I grew up on the Canadian – American border, and our family spent some summers at Point Roberts and South Beach, in Washington State . I remember tidal pools and sand bars teeming with crawly creatures we would catch, and then release when the tide rose..
Although these two communities are located on a tiny peninsula below the 49th parallel, the only way to reach them by land is to drive through British Columbia. We liked playing with the American kids we met there, even if they did spin tall tales about the fish they caught.
One Fourth of July, an American girl invited me to her family’s celebration. I remember her adorable baby brother dressed in red, white and blue rompers. We paraded around the yard with toy drums and whistles until an over-excited beagle jumped into the wading pool and shook his wet fur all over us and the picnic table groaning with fried chicken, potato salad and corn-on-the-cob.
The vibe of this year´s Fourth is a far cry from that memory. Scrolling through facebook, I saw that few people had posted happy greetings I know the Consulate threw a big party, but not one of my many American friends told me they had a celebration planned.
Nowadays, almost everything we read about the U.S.A. focuses on President Trump. Every day he seems to say or do something unanticipated. I often check out a website called “What Trump Did Today” https://www.whattrumpdid.today/ I can’t describe how disappointed I felt when I saw he’d replaced the traditional “down-home” remembrance of liberty with a show of military might.
Fintan O’Toole, a journalist with The Irish Times warns such actions are evidence that Trump and his supporters are building a fascist state. You can read the full article at this link:
Here are a few points, culled from the full article:
- Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy… convincing people takes time.
- Getting them to accept behaviours they used to recoil from requires several different approaches.
- One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections
- Fascism does not need a majority; it typically begins to consolidate power with about 40% support and then uses control and intimidation to bring others into the fold.
- Fascism undermines moral boundaries by making light of cruelty
- Fascism builds up the sense of threat from a despised out-group which allows the members of that group to be dehumanised…
And once that happens, what comes next?
Trump’s “base” is organised and ready to rumble. I pray that the Democratic party will not spend too long choosing their candidate … someone energetic and principaled … someone who won’t back down when bullied.
Most of the world is alarmed, and yet, we can do nothing about it. The American Democratic party and the nation’s voters are the only ones who can reverse the ever-escalating trend that the current administration has put in motion.
PLEASE get moving … there is not a moment to lose.