Friday, June 05, 2020

Get a Grip

I was reading the Twitter accounts of a few rather famous people the other day and I have a small bit of advice for them:

Get a grip.

Donald Trump is not a dictator. The Constitution has not disappeared. We are going to have an election in November. We remain a nation of laws and, in fact, the people who are most likely to shout you down or suppress your opinion are found in the anti-Trump camp. [Note the current uproar at The New York Times. Do you think those little sweethearts care about freedom of expression?] 

Even the most cursory study of dictatorships would show that we are far from danger. I recall the story that Tom Wolfe told about being on a panel in the United States with German novelist Gunter Grass at an academic conference in the Seventies. Speaker after speaker spoke of fascist repression in the United States. Grass, who'd grown up in Nazi Germany, was silent. He finally observed that he'd been carefully watching the doors and that the American police must be much slower than the Germans because in Nazi Germany they would have already arrived.

And, of course, the police never arrived to haul off the panelists. They went back to their teaching jobs, their book contracts, and their speaking gigs. [Oh, the horror!]

This is not the Weimar Republic. The United States is going to get through this craziness. We've done so many times before and this is far from our worst challenge.

Let's all get a grip.

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