By Dr David Laing Dawson
From 1934 until the end of WWII the Nazi party passed over 40 incremental laws restricting Jewish presence and participation, leading inexorably to “the final solution”. This is a desensitization process; each seemingly benign step leading to the next slightly less benign step.
In a previous blog, somewhat flippantly, I wrote out a do-it-yourself manual for the erosion and destruction of an established democracy. To a surprising degree much has already come about in the USA under Trump and the Republican Party in a mere 18 months.
Several recent events have pushed this timeline dramatically along.
Trump has quite unnecessarily pardoned Dinesh D’Souza as a message to Comey, Mueller and Rosenstein, and undoubtedly to Flynn and Cohen, demonstrating his power to the men who prosecuted D’Souza in the first place, and his support to those currently charged.
Then in a tweet he threw Manafort under the bus in a clear statement to the others that there are conditions attached to his promise of support and future pardon.
In the midst of this his lawyers sent a letter to Mueller suggesting or stating that The President cannot be charged and indicted for anything because ultimately this same man can decide what is illegal and what is not.
(I gather the idea that the President is not above the law is not that clearly spelled out in the constitution).
This notion should be shocking, but instead I hear it discussed, argued over, with talk of precedence and norms rather than disbelief, horror and immediate action.
Each of these steps are akin to the Nazi rulings. Desensitization is occurring.
I suggested a war with Iran or Korea would be necessary for Trump to enact some emergency measures in his waddle to dictatorship, but his instincts may be more clever than mine. For he seems to be ignoring Iran now, and cozying up to North Korea, while starting a trade war with his allies. His use of “national security” as a pretext for the imposition of tariffs is telling. Maybe he does not need a real war. Perhaps he only needs a trade war with Europe, Canada and Mexico, with each of these allies retaliating in a way that hurts his base. In such a trade war the American people will feel more and more surrounded by enemies, a fortress besieged, alone in this fight with the world.
And that is when people are willing to turn to a charismatic leader who promises them everything – safety, security, prosperity, greatness – in return for a little blindness.
The clock is ticking my American friends.