Twenty Lessons of the Twentieth Century for Trump’s America
Timothy Snyder

Several decades ago I saw America begin to go in a new direction. It began earlier, but took root when Ronald Reagan became President. The foundation was laid when Reagan ‘broke’ the power of the unions when he fired the air traffic controllers. Not that the unions at the time were squeaky clean — no organization that gains sufficient power to dictate unconditional terms is without corruption, and its leadership is fully determined to stay in power by any available means at its disposal. Sadly, today, unions are small, disorganized, and laughed at, but in their heyday, even non-union employees benefited from the benefits the unions negotiated for their members. After WW2, union negotiated wages and retirement brought about the rise of a middle class enabled to invest in real estate, the stock market, start small businesses, but most of all, EDUCATE themselves and their children. Thus, their children, the spoiled Baby Boomers, had the best of everything. The populist mantra at the time was one was successful if one was a millionaire before age 30 — on Wall Street. Thus began the climb to power of the global oligarchy of private wealth who, in cahoots with government, lays down the road to fascism. Close your eyes to that and decry those who see it will reap the whirlwind of global civil destruction. Scapegoating and tribalism become rampant. Lies become fact and emotions, not reason, rule the electorate outcome. Such is the case shown in this past election. Trump is not Franklin Roosevelt, nor Jack Kennedy. Today’s Republicans will fall in line to Trump’s dictate because it is in their best interest to do so. Democrats will complain, but do nothing as they did in 2010 when they allowed gerrymandering to turn the country over to the hard Right. There is no one left to work for the people’s best interest which is quality healthcare, education, living wages, honest global and national leadership. Sad. We are ripe for the rise of a hardline nationalist who promises those things we think we need to survive — to make America great again.

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