Friday, February 17, 2017

The Final Solution: The Army vs. McCarthy

Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn at Army/McCarthy Hearings  (UPI telephoto)
Tolstoy famously said “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The same may be said about the current state of our nation. The White House is described as fractious, unhappy and even chaotic and the divide between those who looked at Donald Trump as a lord of misrule and those who regard him an a messianic figure continues to widen (isn’t it true that people cling to irrational beliefs even more militantly the more they're threatened with sobering rather than alternate “realities.”) But can we not say that the current populist attack on the constitution and due process which bears some resemblance to fascist uprisings in the 30’s still expresses its dissatisfactions in a way that is a little more than kin and less than kind. Without Panglossing  over what’s happening or sounding like those who said that a thuggish character like Hitler could never prevail, is there really a direct parallel with Nazi Germany or fascist Italy? Trump may be unstable and may even suffer from delusional behavior (something which is in some ways even more frightening in the hands of someone who can push the button on the little black box), but still isn’t our latest populist demagogue expressing frustration and unhappiness in his own way? Is he really comparable to the genocidal dictators of the past? The bromance with Putin only aggravates the fears created when a top advisor like Steve Bannon compares himself to Lenin in a Daily Beast interview saying he "wanted to destroy the state and that’s my goal too.” But isn’t the situation the country is in more akin to the Army/McCarthy hearings (with John McCain and Lindsay Graham speaking out) than Kristallnacht?

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