OK foax, I have no idea how this is going to go but I simply have to get some level-headed input. Enough…here’s what’s on my mind:
I’m driving to work today, it’s not far but I can usually blast a tune or two before I arrive. Today it was Warren Zevon’s Disorder in the House. Which, for whatever reason, got me to thinking about The People (of any country) losing control of Their Government. As I’m not much of a deep thinker, I went directly to a well-publicized, well-documented example of this in the real world–post WWI Germany.
I thought back to my studies of German literature surrounding this period, and of the somewhat frustrated attempts of German parents trying to explain to their kids how they were not empowered, somehow, to prevent their Jewish neighbors from being rounded up and “disappeared” to places unknown–which turned out to be portals to Hell itself. I reflected that the Jews, already an unfavored segment of the population, were actively demonized by The Government; and that Ma und Pa had the burden of everyday living to contend with and no 20/20 hindsight. The Troubles were so distant from the dinner table that little was done, or could be done, to prevent Mr. & Mrs. Silverman from being dragged off in the night. My point is, it’s one thing to say “I’d never let that happen in my neighborhood.” and quite another to try and rally support for protecting your community from its own government.
Now we in the US are facing wiretaps, internet monitoring and who really knows what else, and our government is demonstrating that it has no aversion to combat, nor does it have any compunction about setting up prisons of a non-correctional nature; and I have to wonder.
I have to wonder if the democratic process as a means of a relatively carefree lifestyle has failed us at last? If we as a country have come to a point where the majority of us have agreed to be afraid of The Terrorists enough to entrust our government with complete control; if we have come to a point where we fear every disenfranchised segment of our population to the point where, given the decision to coexist with open minds and tolerance or say “good riddance” to those Scary People we will prefer the latter? And wonder if it hasn’t already begun? Quietly, or maybe even not so quietly, as we sit by and make sure our own bills get paid, that our own tables get fed, and we sit in comfortable outrage, willing to resist only when the boot is kicking in our own door.
I know the differences between Germany then and the US now, but can someone please convince me, without the venom and cynicism imbued upon us by the activities and divisive politics of our current administration, that I don’t need to be as afraid as I am? Not of being blown to pieces by a random suitcase bomb, but of becoming an accomplice by silence to something truly horrific?