Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Must read

Via About Town: Jim Peron of the Institute for (classical) Liberal Values has a great article on The Ugly Side of America, in which he talks of how his country has been taken over by fundamentalists and divided into competing extremisms. And like others, he sees the historical parallels:

And although I've been proud to be an American for most of my life that pride is shattered. My friends will tell you that I annoyed them by telling them about all the great things about America. I loved the spirit of liberty that made up America and that is embodied in the Constitution. Today I fear that is all dead. It's been pushed aside because of a president who campaigns on fear. He terrorises people into supporting him. If "terrorism" isn't enough he has other bogey men to trot out - hence his campaign against gay people. His whole re-election strategy is built on fear. And when people are afraid - even people who love liberty - they start making excuses for tyranny.

That is what worries me about America. I go back historically to Weimar Germany and see the same type of polarisation and fear. The Weimar Germans were separated into warring camps of extremists. Extreme Left versus the Nationalist Right dominated Weimar politics. People were afraid. Each side feared the other and feared what would happen to their nation if something wasn't done. America is setting itself up for the same "solution" that the Weimar Germans sought.

This was written before the US election. I expect he's even more worried now.