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Gender: Male
Hometown: Palm Beach County, Florida
Member since: Fri Apr 16, 2004, 02:36 PM
Number of posts: 14,673

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So you believe "It Can't Happen Here"

In Germany of the 1930's, gays, Communists, Gypsies, the disabled, Jews, and so, so many others didn't believe it either. After all, Germany in that era was an advanced country that believed in science, the arts, and might well have become a cultural world leader. That's what most knowledgeable, aware Germans believed back then.

Instead, a psychopathic madman came along and a large minority listened to him, believed him, and fell into line behind him. We know what came next.

Do you really believe "It can't happen here?"

C'mon. It can happen anywhere. We don't have any "magic" immunity to fascism.

And, as you know, most gays, Communists, Gypsies, the disabled, the Jews, and many millions of others died. Most of them in death camps. Do you really believe that "death camps" can't happen here? Do you really believe today's right-wing crazies wouldn't go that far? Really?

(This is part of a thread from an OP I put up earlier today and I believe it needs its own discussion.)

I want to leave Florida. It ain't that easy

I often find myself thinking of my grandparents who had to leave the only country they'd ever known to come here to America. It must have been terrifying to head for a place where there was no one you knew and you didn't speak the language. I can always picture them on a boat in New York Harbor, sailing past the Statue of Liberty, looking at it with awe, knowing they had arrived in a safe place where they could be free.

This is no longer the country they came to. Fascism is on the march, and Florida is right up there in the lead. Fighting our fascist governor and legislature is virtually impossible. They've gerrymandered the state, and installed voter suppression "rules," to the point where it's virtually impossible for them to lose control in the foreseeable future.

As few as ten years ago, no one thought that FL would have a ban on abortion after six weeks, no need for a license to carry a gun, bans on countless books, attacks on education and banning the teaching of true American history, "Don't say gay." And it really is becoming ever more worrisome here if you're Black, Jewish, Muslim, or anyone who isn't a specific type of white, "Christian." Many here don't hesitate to fly confederate flags, but I'm guessing it's just a matter of time before some people will feel free to display swastikas.

I've lived here for many years now and moving means leaving behind friends, community, a way of life, and there are also financial considerations. I know how difficult it would be to start over again in someplace sane and new.

I now realize the tremendous courage that my grandparents had and I hope that I can find in myself. Nonetheless, this is not a place in which I wish to remain.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."

Many have heard this quote. And many don't see it happening right now. There are many millions of Americans who pay no attention to politics and are clueless that all their freedoms are teetering on the edge. And there are also, many millions of MAGATs who welcome a strong/charismatic leader, but are clueless that their own heads will also end up in the noose they've prepared for others.

In any case, the Republican Party's "real patriots" have tightly wrapped themselves in the biggest flag imaginable, and they are trying to make their grotesque version of the bible into the law of the land.

You want some of the names of the fascists in government? Okay, for starters, how about Trump, DeSantis, Abbott, Cotton, Hawley, Marjory Taylor Green, Lauren Boebert, Gym Jordan, Gaetz, ... and countless others, too numerous to list here. They show us daily what fascism is. They show the cruelty, the indifference toward suffering, the chaos, and the pure evil fascism would bring us.

So what do we do about it? Yeah, that's the question we all have. And the most terrible part of it is that our Democratic leaders don't seem to have answers either. And yes, Get Out The Vote is a reply, but it's insufficient when the fascists are sabotaging the election systems in so many places around America.

We must come up with solutions before they get to their "final solution." And the clock is running.

(The quote in the headline is attributed to early 20th Century writer Sinclair Lewis, but no one knows for sure.)

Republicans have just one strategy. -- Give 'em someone to hate!

"Hate the Blacks." Hate the gays." "Hate the Jews." "Hate the Muslims." "Hate the immigrants." "Hate the THEMS."

Republicans have nothing else to sell. Hatred is it. It's their only product. It's the one that's been used by tyrants throughout history. And it works every time.

They don't need a majority to buy into it. They need just enough of a minority of malcontents, racists, bigots and fools to buy their poison. What happens then is what we're seeing around us today. A society that they have torn apart and over which they eventually want to rule.

Everyone knows the saying, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Well, let me paraphrase that by saying, "... is for good people to do not enough." And we're not doing nearly enough. While we're trying to figure out how to win elections, they're setting up ways to steal them. We're playing by a set of rules that mean nothing to our would-be "conquerors" and "owners."

I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But like it or not, Republicans have taken us to a very dark place.

It's our move.

"The Republican Party has got to go."

A guest pundit said that out loud this morning on MSNBC. He was answering a question of what to do about guns.

But his answer, "The Republican Party has got to go," goes far beyond the gun issue. It goes to the very heart of our democracy.

Republicans have spent decades trying to roll back Social Security, Medicare, veteran's benefits, and everything that helps the vast majority of Americans, from women's rights, to unemployment insurance, to worker's rights, to children's school lunches. Republican voters seem to be so incredibly dumb that they constantly vote for their own impoverishment, and perhaps their very survival.

In short, far too many elected Republicans at the national, state, and local levels, don't give a shit about anyone but themselves. And the elected Republicans that don't agree with them, fear to speak our because they'll get voted out of office. So that makes Republicans a party run by true fascist believers, and Republican non-believers who are too cowardly to do the right thing.

There are millions of people in this country who are eligible to vote, but don't. They must be convinced that the Republican Party is their enemy and is making their lives as difficult as possible. How do we get them out to vote? Door by door, street by street, county by county, state by state. And, yes. In some states, this is dangerous. We are up against a party that will do anything, anything, to stay in power.

And for those who don't yet get it, the Republican Party is a criminal organization that has to go. They either get voted out, or they will destroy what's left of our democracy.

Get out and volunteer. There are many different ways. Call your local Democratic Club and ask for the names of different organizations that work to get out the vote. If you can't walk, you can use your phone to reach people. Put signs outside your house or in your windows. And again, these are dangerous things to do in some places. But our Founding Fathers laid their lives on the line to establish America. Black people have laid their lives on the line to be free and equal (and have paid a terrible price every step of the way).

Those in the world who seek freedom come to America. Your forebears did. Many risked everything to find freedom. Just look at our southern border. People from around the world are trying to be free. Many won't make it and many will. But keep in mind that the Republican Party doesn't care about any of them. THEY JUST DON'T CARE[/b].

Let me say this again. The Republican Party has got to go.

GOTV ain't enough

Yes. Of course we must get out each and every vote we possibly can, in each and every state, in all elections.

Yet, given the current fascist Republican Party, we need to do far more. We're playing by rules that they don't give a rat's ass about. They care about winning by any means. And they don't care how they have to cheat, steal, or even who to kill, to bring about their desired world of "True, patriotic, all white, so-called 'Christian' Americans."

What are my suggestions? Yeah, I have as few as everyone else. But here's one: Next month, America will reach it's spending cap. That means that we can't borrow any more money from anyone in the world. The Republicans have already stated that they will vote against raising America's spending cap.

Without going into the economic details, their real agenda is to kill veteran's benefits, Social Security, and Medicare. (Not to mention that they are ready to throw the world's economy into total chaos.)

Joe Biden can use the 14th Amendment to say "Fuck You" and ignore them. (He says he won't use it.)

So to get back to my original point that GOTV ain't enough, what should we do?

One answer is to fight them tooth and nail to preserve our freedoms and our democracy. And, Joe, that starts with you opposing these Republican pricks in which every way your office gives you the power. Use the 14th Amendment.

And every time an issue like this comes up, use the power (that we currently have) of the presidency and the senate to bury their Nazi-like ideology. The point is not that they would use it if they had it. The point is to save our freedoms and our democracy from these barbarians.

So what can be done beyond GOTV? Each and every fucking thing that can be done to end their assault on our freedoms.

Want to carry a gun? Come to Florida. (Or a few other red states.)

An acquaintance of mine carries a concealed gun. Always. He's not a MAGA, he's rational and reasonable, he votes as an Independent, and I asked him why he always carried a gun. His answer was, "Just in case."

[His answer, "Just in case," reminded me of the classic film, "The Deer Hunter." One of the characters used those exact words to explain why he always carried a gun.]

There was no other reason that my acquaintance suggested. "Just in case," was his justification. I have no doubt he sees himself as "a good guy with a gun."

I asked him what he would do if he found himself in the middle of a mass shooting in a school, a church, a restaurant, or wherever. His answer was "I'd try to stop the bad guy."

Then I asked him, "What if the police arrive on the scene and see you holding a gun? How will they tell the "good guy" from the "bad guy?" The question seemed to confuse him, and I never got an answer.

Here in Florida, Gov. DeSantis has signed a bill that, as of July 1st, anyone can carry a concealed weapon with no license and no training. I've been wondering how anyone is going to tell the "good guys" from the "bad guys." And I'm also wondering how may people will die for no reason at all because of this insane law.

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