Dispatches 1) Dan Balz (Analysis), “What is defensible in the case against Trump?; The Jan. 6 committee has laid out a strong case against the…Read More
Ukraine War, April 1, 2022 (I): Donald Trump launches sharp attack against Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine; Ex-president calls for “harshest possible” economic sanctions, possible use of force ; Trump launches impassioned plea for international community to take decisive action to uphold U.N. Charter and international law
See, Michael Gerson, “What if the eventual Jan. 6 report is rigorous, compelling — and doesn’t really matter?” Washington Post, December 16, 2021 (3:17 p.m….
On January 13, 1898, French novelist Émile Zola published his famous letter entitled, “J’accuse” (I accuse), addressed to the President of the Republic, in which he denounced the government and its military command and their antisemitic leaders for prosecuting Alfred Dreyfus, a Captain of Jewish descent, on trumped up charges of treason. Dreyfus had been convicted in 1894, and at a subsequent retrial. Zola’s letter had a decisive impact on democracy and the rule of law in France.
In the United States, we now face a similar if not even graver moment in which the rule of law is at stake. It is a moment in which antisemitic and racist militants actively participate in a fascist conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution and the rule of law.
In these circumstances, the following letter is addressed to “Democrats “and political leaders in the United States, calling on them to act, vigorously and effectively, to defend American democracy.
The United States faces a problem similar in many ways, and different in many ways, to the problem faced by Great Britain, France, and the United States after the defeat of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis in May, 1945.
In their respective occupation zones, which included parts of Berlin, England, France, and America faced the daunting task of governing a population whose thinking and world view had been altered by 12 years of Nazi lies and propaganda, and the terror with which the Nazi regime had ruled as it seized all positions of power and influence in the country.
The cult of Adolf Hitler was very strong.The Western Allies needed to de-program the German population in their respective occupation zones, as a first step toward laying the groundwork for a future democratic state and society.
The Western Allies held certain advantages, including military occupation and control over all governmental decisions in the British, French, and American zones of occupation and their respective sectors in Berlin.
Importantly, they also held control over all means of mass communication, including newspapers and radio.
(The Big Lie) is vaguely analogous to the “Stab-in-the-back” (“Dolchstoss”)myth Hitler and the Nazis spread in the 1920’s and early 1930’s in their drive to take power, which was ultimately successful in 1933. The “Dolchstoss” or “stab-in-the-back myth spread the totally false belief that Germany had lost world War I only as the result of betrayal by civilians on the home front, especially Jews, revolutionary socialists, and other Republican politicians.
Detrumpification: What can be done?
What can be done? What can we learn from Germany’s experience?
We Americans share a culture, a way of life, and a history built on our Constitution and a dedication to the rule of law.
Yet we also share responsibility for the actions of our government, of our president and political leaders, particularly those serving in the Senate and the House of Representatives whom we have elected. When they commit transgressions of our democratic political order, or kill innocent civilians in violation of the laws of war (humanitarian law) in foreign conflicts, we also share responsibility for their and our government’s actions.
Is this a radical proposition? I think not, not if we reason carefully about what it means to live in a democracy, or to give full life to that democracy through our own thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
What are we to make then of politicians who approve of, or look the other way, when gross violations of our democratic order are committed, by our politicians, our legislators, and those who support them?
If our politicians tell big lies to the population about what they are doing, or if the president, for example, tells monstrous lies on a constant basis, and we do not speak out, are we complicit in his lies? Do we thereby incur moral responsibility? When the consequences of such big lies lead to sharp curtailment in spending for social services for the poor, or disrupt our fundamental sense of right and wrong, our fundamental moral values, or our very belief in the concept of truth, are we individually responsible for the actions and events which may follow? When the president dismisses serious news reporting, backed by solid sources, as “fake news”, and we do nothing, are we not individually responsible for the erosion of a culture of truth, and of expertise based on facts?
Are we then complicit in the assault on the truth, or the very concept of truth itself? Without the concept and practice of telling the truth, of course, no government can be held accountable for its actions. A country can slide down the slippery slope that leads to authoritarianism and dictatorship, and the crimes a dictatorship might commit to maintain itself in power, to realize the misshapen ideals of a of government not based on the rule of law, not based on the concept of justice, and not even based on the concept of simple everyday fairness.
If that occurs, are individuals responsible in a moral sense? Are we responsible? Individually?
If America slides into dictatorship as Germany, one of the most educated and advanced industrial countries in the world at the time, did in the 1930s, will we then be responsible for the crimes our government may commit, as Germans after World War II were viewed by many as responsible, as guilty for the crimes of the Third Reich?
See, “Defending the Right to Life and Other Human Rights During the Coronavirus Pandemic;” Lawyers for Humanity, Updated May 7, 2020, updated October 26, 2021….
Today, finally, a leading national opinion columnist, Max Boot, called for the Justice Department to investigate Donald Trump’s crimes.
Because Merrick Garland has been far too willing to look the other way, and has avoided investigation and indictment for the many crimes Donald Trump appears to have committed, Boot proposes Garland appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump’s apparent crimes.
The Democrats refuse to prosecute Donald Trump. Moreover, they enforce a conspiracy of silence under which not even the question of whether Trump should be prosecuted can be discussed, or even raised.
Meanwhile, Trump, who appears to have committed numerous felonies in full public view, is left free to hold rallies and breathe air into a growing fascist movement led by the Republican party and his supporters
President Joe Biden continues to stumble, to blow the opportunities his and the Democrats’ narrow victories in 2020 have afforded him.
Neither Biden nor the Democratic leaders seem to understand that fascist threat.
The country faces a fascist challenge supported by 35-40 million voters living in a propaganda universe, an alternate universe where facts and the truth do not hold sway, plus perhaps another 20 million cynical fellow travelers.
Nowhere are their leaders with the courage to stand up and defend our democracy by taking bold actions, such as indicting Trump.
New and damning details emerged today with the publication of an Interim Report by the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 7, 2021.
The breadth and extent of Donald Trump’s electoral and other crimes is in the public record.
While the nation pays attention to the latest “breaking news” story, American democracy is in grave peril.
The questions that should be front and center in every newspaper and on every radio and TV news program are the following:
1) Why has Trump not been indicted?
2) Should Trump be indicted?
3) When will Trump be indicted?
Americans live in the twilight of a democracy that will not defend itself.
One question tells the whole story: Why has Trump not been indicted?
We have set forth the considerations which we believe argue strongly for the indictment and prosecution of Donald Trump for his election-related and other crimes, and for the prosecution of his Republican co-conspirators who joined him in a vast conspiracy to overthrow the election and the Constitution of the United States.
We are faced with a Democratic conspiracy of silence regarding whether Trump should be indicted. It is not a criminal conspiracy, like Trump’s conspiracy to overthrow the election and the Constitution, but it is a conspiracy in the broader sense of the term.
Let us now consider the arguments for not prosecuting Trump and his co-conspirators.
Writing today, on June 4, 2025, it is hard to believe what has happened in the United States in the last few years. It wasn’t easy to uproot my life and move abroad, as a refugee from the fascism which has taken over in the United States.
With my mastery of foreign languages and cultures and history of working in many foreign countries, I have had many options. At the moment, I am in Costa Rica, where I lived for three years decades ago.
The second huge mistake the Democrats made was that they failed to prosecute Donald Trump and his co-conspirators for the many electoral crimes and other felonies that they appeared to have committed.
How the Democrats arrived at the thought that they might pierce Trump’s propaganda bubble without taking him on, and prosecuting him and his co-conspirators, was never clear, and in retrospect defies understanding.
(The Democrats) seemed to have entered into some kind of conspiracy of silence….Since the Democrats would not even allow discussion of the issues related to the non-prosecution of Trump and his co-conspirators, there was virtually no public discussion of their strategy.
Proceeding with this strategy of not challenging Trump directly by indicting him and his co-conspirators, the Democrats lost the House in 2022. Joe Biden’s domestic initiatives then hit a brick wall….On January 20, 2025, the new Republican president took office. With the election of a Republican Senate and a Republican House, the Trumpists had returned to power. They promptly set about passing laws which curtailed freedom of the press and other civil liberties.
Within days of the inauguration, I boarded my flight to Costa Rica.