(Forwarded to me by a friend).

“Cousin – I think you know I love this country. I grew up same as you did. I’ve got K.T. Oslin and old Hank in my phone. I love warm raspberries plucked right off the bush in the sun and fields of corn and hayrides and sunsets in the country and river water and getting my hands and feet and the rest of me dirty during a day of hard work or play. 

I’m also the former president of my union shop and spent a couple decades living paycheck to paycheck while big corporations continued to lobby our “leaders” so they could pay very little taxes and let the rich get richer and shrink the middle class and make everyday people feel powerless enough to elect someone like who we elected. 

This president and his rich swamp pals don’t give a shit about people like you and me.  We’re just the ones they’re using so they can stoke racial tension and divert our attention away from the big, scary direction they want to take this country. 

Tax cuts for the super rich, corporations in charge, loss of personal freedoms. De-valuing human beings. Putting little kids in cages, making these brown people the subject of our anger so we don’t focus the anger where it belongs. The Republicans and the centrist Democrats (Bill Clinton, etc.) have sold the middle class to corporations. These immigrants aren’t the reason we work and can’t get anywhere like our parents did. The decades of shitty policy that kills the middle class is the problem. But instead we get all fired up and hating on whatever people they want us to hate this week. 

It’s the height of hypocrisy, too, for someone who clearly loves to import women for marriage. You’ll note that our First Lady has an accent. If she weren’t who she is, if she were dressed in ratty jeans instead of Chanel, she’d be targeted by these raids. 

READ THIS, Cous: I’m so worried about losing our freedoms to a leader who’s showing serious fascist tendencies. 

Applying for asylum in the U.S. is not a crime, yet they’re treating these people like criminals and they’re treating them in a way we should be ashamed of as Americans. People forced to drink out of toilets. Separating little kids from their parents. Denied showers and adequate food and water. Lights left on all night so they can’t sleep. More than 40 people shoved into a cell built for 8. You can read about this more extensively if you want.

So yeah, I will use my rights and privileges to stand up for someone in that situation to keep him or her or their kids from being used as pawns in a power-hungry demagogue’s war against the middle class.

Do you think Donald Trump would crack open a beer with you down at the river? Hell no. And neither would any of his old-money friends. You wouldn’t want to invite them anyway.   They look down on people like us.”

3 items for further reading if you like:

a)   “I want you to be scared, because if you’re not worried about encroaching fascism in America, before long, it will start to feel normal & when that happens, we’re all in trouble,” says Yale professor Jason Stanley in the New York Times.

b)  “I am not easily shocked. But we are facing an emergency,” Jason Stanley also tweeted 7/18/19 after the most recent rally where people chanted “Send her back!” in response to the President’s attacks on Muslim congresswoman.   Stanley is author of the book “How Fascism Works.” https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5d30529fe4b0419fd328b270?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013&section=politics&utm_source=politics_fb&utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&utm_medium=facebook

c)  From “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-1945” by Milton Mayer. 

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people…”

“…could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security…each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance.”

“You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things. One had no time.”

“The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway.”

“I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men…Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’…”

“…and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?”

“Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle…must some day lead to,

“You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next.”

You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not? Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. 

And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

“Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy.”

“And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, & you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end..your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends.”

 “It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.

“But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes.”

“If the last & worst act of the…regime had come immediately after the first & smallest…millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33.”

“of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the 100s of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B…if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C?”

“And so on to Step D.

And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy…”

“some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, & you see that everything…has changed…completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all.”

“The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed.”

“Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God.”

“On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.”

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