SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
I allow that some of you may read the title of this piece and apply it to my running commentary on the 2020 election. Very few readers have said as much, but we all feel exhausted by the political, emotional and, for some, financial toll of Trump’s presidency. The almost daily onslaught of affronts – to democracy, security, integrity and human decency – make many of us want to curl up with a warm blanket and a good book and shut the world out, at least for a little while.
But, for most of us, there’s simply too much at stake to indulge “tuning out.” I think about my great grands and the world they may inherit. I cannot, try as I might, bring myself to believe that things will get straightened out on their own, so it is incumbent on all of us to do our part.
What, then, is next?
Next is what happens if Trump gets reelected. You already know what that means from a policy perspective (or can find out on Fox News). The real danger is a vengeful Trump, unloosed from any political norms in a second term, giving free rein to his authoritarian instincts, aided and abetted by a loose-knit but impassioned army of loyalist followers. Trump is already engaged in a purge against the non-existent “deep state,” exacting revenge on those in his government seen as insufficiently loyal or obsequious.
What might we expect in a second term?
- Prepare to keep your mouth shut – tight. You never know who will hear your views and complaints. Worse, you don’t know who among them might even send bad guys to torch your house, smash your car, or spread malicious lies about you.
- Be ready to escape somewhere out of U.S. reach, if things get too uncomfortable here. Make sure to get adequate assets out of the U.S. to survive elsewhere if that becomes necessary.
- If you are of working age, investigate how you can continue to work remotely, or qualify for work in other countries.
Some will find this list alarmist, or even ridiculous. For others, particularly those of Jewish heritage, it will sound familiar, because it is based on experiences I have heard first hand from many people who left Europe in the 1930s.
Those people were often laughed at as exaggerators or cowards. Many people, nagged by the same fears, often chose to stay, or waited too late to leave. Others dismissed the warnings as partisan hyperbole.
As bad as he is, some might say, Trump is no Hitler. But ‘Hitlers’ come in many sizes, shapes and forms. What they have in common is megalomania, greed, anger and need for absolute power. The only difference between Adolph Hitler and the wannabe dictators that have come since is scale.
Even if the future I envision may be something of an exaggeration, my question and answer is WHY TAKE A CHANCE?
If more people had seen what was coming in the 1930s, the world would have been a very different – and better — place today.
We owe it to ourselves and our descendants to think carefully and deeply about what lies ahead.
It has been almost 100 years since Hitler came to power.
Now is the time to remember one of the darkest lessons of our history, lest we repeat it.