A Really Close Call

December 7, 2020 | By eric.terzuolo | Filed in: Miscellaneous.

We’ve had a really close call. I’m glad I put blogging and much else aside for a while, when I became deeply immersed in the Biden/Harris get out the vote effort. Contacting voters in battleground states now seems like time and energy well spent.

I take hope from having worked with amazing young people. We have a first-rate crop of emerging leaders, humane and passionate, but also concrete and tough-minded, in the good way.

The coup failed . . .

I have had many dark moments, though, since Election Day. We have witnessed an anti-constitutional coup attempt by the President and his enablers. Not an armed coup, but one rooted in political brutality, aimed at overthrowing the legally established order. I am deeply grateful to the Republican officials at the state and local levels who stood up for what was right. They knew this would mean unspeakable threats to themselves and their families.

but it was a close call

We should not delude ourselves. I’m reminded of the Duke of Wellington’s description of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, in which he defeated Napoleon. “The nearest run thing you ever saw in your life,” he called it. Today we might say “a really close call.”

Inept authoritarianism

In a previous post, I pointed to similarities between the President’s rhetoric and that of Mussolini and Hitler. This is easily documentable, and in my view an indication primarily of Trump’s authoritarian mindset. Calling him a Fascist or a Nazi, as many people do, is anachronistic and imprecise. Trumpist authoritarianism in the US would have taken a different form. And we were lucky that Trump, despite his undoubted political talents, lacked the strategic and tactical acumen of Mussolini or Hitler during their rise to power. In important ways, he misjudged the country and the people.

People make the difference

it really came down to a limited number of individuals who, when forced to show who they truly were, did the right thing. What lessons should we draw from that?


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