It takes only two things to keep people in chains:

The ignorance of the oppressed
And the treachery of their leaders

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I often had wondered how it was possible for the nation of Germany, a nation of good people — artists, musicians, scientists, doctors, fine upstanding people — could not only stand by, but actively support Hitler’s destruction of Jews.

Who were these people, I wondered, who could see their neighbors, even their friends, and their friend’s children, being dragged from their homes and stuffed into cattle cars, to be taken to their deaths?

What kind of people could step aside and watch such terrible human suffering, and do nothing but invent excuses for it?

And what of the police, and the soldiers, and the concentration camp guards, who implemented this shameful act. Didn’t they have wives and children? How was it that they had no empathy, no compassion?

Were those people an aberration,  a strange group of inhuman humans who just happened all to be gathered in Germany and Poland and Austria and the rest of collaborating Europe?

Perhaps, one could say the people didn’t object because they feared for their own lives, and for some that may have been true.

But for most, it was the anti-semitism ironically taught in their Christian churches — the churches of Jesus the Jew — that made the Holocaust acceptable to the mainstream.

The churches taught believers to hate Jews, and Hitler tapped into that latent hatred.

Hatred always justifies immorality. Hatred justifies everything.

I wondered, “Who were these haters,” and now I have my answer because I see the same people here in America.

I see the cowardly politicians, and their leader, Donald Trump, tapping into that hatred, and I see the American people who support his hatred, even without fear for their lives.

Image result for trump crowd

As I look upon all your beautiful white faces . . .

These are people who have been taught to hate non-whites, and especially to hate non-white foreigners.

Children are not born to hate. They must be taught.

And once taught, there is no limit to what their hatred will justify.

There was a time when I thought Trump’s compulsive lying would lose him followers, but I was wrong. His followers do not care that he lies to them.

Hatred has proven stronger than truth.

There was a time when I thought Trump’s compulsive immorality would be rejected by the so-called “religious” right, but hatred has proven stronger than decency.

There was a time when I thought Trump’s laziness, greed, position reversals, megalomania, and incompetence would cost him votes, but hatred has proven stronger than reality.

And most recently, I thought that Trump’s mistreatment of children would, at last, be scorned by his followers, but hatred seems to be proving stronger than human compassion.

In Trump-land, virtue is derided as weakness, when the reality is, it takes strength to be compassionate. The fearfulness of the weak is revealed by their cruelty.

Hatred, blind irrational hatred, is the most enduring emotion of cowards.

The Trump credo: For the treatment of a non-white foreigner, who seeks sanctuary in America, there is no punishment sufficiently cruel.

Simply deporting them, cold-blooded as that is, is not cruel enough in the minds of haters.

No, their children must be ripped from them, some under the pretext that the children will be given a shower (as Hitler did in Auschwitz).

And even that is not cruel enough.

The terrified children, some sick with contagious diseases, must secretly be packed together on planes and stuffed on buses, then sneaked in the middle of the night to distant locations, where no one can find them.

And even that is not cruel enough.

When they arrive, their attendants are instructed not to hug the frightened infants, who so desperately need reassurance and love. The children are instructed they must not talk to anyone, lest they never see their parents again.

And even that is not cruel enough.

I see the GOP, the party of law and order, justifying these outrages against people and their children who only seek shelter from the storm: “They broke the law.”

Law, without compassion, is tyranny.

I see Breitbart, the excuse-maker for the worst of the GOP, demonstrate their lack of human compassion.

They deceitfully refer to people concerned about what is being done to children and families as “Open border activists,” as though being human means one does not want any border security.

I see Donald Trump demonstrate his hatred for not only non-white immigrants, but also for the “due process” provisions of the U.S. Constitution, when he says,  “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.”

And when I see millions of Americans agreeing with Trump’s nativism and bigotry, I no longer am mystified about Europe’s experiences with hatred and tyranny.

Now even our right-wing Supreme Court has approved a ban on people from Muslim nations, another conservative decision that will live in infamy.

Just as Hitler told his followers they are the “master race,” Trump told his followers, “You’re the super elites.” Like Hitler’s followers before them, Trump’s followers screamed in joy at being allowed into his select society, while disallowing all others.

I see our once brave, welcoming nation now being turned into a cringing, cowardly disgrace, fearfully hiding behind a Wall — a Wall that never can be high enough or long enough — selfishly rejecting those who are beset, who beg only to have a chance at life.

America is a huge lifeboat, 330 million strong, and we have plenty of room for millions more. We, as Americans, must not be led to spur the drowning men, women, and children, who ask for our help and compassion in their time of peril.

Shame on those of us who would reject the unfortunate immigrants, whose lives we easily could save.

Trump is Trump, almost a caricature of the greedy, scheming, egomaniacal, banana republic dictator. History has seen the like of him. His legacy will be shame — for him and for America.

And any nation will have a certain number of people who will follow a cult leader, a bigot, a martinet. These people have inferiority needs that can be met only by stomping on others.

But we must pray there are enough moral, compassionate Americans who have strength of character, and who, in future elections, will undo the vast harm befalling our nation.

Law without compassion is tyranny.

America now has fallen from grace and succumbed to weakness. But if you vote your conscience, we will become strong, again.

VOTE.