While serving in the United States Army in Bosnia in the 1990’s and later in Iraq in the mid-2000’s I saw firsthand the destruction and devastation hate begets. And now disturbingly we are witnessing hate ravaging our democracy here in America.
Considering the tragedy of World War II I often wondered how the German people could so easily fall prey to a deceitful, manipulative despot; after all the Germans were intelligent, educated and seemingly moral. Yet the German people seized the Nazi banner of hate and slaughtered millions with impunity. I took comfort in a naïve notion that what happened in Germany could never happen here in America – I have been proved wrong. A maniacal despot – Donald J. Trump – aided and abetted by power-hungry opportunists have deceived and manipulated millions of Americans and the slaughter has begun. That an American of German descent born in 1946 is leading the army of hate is an irony which does not escape me.
It was easy to anticipate white supremacists swarming to Trump’s racist siren call. Sadly however the ranks of Trump’s army of hate have even swelled with people claiming to be Christians. These men and women fundamentally misunderstand what Christian is supposed to mean – Christians are NOT supposed to be crucifying whoever dares speak truth.
Watching the rise of Trumpism for the past six years I repeatedly concluded that obviously Trump has gone too far and finally the Republican establishment would do the right thing. They never did. Instead Trump and his enablers skillfully employed the political tactic of deliberate misdirection and successfully further consolidated power.
Most Americans do not understand the fundamental game of politics – steal from the many to enrich the few. American politicians and most notably Donald J. Trump are masters of this game. As the masses are easy manipulated, politicians only have to provoke fear to divert attention from the elites’ true intent. Trump has expertly blamed immigrants, minorities, foreigners, the media, his political opponents and an ever growing list of others for all the ills the people suffer. And now that he has stoked enough hate he is ready to install himself supreme ruler and king.
Even though they were not able to murder congressional leaders as they had intended, the Trump army of haters are celebrating their ransacking of the United States Capitol and preparing more deadly assaults on democracy. Like the men he emulates Trump need not get his hands dirty. Hitler and Stalin emboldened hateful supporters who enthusiastically murdered millions; all with the tacit consent of the silent majority.
You may be thinking like I did, that finally the establishment will act. Not likely. The Republican establishment it appears will once again invoke the political-Pavlovian response to deny responsibility and blame the powerless. Even after the murderous assault on the Capitol Trump sycophants and enablers, most notably aspiring surrogates Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio, along with the Republican establishment and the rightwing lies-and-hate media are rallying to further their tyranny of terror. Decency, honor, and duty are not words opportunists understand; for them only the calculus of political advantage matters.
I implore all decent, honorable Americans – men and women who care about other human beings, who care about this country, who are willing to engage in civil discourse and abide by the rule of law – to CONDEMN THE TYRANNY OF HATE. Every war begins with the proud and self-righteous believing, ‘A little killing and a little mayhem and then it will be over.’ Each time, and only after filling tens of thousands of body bags, is the deceit and hubris revealed.
DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM THE ARMY OF HATE AND THE IDOLATROUS EMBLEMS AND BANNERS OF THE HATE FILLED. The darkness of hate will continue spreading until it is exposed to light. Commit to being the light.
This is not a time to wrap yourself in a flag, as members of Trump’s army do. It’s time to do the right thing CONDEMN TRUMP’S ARMY OF HATE. Nothing less than survival of these United States hangs in the balance.
May God have mercy on us all.
Scott F. Paradis; Politically Unaffiliated American; Colonel United States Army Retired; Former Congressional and National Security Fellow