In the spring of 1953, we suddenly shifted from being occupiers to allies. In Bonn the US Representative was no longer High Commissioner, just an Ambassador.

    And we were no longer required to wear our uniforms off duty but rather encouraged not to.

    The personal consequence was that my contact with Eric rather than being mildly disapproved by the battery commander became a non-issue. That contact mostly consisted of Saturday nights drinking white wine at the main local bar, the University Club, or rather the German of that. University was something like Universitatis, and I haven't a clue what the word for Club was.

    The reason for the word Universitatis was that Giessen had a University. Which was the reason for Eric's being there. As a 15-year-old soldier in 1945 he was captured almost immediately and had, he said, the best food of his life in the Canadian POW camp. Now at Giessen Universitatis, or whatever, his curriculum resulted in his reading the same "classics" that I had finally gotten to after being too busy as an Undergraduate: Dostoyevsky, Mann, Stendhal, whatever.

    That's mostly what I remember our talking about over glasses of riesling on Saturday nights. But I visited the University with him and met his friends--mostly refugees from that sliver of land that was Hitler's pretext for providing Chamberlain with his pretext to deplane in London and announce that he had brought us "peace in our time ".

    Then I went to Dachau.

    The Army having sensibly decided that those perfectly good guard barracks shouldn't go to waste were using them as temporary accommodations for students attending one or another of various classes to improve our "readiness ". My advance knowledge of the location itself was purely from horrible 1945 "short subjects " movies of emaciated naked Jewish bodies being heaved in trenches for burial.

    While there, no effort was made to encourage me to visit the museum, hardly mentioned. But I went. The icy fog penetrated the room and I was alone. No docent to suggest what to see. But I could see for myself. A brown photo of frail prisoners in rags being marched along the Hauptstrasse past haus frauen lined up at the bakerei and bureaucrats with brief cases hurrying to commute to Munich.

    Everyone knew.

    And my college German was sufficient for me to read a memo on display instructing the camp commander on proper capitalistic principles. At first the new intake should be held in Lager A and rented to the local farmers for, say, 2 DM/ day. (The food budget for Lager A should be of course less than 1.) When a prisoner became too weak for the farmers to pay that 2 DM, cut the price to 1 DM. And move the prisoner to Lager B where the food budget was 50 pfennig.

    Und so weiter. Abbreviated to usw

    I was glad to get back to Giessen and we had an early taste of spring. Eric and I drove down to Wiesbaden and sat in a tennis club eating creamy pastries and watching the tennis-playing children of the Wirtshaft's wunder.

    A pleasant day.

    Driving back Eric suddenly said "And you've been to Dachau?" Yeah. "And I suppose you believed what they tell you there. "

    Me: "Eric no one told me anything at all. But I could use my eyes."

    Eric: "You don't know what they were like."

    After that, silence. I opened the door in Giessen, he left.

    Now read on. I've told this anecdote here before. But 60 years later some thoughts actually occurred to me.


    Why did Eric bring it up? Why was it important for him to know how Dachau affected me. And how it affected what I thought of the German nation ? While admiring the US--as well he might since at that point we were between him and the Gulag, what moved him was his devotion to his home country.

    And why his "clincher " "You don't know what they were like. " Clearly he had to justify (to himself probably) his implicit approval of the good old days: of Hitler, the Wehrmacht , building the autobahnen. usw.

    And of course less important but perplexing to me how could a guy who talked wisely about "The Possessed" could have "known what they were like ".

    Could something like that happen to me? Has it actually happened and I didn't know it?

    Has something like that happened to Trump with his fixation on immigrants?  And to the 48% of the electorate who supported him?Was that why?

    Are all of us--or better not all but too many of the people on the subway this morning--just one demagogue away from agreeing their neighbors should be deported "because you don't know what they are like? "


    Anti-Semitism and racism become imbedded. Pointing out that someone is a racist becomes taboo. Milo, a blonde, racist, homophobe has his career destroyed by connections to pedophila, not by the racism. Tomi Lahren is fired because of insulting Conservatives, not because of racist statements. Bill O'Reilly could go on racist rants and face no consequences. Representative Steve King can be openly racist and receive little pushback from the GOP. 

    Marine Le Pen is in the runoff election to decide who will lead France. She is an Islamophobe, racist, and Facist. She received a significant segment of the vote. French people who voted for Le Pen knew what they were getting.     We would label Le Pen supporters racists. Le Pen supports Trump. Trump supports Le Pen. Trump wants a Muslim ban. Trump has made racist statements. Trump is the Americanized version of Le Pen. Trump is separating families to keep his campaign promise. He still wants to build the Wall, but can't figure out how to pay for it under current circumstances. Trump thinks Muslims and Latinos are the same despicable people that Eric described as deserving of Dachau. Trump voters will not challenge his actions on Muslims and Latinos. Trump voters are no different than Le Pen voters. Both groups need an "other" to demonize.

    Article on Le Pen and normalizing racism.



    Not to disparage it-useful- but the link could also be summarized  ¨ would you  sup with the devil better have a long spoon¨ 

    True. Political choices have consequences. If you vote for a white supremacist like Trump or Le Pen, you cannot claim innocence. Trump talks about separating immigrant children from their parents. This evil is treated as just another "normal" discussion about immigration..Trump voters are not our allies.

    I remember my greek professor breaking out the champagne the day the German philologist Hans Georg Gadamer died. It seemed a bit excessive, Gadamer unlike Heidegger and other intellectuals had not supported the Nazi regime with full-throated commitment. But in his autobiography he talks in passing about finally getting a position as lecturer at Marburg University in 1934 when a position "freed up". Yup, many positions magically 'freed up' that year. There are times where a studied indifferent innocence can seem just as horrifying as fist-pumping commitment. 

    Gadamer himself warns against the passive confidence that humanity will regain its sanity: “it was a widespread conviction in intellectual circles that Hitler in coming to power would deconstruct the nonsense he had used to drum up the movement, and we counted the anti-Semitism as part of this nonsense. We were to learn differently” (Gadamer: A Biography, 75).

    That seems to be the Democratic strategy - he will implode because he is so incompetent. All it took for Hitler was a (manufactured) security crisis to consolidate power. And here we are just waiting for the next crisis to happen on the watch of our new set of buffoons. This will surely end well. 

    I do the racists the honor (the only one) of assuming they mean what they say. 

    I think a free press is a very important part of this equation (and our founders, without knowing Hitler, knew it.) Taking over the press is an important crossing of a line.Indoctrination happens easily after that, morals shift. Hence, you get things like: Putin is very popular in Russia; what the hell are those hooligans protesting about, the trains are running on time....

    For exactly this reason, I was very heartened the first moment after the inauguration that I saw the big papers switch traditional policy to actually calling a lie and lie. I knew we were going in the right direction then.

    Apologia: I give credit above to our founders but credit should also to Edmund Burke. And I should add that "free speech" is not enough, one needs a "Fourth Estate." And respect for it. That our current president so disses the Fourth Estate, thinks his whole life that he can manipulate it with "P.R.", thinks now he can jump over it and go directly to "the people" with information and they don't need a disobedient Fourth Estate, this is one of the main things that makes him dangerous. As does anyone who believes that news can be provided by amateurs on the internet from the "ground up" and that we don't need that elitist media or those expert talking heads anymore. The latter is actually the same old same old dangerous populism with a new fun tool. There's "wisdom of the crowd" and then there's getting burned or worse by being part of a crowd.

    P.S. Aside on "the crowd": too often in history "the mob". Gustave LeBon's The Crowd, a favorite read of most the early-20th century's worst dictators, they used  it as a "how to" guide.

    Thought at first you meant The Crow starring Brandon Lee, or maybe The Craw, that Chinese character on Get Smart.

    never saw Brandon's no doubt lovelee piece of cinema, but it could indeed be crows instead, they travel in violent packs and insanely attack, hence in olden days called a murder of crows. Ravens is what we want, if not a loner, at most they travel in pairs, also sometimes known to chant nevermore.

    That 62 million Americans would vote for Trump, a man any reasonably circumspect person would know is a lying huckster after listening to him for 3 or 4 minutes certainly raises doubts about what ideology they embrace, and how years of right wing propaganda worked to deliver him to the presidency.

    It has caused me to read more about the era of demagogues, and what went  on behind the front lines with people like your Eric.

    Perhaps the best single account of the two authoritarian ideologies of that era, Stalinism and Nazism is Margarete Buber-Neumanns  -- Under Two Dictators.

    I recently read what many historians credit as an invaluable contemporaneous account of edicts, propaganda and language of the Third Reich, Victor Klemperers I Will Bear Witness, 1933-1945. A committed assimilated German war veteran with Jewish blood, in the 1000 page document he over and over recounts the state of thinking and beliefs the 'vox populi', people like Eric, as the regime goes from triumph to collapse. Available in two parts, a free download here.

    The US Holocaust Museums 2010 book, State of Deception is excellent. Many of the antisemitic Nazi propaganda posters reproduced in the book are mentioned by Klemperer in his diary, as well as his deconstructions of Hitler speeches which were broadcast over loudspeakers in restaurants and all public places by radio.

    An unforgettable image in the Holocaust museum book is a 1945 color photo of a solitary bag lady wandering through the desolate ruins of Nuremberg, and a Nazi Volksturm propaganda poster can be seen, on a still standing kiosk amid the devastated shells of brick buildings. The connection that the consequences you see in the photo are a product of the ideology represented in the poster is only too obvious, although the poster being just visible on close inspection, it is unlikely the photographer planned it.

    I think we have to constantly remind ourselves that it is easier than we think for citizens to normalize evil. Voters have willingly put evil people in office. These voters may subsequently be surprised by the evil committed by the person they elected, but they do not confront the evil. The voters who put evil in charge double down and support their choice. That is what will happen if Le Pen wins. That is what is happening under Trump. Trump holds on to his base despite his clear incompetence. Waiting for Trump voters too magically change is suicidal. Democrats hold on to their allies and confront the evil. The WH is refusing to release documents regarding the traitor Flynn. Trump supporters will not change their opinion.

    I don´t believe in collective guilt. It' s somewhat akin to Eric´s irrational belief that a whole race could be punished as a single entity. Even if there were a sinister Rabbi sucking blood from Christian infants for some nefarious ceremony the rational conclusion would be that there was one sinister Rabbi etc. etc.

    Taking it in stages: Trump , Adelson, Ichan et al  are bad men. Not just  playing hard ball. Not caught up in the contest. Bad.

    But I don´t make that statement about everyone who voted for him .They should have known better. But the next mistake I make won´t be the first one in my life and I haven´t reached the conclusion that 62 million of the people I see on the street can´t ever understand the mean spirited irrational underlying philosophy of their disasterous choice.

    If they still support him  4 years from now, or two , or on Labor Day, then I ´ ll be prepared to write them off.

    Not yet. 

    edited to correct errors,

    Since Trump is bad man, aren't his voters obligated to call him out?

    Edit to add:

    The only difference appears to be the length of time you will give them to change.

    North Korea is doing a live fire artillery drill to taunt Trump.

    Trump is inviting the entire Senate to the WH for a meeting on North Korea tomorrow. Still willing to wait until Labor Day?

    I can't see how the North Korea stories support the point you are trying to make.

    If you're thinking Trump is more bigger evil than Kim, you've got a long row to hoe.

    If you're trying to say he's mishandling it to the point of evil, I don't see that yet. I don't see him doing much more so far then Hillary would have done. He's made it clear he's working with China on it and listening to his advisors. His earlier saber rattling, you can't prove that had any effect over any other president. Because NK's plans are long in the making. Sanger and Broad report today in the NYT

    ...a growing body of expert studies and classified intelligence reports that conclude the country is capable of producing a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks.

    That acceleration in pace — impossible to verify until experts get beyond the limited access to North Korean facilities that ended years ago — explains why President Trump and his aides fear they are running out of time. For years, American presidents decided that each incremental improvement in the North’s program — another nuclear test, a new variant of a missile — was worrisome, but not worth a confrontation that could spill into open conflict.

    Now those step-by-step advances have resulted in North Korean warheads that in a few years could reach Seattle. “They’ve learned a lot,” said Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor who directed the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, from 1986 to 1997, and whom the North Koreans have let into their facilities seven times.

    North Korea is now threatening another nuclear test, which would be its sixth in 11 years. The last three tests — the most recent was in September — generated Hiroshima-size explosions. It is unclear how Mr. Trump would react to a test, but he told representatives of the United Nations Security Council at the White House on Monday that they should be prepared to pass far more restrictive sanctions, which American officials say should include cutting off energy supplies....

    Yeah, the having all 100 Senators over to the White House is weird and unusual. I read a couple pieces on that. Consensus is that it's grandstanding by Trump to try to do the alpha thing. Goofy, but I certainly wouldn't label it evil.

    I don't trust that he's going to do the right thing with this, either. I'm sure most knowledgeable people are on edge about it, real worried he's going to do the wrong thing. But so far he hasn't done anything "evil", rather he's basically been listening to China and his advisors and planning rational moves.

    Be careful of Trump derangement syndrome, it you label everything evil when he's done something standard for any president, nobody's going to believe you when he really does something really evil. It's the cry wolf thing.

    (Edited to add a bigger chunk of the NYT article, for clarity.)

    I call BS on Trump derangement syndrome. Tillerson rejected meetings with North Korea in March

    Now Tillerson wants to force negotiations

    Trump does not know what he is doing

    If the Trump admin doesn't know what they are doing, all the better all 100 Senators watch him and minions talk about it. Makes me feel safer that they are going to be judging the performance.

    I provide links showing that Trump North Korea policy is all over the map. I don't have Trump Derangement Syndrome, I am a realist. After being insulted, I am told to calm down because the do nothing Senate is watching Trump's moves. Pardon me if I am not comforted. I would note that the House Intelligence Committee fell apart. The chair served as an agent for the Trump White House. The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation is moving at a snail's pace. The Senate chair is slow to send letters requesting witnesses to appear. The Republicans in Congress can't agree on health care and maybe not even the debt ceiling. Congress is not a watchdog.

    Trump voters knew that they were sending a big FU to the country. They enjoy the grief they see on the faces of Liberals. They knew what they were doing. Am I the only one paying attention? I am not the problem, Trump and his supporters are the problem.

    BTW, the Trump inauguration committee lied about donations.

    ​I don't have Trump Derangement Syndrome. I observe things.

    My comment was specific to the North Korea situation and not any other Trump stuff. And I did not say you had it, I said be careful of it. I looked at your links and read other things, like Sanger and Broad's reporting, who have been reporting on this topic for more than a decade, and I don't buy that he's doing anything seriously wrong yet.

    On Trump derangement syndrome I didn't say you have it, I said, be careful you don't get it. I didn't buy from your links that he was doing anything "evil" yet on North Korea. I was saying: a stopped clock is correct twice a day, some rare times he's going to be doing the thing you would support if it was anyone else, and if you want to look credible, it's a good idea not to try to prove everything he does 100% of time is EVIL, Your words: evil. I think you can ruin the power of that word if you use it all the time.

    Again, the North Korea stories you provided do not make me see evil about Trump. Just that simple. Not related to anything else.

    Do you disagree that Trump's initial rhetoric worked against him in North Korea? I agree not evil, but incompetent.


    No, I agree his initial rhetoric was terrible and counter productive, but I think he really got serious and started paying attention after meeting with Xi. His switcheroo on Xi was truly amazing for him. That is is actually one of the scariest things about him, like a hyperactive child, if one can get him to sit down and listen to intel, or to look at one of the picture book memo book briefings being provided to him, he will even go back on his promises to his base, without any guilt or excuses at all Just: oops, I see now it's complicated, and I better listen to the experts.

    p.s. someone like Rasputin would love this kind of "leader". All the better that Bannon's been demoted.

    I am told to calm down because the do nothing Senate is watching Trump's moves. Pardon me if I am not comforted.

    This sounds to me like you think that all 100 Senators, even the Dems, won't give a damn if all of Asia is blown to smithereens with a nuclear war. That not a one of them will say anything if they feel incompetence is going on. That they will just be silent while the world blows up because they are do nothings. That's what it sounds like to me. That you are so angry that you can't even see straight. Everything is evil, the Senate is evil, that's what your words read to me.

    LOL. Classic debating technique. My eyesight is 20/15 bilaterally. The evil came up in reference to a moment by another poster.

    Snippet of the comment that led to my response

     Trump , Adelson, Ichan et al  are bad men. Not just  playing hard ball. Not caught up in the contest. Bad.


    Regarding Congress

    I said that looking to Congress to provide oversight on Trump is problematic. I pointed to the House and Senate intelligence committees as examples of the problem. The lead DOJ official probing the Trump-Russian ties to the is leaving. The newly named Deputy Attorney General is a Trump appointee who will be the sole individual determining if a Special Investigator is needed. Caffetz and Cummings may do something regarding Flynn, but the White House is refusing to provide documents. We will see what comes out of the Trump meeting tomorrow. I am not optimistic. I see nothing normal when it comes to Trump using my 20/15 OU vision. I reject your attempts to ridicule my justified skepticism of the Trump administration.

    Maybe Trump understands herd mentality, especially around a good ol' patriotic war.

    I wasn't meaning to debate with you, really I wasn't. I was simply trying to say: this is how what you are saying comes across to me, one person, you're getting nowhere trying to convince me. And maybe with others, too.

    I actually dislike debating, I think it is mostly a wasteful way to spend time as the two parties ratchet up attempts to "win", they go for more and more advocacy or what I call spin. It's the legal system, it's what trial lawyers do and why people call them liars. The difference though, in a trial there is supposed to be a third party, a judge or jury, deciding where the truth is between the two advocates. And with formal debate, that's just a damn game, scoring who can spin the best.

    I now understand your feelings about debating. My point is not to convince others, I simply point out what I see. I don't think that Democrats can rely on Trump supporters to change. I don't think Congress is able to hold Trump accountable. I don't think Ivanka is a moderating force. The DOJ investigation is suspect. The courts may be our only hope. I try to be reality based.

    Trump is a screw up. He is violating the emoluments clause, but Congress doesn't care. I simply reject attempts to tell me that our current situation is normal and Trump supporters will come to their senses. Instead of facing the stark reality of Trump, we divert to attacking Progressives by telling them they are the problem because they practice "identity politics". It is easier to beat up on marginalized groups than to deal with the threat posed by Trump and his supporters. I think we have to operate based on Trump voters not coming to their senses, Ivanka and Jared continuing to rake in corporate money as advisors to the President, Congress being asleep at the wheel, and Trump continuing to be insane. The new "normal" is insanity.

    Trump is not doing what Hillary would do in North Korea because Hilllary has the brainpower to avoid going with the military as the first option.

    In part I agree with you. Too often a debate is exactly how you describe it. I have no interest in that type of debate. But I think you have a low opinion of people and especially the people here. Yes there are a couple tedious people here who spin for the win. But there are intellectually honest people in this world and on this site. There are people who won't make an argument they don't believe in. Who don't spin for the win. People who make their best arguments to explain and defend their views and will admit when the other makes a good point. I love that type of debate. Two or more intellectually honest people who are knowledgeable on the subject and the clash of their ideas. I have debates like that every time I read an article on a news site or a book. I have arguments like that in my head as I slowly form my opinions. But the arguments I have in my head as I analyze the information are never as good as the debates two knowledgeable and intellectually honest people have. I learn a lot from watching debates like that.

    I never spin. There's no reward for me to do it. I'm not getting paid. Winning here gives me nothing. Accolades for winning from strangers isn't anything I value. I can make a weak or flawed argument but it's not spin and having those weaknesses or flaws pointed out helps me. All I get out of coming here is what ever I learn. While sometimes people link me to a good article I haven't seen mostly I learn here by considering the arguments of others and having my arguments challenged. I learn here from the debates, if they're good debates.

     Trump: What has big floppy ears, a trunk and black and white stripes?

    Student, : Gosh I don ´t know.

    Trump. An elephant. I was lying about the stripes.


    That's our Donald. How do we know he is telling a lie? His mouth is moving.

    Flavius, the reason I have little sympathy for Trump,supporters is that they knew that they wanted disruption They are not innocent children. They own this administration.

    I really appreciated this comment, Flav, you bringing up the collective guilt thing really clarified for me some of the things I've been thinking and feeling. Your original post does that too.

    I never get tired of bringing up Forster's post war essay on tolerance. If we had decided to punish all of the Germans, or the converse, if we had been forced to show love as brothers all of sudden, we might have had WWIII pronto. Combine all that with thinking about what press freedom and freedom of speech has to do with it, and that got me thinking how we purposely allow for hate speech in this country for a safety valve. We don't require that people love their neighbor, just tolerate them.

    It's what he could do to the courts and the press where the dangers of Trumpism really lay. So far so good mostly...thanks to like: a judge in Hawaii (the place that got us involved in WWII in the first place, hah.)

    Again, Zentropa... I got to go to school with some of those Nazi kids, peculiar situation.

    now you got me to put Zentropa on my must see list....

    Better put some antidepressants on your list too...

    Not as depressing as the carbon monoxide inducing Breaking the Waves - how's that for a pumped up review? ("Two wrists slashed up", say Siskel & Ebert)

    Forster?E.M. Foster? The link didn´t link.

    Spending a night at a Heathrow hotel I thumbed through what was around to read. Which was a serious piece by the usually  comic  Brit , Michael Bentine (spelling?) .

    He was in the detachment which liberated one of the camps. And immediately killed any of the guards they could get their hands on. In the surrounding woods there were  elaborate bird houses carved by those guards. That made it worse.  

    My unintended but automatic reaction to recalling Bentine´s story was to think about  Schindler leaving his ¨Ark¨ and driving west with two of ¨his Jews¨;  To the American lines. Where the Jews were able to use  yiddish to explain the incredible story. 

    That there were  people who did the right thing. 

    Which causes me to automatically go to

    And we are introduced to Goodness every day,                                                                                           Even in drawing rooms among a crowd of faults;                                                                       :                    He has a name like Billy and is almost perfect                                                                                        But wears a stammer like a decoration:

    Auden                                                                                                                                                 from                                                                                                                                              Herman Melville

    Oskar was not almost perfect ! But  good enough. 

    Sorry for the presentation. You could read the poem itself.


    Yes, E.M. Forster, he did it as a speech for a radio show about the situation the world was in at the end of the war as a sort of irony laden pep talk about was needed next. I believe it was titled "Two Cheers for Tolerance"

    That link goes to a 2-page PDF, so you might have a problem if you don't have a PDF reader on your device or if a slow connection you have to wait a bit for it to pop up, or you have the PDF reader set to download to your browser and not display.

    It's less available in full on Google than it should be, especially as it appears to be sometimes used in high school curricula, I see kid's essays on it online and "flashcards".

    Try this link instead.

    Here is the excerpt that Wikiquote takes from it:

    Tolerance is a very dull virtue. It is boring. Unlike love, it has always had a bad press. It is negative. It merely means putting up with people, being able to stand things.

    Thanks but I seem to be link challanged.I´ll get the Forster(thanks) comment.

    What exactly do you mean by "bad" and what do you mean by taking it in stages? Imo there is no reason to vote for Trump that's not "bad" in some degree so let's take it in stages. There are some who would like to fire up the gas chambers and they voted for Trump because they see a kindred spirit. There are some who scapegoat the illegal immigrants and they liked his hate filled attacks on the rapist Mexicans. There are those who believed his unrealistic economic populist rhetoric and just didn't care about the racist and misogynistic rhetoric. There are those who hated his racist and misogynistic rhetoric but wanted a republican, any republican, to either block democrats if they won congress or pass a republican congress policy. There might be some who hated his racism and misogyny but wanted an anti abortion supreme court nominee. There might be other groups but I can't think of one that wouldn't imo be at some "stage" of bad. Is there any reason good enough that might justify ignoring Trump's obvious racism and extreme misogyny? Those who disliked but didn't consider Trump's racism and misogyny disqualifying might change their minds in the next four years and vote democratic. I hope they do. But that doesn't change the reality that imo all the Trump voters were at some "stage" of bad this election.

    I knew there was stupidity and ignorance in America but I never thought there was enough to elect Trump. I knew that there was still racism and misogyny but never thought there was nearly this much. My view of what America is and what she stands for has been irrevocably changed with this election. My view of what America stands for has been repudiated by the American people.

    Well put and having similar reactions to the election myself as evident from my recent reading list.

    One article I read said if things get worse, jobs/economy/war/terror etc, the same 62 million may go for a even more effective demagogue.

    ¨Taking it in stages¨  meant doing just what you did.

    Not all of Trump´s voters were ¨bad ¨ I disagree with  his right- to- life supporters  but despite being irreligious   I don´t consider it ¨bad¨ to vote to do what you  think  God  wants. 

    Martin Luther King Jr. had a strong rebuttal to hiding behind God as an excuse for doing bad.

    In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churches stand on the sideline and merely mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard so many ministers say, "those are social issues with which the gospel has no real concern.", and I have watched so many churches commit themselves to a completely other-worldly religion which made a strange distinction between body and soul, the sacred and the secular.

    The above is from the April 1963 Letter From a Birmingham jail. God made me do it is not an excuse.

    It truly is depressing. The other thing that happened is that is has become crystal clear that the Religious Right are complete frauds. They had always downplayed racism, but they fully supported a sexual abuser. They are silent while Trump talks about cutting the number of meals  funded by Meals on Wheels. If the Christians support Trump, how can we tell the diff between them and the "heathens"? Paul Ryan has been shown to be the economic imbecile that every sane person realized was the case. Republicans cannot get their act together on healthcare or the budget. They have to slash health care funding to pay for the tax cuts they want for the wealthy and the corporations. The Right cant govern and they cannot lecture us on morality. Look at the daily sexual harassment charges coming out of the Pravda of the Right, Fox News. Hillary was correct about the deplorables.

    Your frustration is  completely understandable. As is the sad fact  that deep religious convictions caused many good people  to vote for the deplorable  candidate who promised  to put a Gorsuch on the Court . And did.

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