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October 22, 2013


Most if not all of my followers were not born before 1938. I was eleven years old at the time and in the midst of a recession within the Great Depression as a result of one of few mistakes made by Franklin D. Roosevelt when he caved in to Republican demands that he reduce spending in his classic (and ultimately successful) fight to put America to work again. As one of three sons of a poverty-stricken coal miner, I had no idea that World War II was just around the corner and that I would later visit every continent except Antarctica in the course of ending the fascist threat to democracy in that war.

1938 is a year known for our faltering economic attempt to recover from the Great Depression, but is better known for another mistake by a national leader, Neville Chamberlain, then prime minister of Great Britain. He made a trip in 1938 to Munich, Germany, there to visit with Adolf Hitler. He made a deal (he thought) and returned to London with the statement to the effect that the agreement meant that “we would have peace in our time.” We instead had a long and disastrous world war with tens of millions of both civilian and military casualties which finally ended with the atomic bombing of Japan.

Chamberlain has since been rightly criticized for being duped into thinking that one can appease a dictator. Dictators canno00t be appeased, and we certainly did not have “peace in our time” as a result of his trip to Munich. History, biblical and secular, shows that you cannot appease a Genghis Khan or Julius Caesar, a lesson Chamberlain did not learn. Hitler was a murdering racist full of hatred for the terms of the Versailles Treaty imposed upon Germany following WW I and full of hubris as he was carving up central Europe in expansion of Germany’s borders. He went one step too far with his invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, which brought on WW II.

There are other lessons to be learned in different contexts in attempting to appease dictators, whether in the corporate boardroom (Jack Welch, James Dimon et al.) or on the political trail (Cruz, Lee et al.), and this is one of them: that the Republican party cannot appease Ted Cruz. He is on a holy mission to have his way with America’s future (obscure as his “plan” may be), and ignoring senatorial proprieties, refusing to recognize his tea party faction as a small minority and other such slash and burn tactics he is employing in the name of “service to the people of Texas” in confrontation “with the Republican establishment” gets him lots of headlines and TV time, but more importantly, such conduct (or misconduct) has all the makings of a dictator in the making, an exercise we ignore at our peril.

I have blogged repeatedly that the Republican party must excise the tea party cancer from its ranks or go the way of the Whigs (from which the Republican party arose in 1854) into political oblivion. This is not a case of political intolerance that will not allow different views a place under the “big tent.” There is a reason for excluding the tea party from the ranks of Republicans, and it is this: The tea party people ARE NOT Republicans; they are libertarians running as Republicans and their views do not fit the “tents” of either party. The Republican party has to deal with these soft anarchists if America is to have a two-party system, which I as a Democrat favor. I do not want the Republican party to fail. I was an American long before I was ever a Democrat. America deserves a choice in who is to make policy, but unless the Republican party cleanses itself of these strangers in its midst, Democrats will make policy – for years.

This is no time for a Munich. Cruz Control cannot be appeased. Republicans, do your duty.  GERALD  E


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