Each day of the forever political campaign for President brings with it another shocking statement and revelation. The rhetoric is increasingly strident and offensive. The language is so intemperate so amazingly awful that it raises a question! Could what happen in Germany in the early 1930’s and what happened in Italy before that happen in America? No you say, it can’t happen in my country, not in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Pastor Martin Niemoller once said it all, in a famous poem:
First they came for the Socialists, – and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me- and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Now, shockingly in the 21st Century, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz sound like modern day demagogues inciting people to fear others.
Let us not repeat the mistakes of the past and speak out for Latinos, for the disabled, for the poor and for those of the Muslim faith. People of faith in the San Bernardino area are helping the families of the victims of the tragedy last week. The least we can do is to speak out for those who are being singled out. The last thing we want is to accumulate some kind of list with peoples names on it, or force people to wear a badge saying that they are a Muslim. If we did it would smack of Nazi Germany.
If we do not stand up for freedom and compassion and instead give into fear and hate, America will become like the lines in the Pastor’s poem. How do we want to be remembered?
Will it be, First they came for the Latinos and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Latino.
Then they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out
Because I was not a Muslim.
Then they came for the dissenters who spoke out and put them behind barbed wire fences.
Then they came for me and all of our freedoms were lost because we were Democrats.