. He doesn’t want any independent checks on his power. We have to act to check his power before he undermines our institutions. https://t.co/tk2tzwkuPF
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) March 4, 2018
This phenomenon is happening now, right before our eyes. As Illinois attorney general candidate Renato Mariotti recently said, Trump tells us not to trust the FBI, the Department of Justice, the media, and the courts. He is trying to undermine every independent check on his power. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and their fellow Congressional Republicans are co-conspirators in Trump’s effort to undermine these autonomous checks on presidential power. Under the guise of a bipartisan investigation into Russian election interference, the GOP-led House Intelligence Committee has chosen to target FBI and Department of Justice investigators rather than scrutinize those who potentially conspired with Russia to manipulate the U.S. electorate. Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) recent disingenuous partisan memo, which blasts the FBI via cherry-picked data and outright lies, demonstrates that House Republicans support Trump’s effort to derail Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
True tolerance means standing up for what is core to the American identity, which is heterogenous and plural. We must protect all of those whom Trump and his allies are targeting in their unholy alliance. As he sat in one of Hitler’s concentration camps, Protestant pastor Martin Niemoller penned his epoch poem:
First came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.
Similarly, Trump has berated African Americans, women, prisoners of war, the disabled, Gold Star families, Latinos, and Muslims. Now he focuses his vitriol on our courts, the FBI, the Intelligence Community, the Department of Justice, the Special Counsel, and the press. In America, we do not have a government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate. Fascism’s march across the U.S. can only be stopped if enough concerned citizens get involved. Ask yourself, if not me, who? If not now, when? Let’s commit to resist the Trump Administration and encroaching GOP fascism each and every until they are resoundingly defeated.
Only #WeThePeople can stop fascism’s march across the USA. Ask yourself, if not me, who? If not now, when? I pledge to #resist Trump & GOP fascism each & every day until they are history. Let’s keep up #TheResistance. #StayWoke #BlueWaveIsComing #MuellerIsComing #WhyWeResist 10/
— Mindful Majority (@MindfulMajority) February 4, 2018
(This post was adapted from a @MindfulMajority thread.)