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not easily undone

When you look back at history from our own very limited life span, it is tempting to think that it does not repeat itself. After all, most of us have grown up since the last world war thinking that authoritarian governments are only the stuff of banana republics. Yet when we look at what is happening in America at this very moment it is not hard to visualize a slip into flirting with despotic dictatorship. You have a cult like simpleton leader who, for a reason unbeknownst to myself, inspires confidence in a significant swath of the population.

In the 1930’s Hitler was able to capture the attention of a nation deeply mired in economic turmoil; a country which only decades before had been progressive and modern and was in fact the home of the first research into trans identities through the work of Magnus Hirschfeld. Suddenly the Nazis were burning books and having Jews, Roma and other “undesirables” wear labels on their lapels as a precursor to being exterminated in concentration camps.

Humankind was not any eviler in the 1930’s and 1940’s and it is tempting to think we are more advanced today through the dissemination of information. However, people can be manipulated through propaganda far more easily than I believed when I was younger and today my understanding of history has changed. Today I firmly believe that if we are not careful, it is small steps that can signal a sudden sharp decline into madness.

The republican party’s extremism has created a monster that will not be easily slayed for they have tied their fate to massive and divisive wedge issues that have less to do with proper governing than personal morality and identity. They threaten to tear individual families apart and, once you have done that, your entire society hangs in the balance because you have crossed into territory you will be hard pressed to retreat from.

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