We confess to an incessant rumination on the frailty and vulnerability of our Democratic Republic, as was once more, demonstrated by recent National events. The success and continued existence of a polity, or government, such as The United States, which desirably incorporates citizen liberty and basic freedoms would be, logically and necessarily, dependent upon the acceptable quality and nature of its citizens. From our historical perspective, [the rare occurrence of] democratic government, has never, itself failed, it appears, rather, to have been the people who failed the government. A most telling example is found in the mega- consequential fall of Germany’s Weimar Republic in the 1930s.
Immediately preceding the catastrophic Nazi take-over in the 1930s, Germany, like America, was a representative democracy, with Executive [“Chancellor”] Legislative [“Reichstag”] and Judiciary branches. It is illuminating and alarming, to consider the determinative factors which led to the collapse of the short-lived [15 years] German Democratic Republic and its moral and political decline to Nazism. Inasmuch as this writing is specifically concerned with our concern about the frailty and vulnerability of the American Democratic Republic, we will merely list some of the cogent factors which are ascribed by noted historians and political scientists, for said tragic demise of the German Republic, for the purpose of enlightenment as to analogous hazards, extant in our contemporaneous Nation.
- Hostility towards, and within, Parliament permitting the bypassing of legislation.
- Right-wing undermining of trust in democracy in general, and specifically, in the Weimar government.
- Significant prevalence of irrational conspiracy theories [viz., losing the war, socialism, liberal and Jewish secret plots, minority degradation, spurious causes for economic depression.]
- Acceptability of former right-wing leaders’ military leaders retaining power and influence.
- Self-interested financial support of rich and powerful industrialists.
- The rise of an unprincipled and immoral demagogue, having great appeal to the discontented.
- Burning of the Reichstag so that blame could be falsely cast on others in opposition to Nazism.
It is no less exigent than a Hospital’s Code-Blue alarm, to observe and consider the clear, ominous analogy, between the listed factors and our Nation’s present vulnerability. The psychotic nightmare of Hitler’s victory over rationality and morality, are capable of eventual realization by the existence and actions of perverse White Nationalist groups, the ignorant, wild conspiracy lunatics, the continuing influence of the defeated, autocratic Trump on his numerous and deluded sycophants, including a plethora of self-interested, elected officials [Federal and State], the ugly persistence of bigotry against Black and Jewish communities, disrespect for the vote and other basic institutions of democracy.
Not to be omitted from our grave concern, is the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol in Washington. The unprecedented and ominous attack by several of the nefarious groups of White Christian Supremacists, Trump sycophantic revolutionaries and other deluded reductionists, to, at his express invitation, attempt to overturn Trump’s elective defeat by preventing the joint session of Congress from the delivering of the electoral victory to Joseph Biden. The revolutionary rancor was created by false and tactical conspiratorial claims, [despite three audits confirming its regularity and accuracy] that the election was, as in Trump’s deluded and groundless assertion, “stolen” from him.
Domestic irrational conspiracy theorists, seem to incessantly promote anti-democratic fiction which, despite the fact that such inclination can be clinically diagnosed as paranoid or schizophrenic, are incredibly unbelievably accepted, by many inadequately informed and poorly educated Trump supporters. It is terrifying to observe this disturbing inclination to irrational mythmaking, in lieu of factual reality, daily reported in the reputable press. The predictable result of the ready acceptance of such Trump-inspired formulation of [delusional] reality is extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, it would appear that the Republican Party, in general, seems, strangely, complicit in this nightmare.
What we find the most maddeningly insupportable is the bizarre realization that the opponents of democracy, like the devious Weimar Nazis, are, insidiously and tactically, using the accepted institutions of our constitutional democracy, to undermine the Democratic Republic. These miscreants are not dangerous merely because they pose a potential threat to the existence of our Democratic Republic; indeed, they pose such an existential threat at this very moment.
With the same alacrity required to acknowledge and react to the recognizable symptoms of a heart attack, informed citizens, believing in the principles of American liberty and democracy, are charged by existential necessity and moral responsibility, to acknowledge and sufficiently react to this forewarning of imminent danger; lest we unwittingly reprise, in our Nation, the evil, 1930’s Nazi program of destruction of the German Weimar Republic. We see this urgency and existential necessity for immediate action, as fully analogous to the zeal, which would be called fr in the emergency removal of an old, leaky, hazmat tanker truck from the parking space of a Maternity Hospital.
* Apologies, for the similarity of title, to Charles Dickens, celebrated author of “ A Tale of Two Cities.”