I’m afraid of tyranny. I fear that America is slipping and sliding into an autocratic takeover of our government. It’s happening right here, right now, before our very eyes. Many of our wisest leaders say that we’ve reached the “red zone” danger level.
When I think of tyranny, I recall post-WWII and the observations made by a German pastor, Martin Niemoller, who first supported, then opposed the Nazis. You’ve probably heard or read this before, but it’s worth reading again.
Reverend Niemoller’ reflections on what he failed to do, reads like a 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.*
So what can we do? Speak out! Get involved in your local government, vote, write letters, make phone calls, protest, support those who are actively working to resist the suppression of the truth. Help others through acts of caring, welcome strangers, give to food banks. Be kind. Don’t let any form of intolerance take root in your community, because once it starts, it grows like cancer.
Buy Timothy Snyder’s short and to the point book ON TYRANNY.
* This is one of several versions of Pastor Niemoller’s comments, which he never committed to writing.