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Wed Apr 8, 2020, 09:50 AM

A Historian Speaks to the Current Moment

A Historian Speaks to the Current Moment
BY BERNARD WEISBERGER

We are possibly at one of the most dangerous moments in our 233 year history as a nation. The delicate arrangements of our Constitution to protect us from tyranny are imperiled. If they should fail the world would lose a model document establishing that a “republican” form of government could sustain itself over a long period of time in a continental expanse of territory embracing a wide diversity of peoples. That radical proposition existed nowhere else in the world in 1787.

. . . .

But in checking the power of the Chief Executive there was a hitch. The framers thought it s essential especially in temporary times of crisis such as war, to give the President special tools-— energy, speed of execution, sometimes even stealth — that could allow him ¨temporarily” to bypass the restraints of reasonable institutions of government.

Unhappily these exceptions could not prevent the emergence and 2016 election of the most cruel and venal President of all 44 to precede him — Donald J. Trump, who by exploiting those very privileges would grasp for the unlimited power of one-man rule. This is where we are now. His reign has brought us face-to-face with the possibility of democracy’s demise.

The latest blow has been this: Reason has fled. In its absence remains the caprice of one man astonishingly buoyed by the absolute loyalty of the Republican party. The provision for impeachment deliberately inserted in the Constitution to rein in a runaway Chief Executive succeeded in the House but was ended by a Senate marching in lockstep with the President. The President’s partisan protectorate refused to condemn his aggravated assaults on common decency, his contempt for allies, his denial of threats such as global warming that he pronounces in his own self-described “unmatched wisdom” and “stable genius” to be a hoax, and his sheer mendacity and sneering disdain for alliances and allies that have left us increasingly friendless in the world community. All of these things will reflect poorly on those of us who failed to stop him and the sycophantic partisans in politics and the media who have fallen cult-like behind him.


https://billmoyers.com/story/the-wolves-at-the-door/

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chia Apr 2020 OP
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Wed Apr 8, 2020, 10:22 AM

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