Those of us of a “certain age” grew up in a time when the World’s Democracies had defeated the forces of despotism in a bloody war that killed sixty million people.
Freedom was the watchword of the day. The nineteenth century poet Alfred Lord Tennyson’s vision of a Universal Organization to eliminate war, a “…Parliament of man, the Federation of the world” was at hand.
Today, look around; Democracy is dying and Despotism is flourishing – In Putin’s Russia, in Erdogan’s Turkey, in Duterte’s Phillipines, in Xi’s China, in Modi’s India, in Hungary, Poland, Myanmar, Venezuela, Peru, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, a dozen other African Countries.
And in Donald J Trump’s America?
Fortunately,the fixtures of our Republic, it’s Instituitions and the majority of it’s people have been strong enough to turn back the full force of Trump’s Assault on the Bill of Rights and on our Constituional Separation as he dreams of dictatorial power.
But it’s time to Cry Wolf.
Despotism is not yet on us but creeping up and the time to stop it is now.
There is no denying that Trump with his divisivness and vulgarity is changing our culture, our agreed sense of who we are as a people, even to an alarming extent the fierceness of our allegiance to our democracy.
Consider that is a recent poll of Millennials, fewer than one in three said they thought democracy was important. If we can not convince the leaders of tomorrow that democracy and individual freedom are important the Country is truly lost.
Yes. It is time to Cry Wolf. History teaches us that despotism does not arrive in a sudden flash, it comes creeping step by step.
Aristotle observed that “Republics decline into democracies and democracies degerante into dispotisms.” He was certainly right about Athens,the so-called “Cradle of Democracy.”
The Roman Senate’s enlighted gpvernance degenerated into hundreds of years of despotic rule (read Gibbons)
Barbara Tuchman, the historian who chronicaled the idiotic slide into World War I warned that “Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tryant it has deposed.”
And it was Thomas Jefferson,author of our magnificent Declaration of Independence, who asked “What country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”
I urge you to read an excellent article by Brian Klass titled: “Of course it can happen here: Trump’s no despot — but he’s no friend to democracy.” With the subtitle: “I study dictators, and Trump’s attacks on our democratic checks and balances are chillingly familiar.” I have tried to attach the link but the publisher has embedded a “stop” device that prevents it. However, simply google the article as I have described it and you can read it just fine.
When our Continental Congress had finished writing a Constitution for this country A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Cry Wolf and let’s keep it!