I want to write more and more thoughtfully this year. Instead of simply posting rants and lists of “What happened?” and “What can you do next?” I’m going to address a topic that’s on my mind in more depth. Right now I’m quite worried about how we will react should the worst happen. If there’s a terrorist attack or if Trump decides to bomb North Korea, what will you do? What will I do? We should think about this now and plan our reaction so we don’t get sucked into a frenzy of support for tyranny. What about if Trump fires Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein or Special Counsel Robert Mueller? (Don Jr. admitted on Twitter that FBI Deputy Director McCabe was actually fired. He did not leave voluntarily.) Will we hit the streets? Or will we rage on the internet and then turn on Netflix? Do I think any of these things will happen? I don’t know. But I suspect at least one of them will. I hope I’m wrong, but my philosophy is “plan for the worst, hope for the best.” Remember, it CAN
happen here. It IS
happening here. And we must be vigilant. From On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century
by Timothy Snyder:
Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.
From Life? or Theater?
by Charlotte Salomon, on Kristallnacht:
The Attack: 9 November 1938 Cowardly Jewish Murder from an ambush — abroad. Jew Grünspan speaks into the German Consulate and shoots German diplomat. The entire German nation stands shocked at the bier of its son. This is the last disgraceful act of Judea’s power. The German people will take their revenge. German men and women: Our forbearance against the criminal Jewish world-power has come to an end — “Croak Judea! Grab what you can!”
So, what can you do?
Mentally prepare for the worst. Resolve not to fall into the trap of approving of the president just because something bad happens in the country.
- Keep knitting and meet up with old and new friends. Other lessons in On Tyranny include “Make eye contact and small talk,” “Establish a private life,” and “Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.”
- Read On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century by Timothy Snyder and buy a copy for everyone you know.
- Sign up for Mueller Firing Rapid Response notifications (text the word “Mueller” to the number 94502 to sign up for alerts) and hit the streets in your area immediately if Trump takes this route.