Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Robert Reich

Robert Reich served in the administrations of Presidents Ford, Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Clinton from 1993 to 1997.

On New Years Eve, Donald Trump tweeted: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do.  Love!”

As a Trump critic: Reich responded: “The man who is about to become President of the United States continues to exhibit a mean-spirited, thin-skinned, narcissistic and vindictive character.

“Trump sees the world in terms of personal wins or losses, enemies or friends, supporters or critics.

“He hasn’t yet figured out that a president holds a position of public trust that transcends personal animus.  A president is supposed to represent all Americans, including those who voted against him and may continue to oppose him.

“In a democracy, those who fight against a president’s policies are not his personal enemies; they are political opponents and critics.  A democracy depends on the freedom to oppose those in power, without fear of reprisal, without being denigrated or labeled an enemy.”

Reich has warned: “As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically: 

“Exaggerate their mandate to govern -- claiming, for example, that they won an election by a landslide even after losing the popular vote.

“Repeatedly claim massive voter fraud in the absence of any evidence, in order to restrict voting in subsequent elections.

“Publicly criticize anyone who criticizes them, labeling them “enemies.” 

“Turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them “deceitful” and “scum.”

“Hold few if any press conferences, preferring to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements. 

“Tell the public big lies, causing them to doubt the truth and believe fictions that support the tyrants' goals. 

“Blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias and even violence against them. 

“Attribute acts of domestic violence to “enemies within,” and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.  

“Threaten mass deportations, registries of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.

“Seek to eliminate or reduce the influence of competing centers of power, such as trade unions and opposition parties. 

“Appoint family members to high positions of authority.

“Surround themselves with their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public. 

“Put generals and other military commanders into top civilian posts. 

“Make personal alliances with foreign dictators.” 


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