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January 4, 2017

Today I foresee (in all likelihood) the installation of a new and unbelievably unprepared overseer of federalism by a know-nothing and his merry band of oligarchs, ideologues and libertarian superrich. I expect to see such interpretation of federal versus state and local “rights” under the Constitution to include favoring of the Second over the Tenth Amendment on issues surrounding state and local rights in gun control even though, like politics, all shootings are local. On the other hand, I expect to see an abandonment of federal rights over state rights where control of education, health care and other human services are involved via mini-federal appropriations and a Ryan-type voucher program run by states which, unlike shootings, is a federal problem because each state will have its own political fish to fry and will result in 50 different means of administration of such programs while the Republicans on the federal level are sitting back and boasting “problem solved” when the problem is not solved but rather exacerbated by a spread of administration and the costs necessarily involved in addition (historically) to some governors’ use of such funds as cookie jars to prop up other shortages in their state budgets in obedience to the holy edict of “cutting taxes.”

The headline in my local newspaper here in Florida of a few days ago read as follows: “”Trump aides: Critics are using electoral vote to de-legitimize win” as though Putin, Comey, and Trump by his conduct both past and present haven’t already de-legitimized any claim he may have had to having “won.” Note the framing (which I reject). He won geography but not the vote – counties and states don’t vote. He has de-legitimized any claim to a right to govern by the will of the people, having lost by nearly 3 million votes, yet, among other things, his propaganda of diversion from what our intelligence agencies found continues unabated. He simply says that he doesn’t believe it, so case closed, because I said so. (?)

So now we are supposed to accept policy-making by tweet or diversionary propaganda or by combination of the two and shut our mouths and muzzle our keyboards because he “said so?” Another consideration is this: If he can shut off the conversation unilaterally, then what happens when his budget director gives him bad numbers on the deficit or his defense and intelligence people tell him Putin is loading up his missiles to take out our east coast? Does he just say “I don’t believe it” and case closed? Living under a cloud of narcissism and with a compliant media subject to his PR framing, he may not even recognize that such conduct is that of a dictator, but in the real world it is, and if we are to retain any of the blessings of our democracy, we have a duty to point that out without fear or favor today and every day in using our First Amendment rights robustly. Fascism doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time, and many of the indications are in place these days that point to such a political future for us as our democracy melts away into the annals of history. We must resist this and not be taken in by “I have to do this to keep you safe” propaganda, an old trick to gain dictatorial rule.

Had the so-called “Good Germans” who didn’t like Hitler taken him to task and resisted his plans for their servitude in the early 1930s, the horrors of the next dozen or so years might have been averted. With such a political prototype as our guide, even though it failed through lack of perseverance, I recommend that we become “Good Americans” and resist all attempts by anybody to wrest our most precious asset from us, our democracy. Our forefathers both Yankee merchant and Southern slaveholder agreed on one thing: that the tyranny of the British Crown was unacceptable and responded accordingly. We should all be able to agree with that view yet today since tyranny and tyrants are never acceptable if we are to be self-governing, so let’s keep our eyes open, our ear to the ground, our powder dry, and resist tyranny both from within and without.      GERALD        E


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