Saturday, November 12, 2016

Silence is Not An Option

Like everyone else, the election wore me out. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I was sick and tired of hearing the conflicting polls, vitriolic speeches and media distortions. After the shocking result, I was ready to say screw it, never again. I was angry, shocked, disappointed and a little bewildered. I couldn’t understand how so many voters could vote for Trump given everything that happened during the course of the campaign. For the first few days, I stayed quiet and resisted responding to the smug and trite Facebook posts from Trump supporters. I was ready to just say to hell with it and not be involved at all.

In thinking about it though, as tough a loss as this was and the incredible potential for bad things to happen with a fool like Trump in the White House it is important to remember the old adage “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” 
Staying silent is not an option. One only needs to look at Germany in the 1930’s to recognize the peril of silence. Millions of Germans stood silent while a man with very similar views as Trump espousing the same kind of hatred exploited nationalism and promised to make Germany great again. He harnessed the anger of the underclass and moved a nation to a war footing and ultimately plundered Europe, killing millions and savagely suppressing any opposition. His white Aryan nation of followers, devoid of a moral compass, enabled atrocities that no one ever thought could or would happen. What I have heard from Trump has many parallels to Adolph Hitler. While many will scoff at that notion, I believe it is real enough to demand action. Passively standing on the sidelines is a perilous place.

I have vowed not to be one who stays silent in the face of an abuser who is followed by those who share his racist and sexist views. Who knows where this will all go? I for one will go to my grave knowing that I didn’t just stand by and watch. I will resist in every way I can. Even if it is only to sound the alarm bells or something more, it is what I will do. As is often said, “the only way evil can triumph is when good people do nothing.” In a normal election year, you can expect differences of opinion about political issues and respect that others may have a different view than yours. With Trump, it is different. It is a fundamental clash of basic values. It is hard to respect someone’s opinion when they either subscribe to or are willing to accept blatant racism, sexism, documented lies and distortions and total lack of qualifications to do the most important job in the world. To remain silent is to accept it. I don’t and won’t.

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