Saturday, October 29, 2016

Open Letter To Robert Reich

Robert Reich on Facebook, 28. October 2016, recording a conversation he had with a Republican who disapproves of Trump but is afraid to say so:

"He: At least I’m no Giuliani or Gingrich or Pence. I’m not a Trump enabler.

"Me: I’ll give you that."

Wrong, Robert. Don't give him that. Don't let him off the hook. He is a Trump enabler, and so is every other Republican who doesn't speak up and lets people assume he or she approves of Trump. A Republican who claims to you in a private conversation that he's reasonable, but is afraid to behave in public as if he is reasonable, is not reasonable. Sometimes being reasonable requires the courage to let it show.

"Me: Wait a minute. Isn’t this how dictators and fascists have come to power in other nations? Respected leaders don’t dare take a stand."

You're absolutely right about that. Well, that's part of it: people who let fascists rise up in their own ranks, who are just cowards and won't speak up against it. Another part is the rest of the people letting the fascists and their cowardly colleagues get away with it. In this case by not giving Republicans nearly enough blame for Trump and other right wing monsters. That makes the rest of us enablers too. Trump will certainly not be the last prominent Republican fascist, he is not the only prominent Republican fascist now, and this is much too important for you and I too be polite about it.

I know that you and many other Democrats, including Barack Obama, want to be conciliators and foster a more civilized and respectful political discourse. And a more civilized and respectful political discourse would be a good thing.

But conciliation only happens when both sides give. You and Obama and other would-be centrist Democrats keep reaching out, and keep getting punched in the face and used for your trouble, and we all suffer from it. Obama appoints a Republican like Comey to the head of the FBI, where Comey perpetuates the same decades-long fishing expedition against the Clintons in which he participated back in the 90's when he was working for Kenneth Starr. (I know that Comey insists that he is no longer a Republican. He's a Republican and he lies about it.) Just one recent example of how conciliation doesn't work when it's one-way, when only one side is centrist. You need to wake up and realize that it has been decades since there has been anything like a reasonable Republican who's interested in working with Democrats for the good of all, and act accordingly. It has been a long, long time since any part of the GOP was still in any way the party of Lincoln. Teddy Roosevelt was the last thoroughgoing example of that. The Republicans who have spoken up against Trump aren't doing it out of friendship for the Democratic Party, they're just trying to keep the Republican Party from destroying itself. If they had ever been interested in working with Democrats, they would have spoken out against extremists in their own ranks long before anyone suspected that Trump was, or would become, a Republican.

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