August 15, 2017
People. Come on, let’s bring it in. For months, it’s been, “We can’t compare him to Hitler,” and it’s been true. It has not been right to compare him- Trump, obv- to essentially the most evil person to ever walk the earth, nor to compare our political climate to the Holocaust. I realize today that it will never be true to compare him to Hitler for two reasons. One, Hitler wanted a race of people dead and extinct because he thought they were inferior. I don’t think Trump is interested in actively killing a whole race(s), he only cares about himself and money and power and ego, and doesn’t care if people happen to die as collateral damage. The second, and more important, reason he will never be Hitler is because WE, the people, will not allow it. There were heroes who resisted Hitler, but by definition of times and technology, they did not have the capacity to organize and rise up in time and in unity the way we do.
So, Hitler? No.
HOWEVER. No one can any longer say that this fucking bastard is not an authoritarian, or is not actively beholden to and supportive of both a foreign enemy and domestic white supremacist Nazi terrorists. So while he may not BE Hitler, and it may still be disrespectful to anyone who suffered and died during the Holocaust to compare him to Hitler, it is now entirely fair–and mandatory–to call him the tyrant that he is. More than that, it is time for each and every one of us to draw our line. Would you have supported Hitler? No, of course not, of course not. Would you have spoken out against him? Yes, of course, of course. Would you have ACTED out against him, and on behalf of human good? Of course, of course.
Are you sure? Because we are looking at it, people. Right at it. I could sit here and list every despicable, lying, corrupt thing he’s done since the campaign and election, but you know them already, everyone knows them already, because this has been America’s most grotesque, mortifying reality show, and you know you’re tuned in. But all you have to do is look at the last couple of days. The pandering to the white supremacist terrorists surrounding Charlottesville, and while evading accountability for his cowardly, pathetic response, looking straight at CNN and calling them fake news. Then finally reading a scripted, more appropriate statement off the teleprompter only after the pressure to sound like a real president mounted. You could practically feel the gun in his ribs as he was forced to read. And the people standing behind and around him? Smug, sycophantic smiles and nods and claps. Enablers. SS officers. Just doing their job.
So it’s time. This is a turning point, and anyone paying attention knows it, and anyone not paying attention by now should be downright ashamed. It should not have taken this long, but it cannot take a day longer. You pick your side of history today. Are you going to smile and nod? Are you going to just stay quiet and look away as the Jews are loaded onto the trains? Or are you going stand up and speak out and say NOT ON OUR WATCH.
You don’t have to do it all, but you have to do something. You have to leave your comfort zone, and that may look different for each of us, but each of us has to do it. It’s not up to anyone else. It’s up to every one of us. Write a letter. Make a call. Go to a meeting, a march, a protest, a town hall, a training. Encourage a friend to join you. Leave work a little early. Watch someone’s kids so they can attend an event. Go to an event and take turns supervising kids. Confront someone’s hate speech. Stand up to mean people and bullies. Call out businesses and offices who show Fox News, which is NOT news. Read On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder. Make a donation. Support a democratic candidate’s campaign with time and/or money (and yes, it has to be a Democrat, the Republican Party is lost to us right now, period). Vote every single chance you get. Put a Resist sticker on your car. Hang your American flag. Wear a t-shirt that says, Nevertheless, She Persisted, or Facts Matter, or T is for Treason. Talk to your kids about what’s going on. Hang out with other people and parents who talk about it. Volunteer at a shelter, a church, a school, an organization putting good into your community and our world. Use your art, your writing, your music, your talent, to express love and inclusion and denounce hate and discrimination. Include people with different color skin in your hobbies and activities. Be willing to stand up for good on your pages and posts, and willing to lose people who are uncomfortable with it and rationalize their bigotry. Be willing to speak up at work as others remain silent. Watch sports and support athletes who protest peacefully and denounce players who say things like, ‘I love the person and hate their lifestyle’ bullshit. Play sports and feel teammateship, and apply it to the human race. Blame perpetrators, not victims. Don’t rationalize sexism and racism and locker room talk. Be kind. Lend a hand. Pay good things forward. Give a homeless person a buck. Give a homeless person a hug. Compliment people, empower each other. Be grateful. Pay attention. Think, don’t be a sheeple. Read. Be loud. Get louder. You can start small, but you can’t stay small. YOUR COMFORT ZONE WILL GROW, AND YOU CAN AND MUST KEEP UPPING YOUR ACTIONS. This is how you rise. This is how WE rise. This is how good conquers evil and love conquers hate. This is how we re-claim our government and our country.
You will not do this alone. You CAN’T do it alone, and neither can the rest of us. Every single American has the opportunity and the responsibility right now to pick their side of history. Trump may not be Germany’s Hitler, but he is ours. WE ARE THE ONES future generations will look back on and wonder, What would I have done? I know, I can’t believe it either. Doesn’t make it a single bit less true.
THIS IS IT.
PICK YOUR SIDE OF HISTORY.