Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant minister who became an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler. As a reward, he spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.
He is perhaps best remembered for this quotation:
First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
In related incident, a fellow church member approached me Sunday just before services started in an obvious good frame of mind. Turns out he was still celebrating the election of Donald Trump. “We have us a president!” he practically shouted.
When I told him the time would come when he would regret ever hearing the name Trump, he replied that he was better than the alternative. “Hillary’s not even a Christian,” he said.
“And Trump is?” I replied.
“Doesn’t matter. He’s better than Hillary.”
But…but…but he had just implied that it did matter.
While I am far from calling myself a fan of Hillary Clinton, I was, and remain, terrified of Trump and left my fellow Methodist with the warning that he might be singing a little different tune when Trump starts trying to do away with Social Security and Medicare.
And yes, I do believe he will try that, along with the EPA and OSHA as well as several other regulatory agencies charged with protecting the welfare of American consumers and workers.
- If you like Trump, you’d love children toiling away 12 hours per day in sweat shops.
- If you like Trump, you’d love purchasing diseased meat ripped off the carcasses of sick and injured cattle in the Chicago stockyards.
- If you like Trump, you’d love the idea of 60-hour weeks with no health or retirement benefits and no vacation.
- If you like Trump, you’d love the idea of thugs with guns and clubs attacking union organizers who were attempting to get better pay and decent working conditions.
- If you like Trump, you’d love the idea of unmonitored toxic dumping in our creeks and rivers by oil and chemical plants.
- If you like Trump, you’d love the idea of no minimum wage.
- If you like Trump, you’d love the old Jim Crow laws.
Extreme? Far-fetched? Unrealistic? Scare tactics?
Not so much.
And here’s what David Duke said about Trump’s election.
He’s already making sweeping plans to fire federal employees and to weaken or destroy federal employee unions.
Of course, that was the liberal Washington Post saying that about firing federal employees, so why should you listen to them? Well, it was the conservative Washington Times that chronicled David Duke’s laudatory remarks about our president-elect.
If you and State Treasurer John Kennedy want to align yourselves with Donald Trump and David Duke, go right ahead. I think I’ll pass.
One of the most disappointing developments I’ve witnessed on the state political scene (other than the eight years of Bobby Jindal’s disaster (which goes unchallenged as the high water mark for disappointments), it’s John Kennedy’s current TV ad in which he says he has been “with Donald Trump since the beginning.” Funny he never said that before Trump got the nomination.
(Full disclosure: I have considered Kennedy a friend and he even made a monetary donation to this blog’s fundraiser last year. What I am about to say will probably place a serious strain on that friendship.)
Kennedy, of course, is the former Democrat who supported John Kerry until he held his finger up and detected a strong Republican breeze a-blowin’ and switched parties. Just like that: did a complete 180 on his entire political philosophy. And if you look at the polls, it’s obvious no one was taking notes.
John Kennedy is such a chameleon that if you threw him into a box of crayons, he’d explode from overload. He’d look like he was in an explosion in a paint factory.
Kennedy is the same one who while serving as Secretary of the Department of Revenue, ran for State Treasurer with a TV ad boasting that while revenue secretary he “reduced small business paperwork by 150 percent.”
Think about that for a moment. If you reduce anything by 100 percent, there’s nothing left. So how the hell did he reduce paperwork by another 50 percent? And this is the guy who handles the state’s finances and proclaims we don’t have a revenue problem yada, yada, yada. Unfortunately, he has quickly become a one-trick pony.
And now he’s running on the coattails of a man who most probably doesn’t have the faintest clue who Kennedy is. But then Trump each day validates the rock-solid theory that he knows nothing about political leadership or anything of any real substance other than how to tweet his displeasure at any and everything.
He wants to build a wall along our southern border and make Mexico pay for it. I’m hearing that Canada wants to build a wall along its southern border and they’ll gladly pay for it.
I have a Jewish friend both of whose parents survived Hitler’s Holocaust that people like Trump love to say never happened. My friend is angry and scared—and with good reason.
Trump is loading up his cabinet with some very disturbing appointments. These are men who make Spiro Agnew look like a great civil libertarian.
He is a petty man with petty grievances. He has an ego as big as all outdoors and now he has the reins of power. He would shut down (or at least boycott) the smash Broadway play Hamilton because of a benign statement read to Trump’s vice president by cast members at the close of a performance last week.
He somehow finds the time to watch—and criticize with even more tweets—Saturday Night Live for its parody of him. Every president since Nixon has been victimized by the show and yet he is the only one to lash out.
It’s called Freedom of Speech and it remains, for the time being at least, protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a document he obviously has little passing familiarity with.
But all things are subject to change. It happened in Germany and it happened in Cuba. Don’t think for a moment it can’t happen here.
If you don’t believe there’s much of a chance of his implementing the programs he’s advocating (and some he hasn’t yet revealed), consider this:
He is coming into office with an agenda and a Republican-controlled Senate, a Republican-controlled House and a Republican-controlled Supreme Court.
It’s the perfect political storm, folks.