Monday, March 22, 2010

Death Train

It's time we returned briefly to our roots: that is, to posting thoughts that came while on a train.

This morning, on the subway downtown, we attempted to make sense of the fact that the law of the land now gives the government complete control over its citizens' medical needs; that it penalizes with federal imprisonment any who refuse to procure said services; that it authorizes the use of taxpayer funds to finance the murder of millions of infants while in their mothers' wombs; and that this law became law despite the most energetic and sustained resistance to it the American people have organized and mobilized in a generation.

We tried to contemplate the audacity of this end run around the separation of powers; of a president who damns the will of the people, and whether doing so is the very definition of "dictatorship"; of a congress whose complicity was paid for by taxpayer funds that were authorized for the purpose of shoring up the financial system. We wondered if a de facto dictatorship, or a one-off dictatorship is destined to become a day-to-day dictatorship. We considered that every other country that fell to communism never thought it would happen to them; that Germany did not authorize Herr Hitler to marginalize then brutalize then exterminate millions of Jews and those who stood up to defend them first in Germany and then in every country he took over, with designs on conquering the whole world. They didn't authorize him to do that, exactly. They just put him in power based upon the charismatic effects of his force of will. The rest is history.

We looked about the train, loaded with every-day folks. To our left was a man reading some intellectual magazine with an article about "how to stop Israel from building settlements in Jerusalem," even though Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel and Israelis ought to be able to do with its real estate whatever they wish, just as Americans do in Washington, D.C. We thought we heard history rhyming.

As the train rolled into a tunnel, we tried to imagine, for the sake of trying to calibrate our own reaction to such a thing, that this train would emerge with us from its dark tunnel at a place like Buchenwald.

It could happen anywhere, anytime. It begins with the force of one man's will.


Post a Comment

<< Home