Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights…The purpose of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of woman and man; these rights are liberty, property, security, and especially resistance to oppression.
– Olympe de Gouges, Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, 1791
Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.
– From the dissenting opinion of Justice John Marshall Harlan in Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896
If we are to avoid anti-Semitism, we need to know something about its origins in Christian history. Why has anti-Semitism been part of Christian life since the earliest days of the church?
– Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, 4/21/1995
National Socialism was a purification ritual for millions drawn to its banners. It rendered respectable the public indulgence of private hatreds, as well as the moral and physical obliteration of one’s chosen enemies…Nazi propagandists used the party-and state- propaganda apparatus to control the mass media…The Nazis appealed to the highest German values and perverted them. They used the lowest instincts of an unhappy nation, and built a successful campaign based upon ‘idealism’ and hatred.
– Robert Herzstein, The War That Hitler Won: Goebbels and the Nazi Media Campaign
As much as I might want to believe, with Vice President Joe Biden, that today’s Republicans in Congress are capable of compromise with Democrats in the national interest, the behavior of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Republicans and his House Tea Party collaborators since 2010, suggests otherwise.
Racism, Sexism, and Religious Bigotry are triple threats used throughout history by the 1 percent to control the rest of us: touting hatred over tolerance. Their deadliest ally has often been Indifference: chosen by those who just stand by and fail to imagine that, at some point, they may also become victims. Such is no longer the case in American communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio that voted twice for Barack Obama as President, and then for Donald Trump.
As Msnbc’s Chris Matthews discovered in his June 17, 2019 trip to a town hall meeting in Dayton, OH, these folks, unlike Mitch McConnell, President Donald Trump, or Tea Party gurus like Mark Meadows (R-SC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), don’t resent a face of democracy that is black, like Barack Obama, or even female, like (Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), or (gasp!) Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). What they resent most is an elitism that dismisses their concerns out of hand. They have not been wrong to think this about most Republican and some Democratic leaders, and may soon add Donald Trump to the list. To their credit, Chris Matthews, and a growing number of his eastern media colleagues, are beginning to recognize this.
The 1 percent have not always been “white,” but they have almost always been male. What they have had in common in the past, present, and, if we don’t wake up, also in the future, is the tacit understanding of two truths. One, that their extreme wealth and power is impossible without relative poverty and powerlessness among the vast majority of their fellow humans, and secondly, that their power depends upon the willingness of those below them to become or remain indifferent to their fellow man and woman.
“To care or not to care,” is the political and moral dilemma that must accompany Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be,” if the 1 percent of U.S. citizens are not to continue to control the heights of American power and wealth in 2020 as they did 100 years ago, shortly before the Great Depression provided its own unique form of leveling. Fortunately, my KGB canine companions have been sniffing out some answers for me over the past year.
High Plains Reader: Why is it that Trump supporter at a town hall in Dayton, OH, is still referring to Tea Party “Benghazi” investigations into Hillary Clinton?
Putin: Perhaps hating a past Hillary is preferable in 2019 to loving a present President Trump who is being exposed, from his own mouth, as well as by documented evidence, as a Russian asset.
Rasputin: Not to mention Mitch McConnell, whose support of Trump and his love of dictators, makes the Senate Majority Leader more of an asset for Russian, Chinese, North Korean, and Saudi interests, than for 9/11 First Responders and their defense of American democracy.