Dan Rattiner's Stories

Be Aware: America Is Slowly Sinking into Dictatorship

Democrat or Republican, one must know what this looks like. It happens quietly.

We are entering the early stages of a dictatorship. It is happening quietly, slowly. Nobody is running around shouting the sky is falling. But Democrat or Republican, be aware of what this looks like.

When the First World War in Europe ended, also ending was the age of leadership by kings and queens. From the ashes of that war, many citizens of these countries, enamored of their new political power, pitched in to make a difference. They joined socialist parties, communist parties, fascist parties, democratic parties, worker parties. From among them came charismatic speakers and beloved leaders, many of whom said they could punish those who caused all the problems and make a new day of happiness for everybody. Thus arose dictators Stalin, Ataturk, Mussolini, Franco, Tito and Hitler.

Hitler, in particular, stands out not only because he was a young, spellbinding speaker, but also a crafty politician. In the 1920s, his party was just a splinter party in a parliamentary government, but people swooned over him and soon he was running for office and receiving 20% of the vote. His enemies were the French, English and the others arrayed against Germany in that First World War, supporters of the draconian treaty that sent Germany spiraling into debt over the objections of the hapless German leadership—also communists, gypsies and Jews, all troublemakers he wanted out of Germany if he were to take over.

He never did get more than about 38% of the vote in national elections as time went by. Some people were excited, others alarmed, but when the big financial depression hit in 1929 and things worsened, he made his move. With another minority party, he was able to form a government, accepting the title of Chancellor after making the promise to the aging German president that he would always respect the multi-party system and never do anything by force.

In February 1933, a mentally ill man burned down the Reichstag, where the German Parliament met. The country was in shock. Surely the Parliament would be able to find another place to meet. Instead, Hitler declared a national emergency and dissolved Parliament. He claimed the Communist Party started the fire. He arrested communists, Jews and members of the political party that he had joined with to make his majority government. And that was that. The people loved it. They’d follow him anywhere. He took the title of “Chancellor and Fuhrer (Leader),” and a few months later, dropped the Chancellor part. You know what happened after that.

What is going on in Washington is not a game. And it’s not about a wall. It’s about freedom. Do not sit by quietly.

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