Don’t be so sure!

meme

I’ve been seeing this photo, and variants of it on Facebook for the last few days. I would like to comment on it because it concerns me.

Just because Bush I & II haven’t endorsed Trump, that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to oppose him either. Also, who’s to say they won’t (especially Bush II) have a change of heart ($$$) and change their mind during the general election? Another thing, all the pundits are saying that Hillary is going to wipe Donald Trump out in the general election. They are even saying that the DEMOCRATIC Party will take back both houses of Congress. This was the same rhetoric heard when Hitler ran for the Chancellorship of Germany.

This frightens me because history has a strange way of repeating itself. The parallels between the Wiemar Republic and the USA right now are striking. Like post-World War I Germany, the United States of America is experiencing a collapse in self-identity.  As a child, I was raised to believe that “America is the greatest country in the world!” Yet, what is Trump’s campaign slogan? It is “Make America great again!” This rings with eerie similarity to the kind of stump speeches that Adolf Hitler made during the German elections of 1932. Another historical parallel that I find is in the economies of 1930’s Germany and the current U.S.A. economy, or at least, how both perceived the states of their economies. Nothing frightens the American middle-class more than fear of losing its material wealth and slipping into the ranks of poverty.  Here is a link to a Huffington Post article that supports this statement. Thirdly, there is a perceived fear among “Americans” that the United States is becoming decadent.  This also dovetails with perceptions in the Wiemar Republic. (For more on daily life and culture in the Wiemar Republic, I highly recommend the book, Voluptuous Panic, by Mel Gordon, available from Feral Press.)

I’m honestly scared. What will the Dem’s do if Hillary is indicted? What if Sanders runs as a third-party candidate? So many “what if’s!” Although I am a citizen of both France and the U.S.A., I’ve lived here in the U.S.A. for the majority of my life. Since the turn of the Century, I’ve seen changes in “American” society that shock and appall me. We live in a police state now.  The militarization of the American police force is a well-documented fact and I find no need to support this statement with an outside link.  Also, the extent of domestic spying, brought most shockingly to the nation’s attention by Edward Snowden is now well-documented, yet most “Americans” seem to take the erosion of their Constitutional, privacy and basic civil rights with an apathy that is to me shocking. Most “American’s” come across to me as brain-washed zombies with their faces poked into their smart phones, ignoring the world around them to the very extent of ignoring their own children, traffic, or just a walk through the park. With multi-national corporations controlling almost every aspect of broadcast and even Internet news media, I fear for the sovereignty of the U.S.A. and the last vestiges of our Constitutional and Civil Rights.

Finally, there is a culture of jingoism in modern America that plays neatly into the hands of the multi-national corporations that are pulling the political strings in the United States.  Forgive me, but I came of age during the Vietnam War.  In my personal opinion, the Peace Movement of the 1960’s seems to represent that last expression by the “American” people of any sense of responsibility for taking an active role in the workings of our political system, a passionate concern for the welfare of our nation, and the spirit of the Founding Fathers who recognized political oppression and put their very lives on the line to establish, in the hallowed words of Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address of “…government of the people, by the people, for the people…”

Today, it is considered obligatory to say to anybody who claims to have served in the military, “Thank you for your service.”  Bumper stickers that say, “Support our troops,” are impossible to avoid in any parking lot or on the open road.  That the military is allowed to recruit for volunteers on television, radio and Internet is to me a crime against humanity.  These are carefully crafted messages, generated by marketing specialists to lure impressionable minds into considering military service the highest possible calling that anybody could ever consider. Let me digress for a moment to say that I do not in any way mean to denigrate the sacrifices of our soldiers in arms.  It breaks my heart to see the constant media images of servicemen and women who have been mangled in the line of duty; however, these poor souls volunteered to put the lives and bodies at risk. Nobody put a gun to their heads and made them sign-up.  The fact that we are barraged with images of these poor souls only furthers to support my contention that a culture of militarism is being drilled into the hearts and souls of the “American” population.

discretionary_spending_pie,_2015_enacted

As you can see from the chart above, more than half of national budget goes toward military spending.  How does the United States of America compare to the rest of the world in military spending? Here is another chart for your edification.

wolrd_military_spending_barchart_large

So who profits from this unimaginable expenditure of national resources on military spending? That’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer.  Do you know why?  It’s because, while companies like Lockheed-Martin and Boeing share the lion’s wealth of government military contracts, there are literally thousands of companies, some privately held, others owned by stockholders from all over the world, who hide their participation at feeding on this seemingly bottomless trough of U.S. dollars through shell-corporations, sub-contractors and other nefarious tricks to avoid public scrutiny.  Case in point is Dick Cheney’s Halliburton. According to a 2013 study, this corporation scored a staggering 39.5 billion dollars from the Iraq War.  How did they do this, under a shell corporation under the name of KBR, Inc. Please follow this link for an in-depth analysis of this blatant war-profiteering by probably one of the most evil individuals to ever walk this planet.

So can you guess who Dick Cheney is endorsing for President of the United States in the 2016 general election? Donald Trump, of course. Read this article from Politico.com if you don’t believe me. Should this come as any surprise to anyone? Hitler was a fascist.  What exactly is a fascist?  A fascist is somebody who believes in fascism.  It’s a word that gets tossed around, but what does it really mean.  At the risk of sounding like a high-schooler working on a term paper, I will provide you with the definition from Webster’s dictionary: a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator, controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government. If this does not sound familiar to the slippery slope that the U.S.A. is falling into, I don’t know what does.

In summation, let me pose you a question, “What is the best way to keep people to fall in line with a fascist government?” Well, if Hitler is our running example, it is war. How long has the United States been at war, whether officially or unofficially, as of this writing? Remember, we are talking about the War on Terror now.  If you are good at simple math, the answer is almost fifteen years, when the Patriot Act was passed by Congress on October 26, 2001. If you wish to be more conservative, then you may say since October of 2002, when Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, Pub.L. 107–243, 116 Stat. 1498, enacted October 16, 2002, H.J.Res. 114.

Author’s note: You may wonder why I put the words America and American in quotation maker.  This is because America actually comprises (partially) an entire hemisphere, the Western Hemisphere: North and South America, primarily.  That citizens of the Unites States of America choose to call themselves “Americans,” is to me the ultimate in hubris.  There are over thirty countries that are in the Western Hemisphere, not counting other countries that actually sit astride the Western Hemisphere and one of the other hemispheres on either side of it. So what would I call citizens of the United States of America, including me? I guess, “Stater-ers,” might me a good one.
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About Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is also an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Natasha, Maxwell, Tigger and Nigel.
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