Friday, March 23, 2018


by Ruth A. Sheets

Like most Americans, I was an observer of the 2016 Presidential campaign.  I was disturbed by the usual suspects, the lying, particularly on the part of the Trump campaign, the uneven coverage of the candidates by the media, and the hysteria of the crowds at Mr. Trump's rallies.

I know Mr. Trump used a lot of trial balloons, comments thrown out to see how the audience would react.  Words or lines that got a laugh or cheers were added to Mr. Trump's repertoire.  These could be used and enhanced in future speeches. 

I noticed that two years and more after the campaign, and Mr. Trump is now president, these words not only work to inspire nearly insane responses on the part of Mr. Trump's audiences, but those responses are immediate and louder than ever, even though many have been proven untrue.  What is going on?

In the past weeks and months, we have been slowly learning about a whole collection of players who cheated on behalf of the Trump campaign.  Facebook gave up mounds of data that was used to target voters in ways that are ethically questionable, all done without the consent of the Facebook users.  Russia sent bots to interfere in our election.

The targeted voters were those who were most likely to support Mr. Trump (or one of the other Republican candidates in the race), ultimately, Mr. Trump alone.  Mr. Trump's rallies were open pretty much only to supporters.  Anyone who protested might be ejected or in some other way abused by the crowd.  Mr. Trump's handlers took care of all of this, but is hard to believe Mr. Trump was unaware of it.  He certainly did use it.

If a significant proportion of voters are primed to respond reflexively, wildly to words like wall, Crooked Hillary, immigrants, coal, Mexicans, fake news, they can be induced to believe Mr. Trump is the one who will take care of their fears and anger related to these.  And, as a white male, he will not be Obama, the person Mr. Trump implies destroyed their precious country.

All of these trigger words involve lies on the part of Mr. Trump.  His wall would be built by Mexico.  Hillary Clinton has done something, supposedly related to emails or Ben Gazi, that is indictable.  Mexicans are rapists, and immigrants are criminals.  Good coal jobs are coming back.  The mainstream media produces fake news; only those sources that like Mr. Trump are producing real news.  And, Mr. Trump thinks he invented the term "fake news." 

It does not take much effort to identify the lies, so why don't the "believers" check it out?  I suspect it is a kind of mass hypnosis.  This can happen when one is in a crowd where everyone seems to share a world view.  Everyone yells and cheers at the same words and phrases, and everyone has a common enemy or target.  It is possible that every time the word is spoken, the response is immediate, and a pleasure hormone is released which helps to fix the connection between the speaker, the word, and the good feeling.  Logic/reason has no place here.  Those affected may also associate the good feeling with the voice.  Whenever they hear Mr. Trump speaking, the associated feelings are aroused again.  And, the media certainly does broadcast his voice a lot.

It is hard to counter this effect because even the lies can be manipulated to seem true.  We'll build the wall and pay for it, but through trade, we'll make Mexico pay.  We'll subsidize a few coal companies to keep a few jobs so it will look like coal is coming back, then, we'll cut assistance for renewable energy so there will be a bigger demand for coal.   

When people are hypnotized, they don't stop to consider their responses because their actions just must be right.  Right?

To help these sufferers, the mainstream media must step up.  When Mr. Trump or any of his surrogates lies, the lies must be identified as such, not just occasionally, but all the time.  They can use terms like not true. false, untrue, unfounded to mix it up a bit.  The identification of a statement as a lie must be clear whatever word is used.  And, when Mr. Trump or his surrogates call someone else's words a lie, the statement must be quickly checked.  If the claim is true, that must be called too.  If it is a lie about someone else's true statement or act, that must be forcefully identified as a lie.

Then, social media need to step up and police their services.  Manipulative bots need to be shut down and reports from users about these bots need to be taken seriously and addressed.  Human beings are susceptible to manipulation because we are often not prepared for the level of lying and deceit out there.  We all need to value truth over the lies no matter where it leads.  This can be a threat to those in power, but so what.  They chose to hold power, so they need to be held accountable, something we citizens have not done for a long time.

Mass hypnosis is not good for anyone, no matter the political leaning, but right now, conservatives are most vulnerable.  They need an intervention.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


I read an article recently about a bill being proposed by Republicans in the House of Representatives.  The bill is designed to restrict student loans, increase money that can be borrowed for students attending for-profit schools (which have a history of discrimination, low graduation rates, and other financial problems), and change the way student loans are paid back.  Of course, the bill is called Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act.  Hmmm!  This is an interesting title for an act that would do exactly opposite of its claim.

This seems to be a pattern within Republican circles lately.  I am not sure how long this has been going on, but I suspect a pretty long time.  It is the modus operandi for Republicans. 

It seems the purpose is to deliberately misdirect citizens and legislators as to the purpose of the bill.  The hope is that people will read the name of the bill and skip reading the contents.  Doesn't the title tell everything you need to know?

I noticed this when I learned that state legislators voted to destroy unions and called the bills "Right to Work."  They should have been called "Right to Wreck" but such a name would not win many friends, even Republicans, so can't have that.  We know the result.  Workers' pay has remained mostly static for 40 years.  It is unions that cause wages to rise and workplace conditions to improve.

Then, in the early 2000's, the Bush Administration passed "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB)  The design of the law emphasized underfunded testing and other education-related factors that ended up leaving a lot of children behind, particularly those in poor, disadvantaged communities.  Schools were labelled on the basis of the results from tests designed by representatives from privileged districts and others who knew little about how education works.  In this case, one might imagine that Congress wanted to help, but their lack of knowledge of schools and the education system let them believe this would work. Maybe . . .

So, if you really want to know what Republican bills are actually about, think, "what is the opposite of what the bill's title claims?"  That will be it.  So much for truth in advertising. 

This continues today.  For example, The Religious Restoration Acts are proposed in many states where Republicans have a majority in the legislature.  This act allows "religious" people to refuse service to folks they do not agree with religiously.  Another bill is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill which became the 2017 tax cut mostly for the wealthiest individuals and corporations.  These entities already informed us that they were going to use their big tax break to buy up their stocks.  Jobs were not on their agenda, neither were higher wages. 

Watch the news source you depend on and you'll see plenty more of these.  If a Republican or conservative proposes the bill, check the title and think, "opposite."

Monday, March 12, 2018

Outrage Fatigue

by Ruth A. Sheets

The other day, in passing, I heard a term I instantly knew could be applied to me.  The term, Outrage Fatigue.  Wow, that's it!  That's what I have!  I have been hoping for a diagnosis, but nothing I could name fit better what I am experiencing.

It started almost 3 years ago when Donald Trump slid down an escalator into the 2016 presidential campaign.  He rose from reality TV star to media darling.  They covered every action, every word as though he were a major cult leader or movie star of the past.  He said and did things that by any standards should have been seen as appalling, unacceptable, but were applauded and shared. 

When Mr. Trump was challenged on any of his actions, he turned on and insulted those who called him out.  The media loved it all.  It was theatre and they gave enormous time and effort on Mr. Trump's behalf.  Many other candidates opposed Mr. Trump, but they were barely heard and seldom seen.  During debates, Mr. Trump was permitted to insult, step on other candidates' time, and not answer questions.  No brakes were placed on anything he said or did and the media claimed people loved it all.

When the election came down to just two candidates, Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton, Mr. Trump's shenanigans were often the opening news story.  For the purposes of equal coverage (which of course, was never equal), listeners and viewers had to be reminded of either Ben Gazi or missing emails on the part of Ms. Clinton despite the fact that both had been investigated and set aside.
Since the election, Mr. Trump has appointed people to offices for which they are completely unqualified.  Many actively try to bring down the department they were approved of to serve.
Anything Mr. Obama got done during his 8 years in office must be overturned by Mr. Trump.  He put his racist self and team on the task and forced changes that did not need to be made.  The Senate rolled over and approved his appointees and stood up to none of the moves, even when they were designed to harm the people living in this country. 

Mr. Trump lies with impunity on a daily basis.  He insults anyone who opposes his actions.  He changes his mind depending on who he speaks with last.  He puts us on the brink of nuclear war and insults a military family, and the military unless he is getting them to plan a parade he can watch while orgasmicly smiling at missiles and tanks riding by. (what are we celebrating, Mr. Trump, of course)

Drilling in our coastal waters and National Parks, purging voter rolls to eliminate non-Republican supporters, imposing travel bans for people from mostly Muslim countries, attempting to end the DACA (Dreamers) program, ending net neutrality, increasing restrictions on abortion rights, eliminating clean air and water standards, suing states that don't want to abuse undocumented immigrants, Giving massive tax breaks to the wealthiest among us, levying tariffs on steel and aluminum, and on and on,.

The point is, there is little or no evidence that any of these moves make America safer or more prosperous.  But, alas, that does not matter.  It is about wielding power.  The Trump campaign helped Russia mess in our elections and yet, little has been done beyond appointing a Special Counsel who is always at risk of being fired if he gets too close to what really happened.  In any other time, this would have been treason, or at least a "high crime or misdemeanor."

The problem, this insanity never ends.  Every day, with every news broadcast the media opens with a Trump story, isn't he the only story?  He isn't and we need to stop acting as though he is.  Each time he is at the center, Mr. Trump gets a hit of ego boosting hormones.  He is clearly addicted and the media and Mr. Trump's followers keep supplying the drug, their adulation. 

And so, I have outrage fatigue.  I am outraged at the ways my country is being undermined by the current president with the support of Republicans in Congress.  I sign petitions, have made phone calls, attended marches, and watch the comedy that lampoons this insanity.  These used to help, but lately, not so much. 

Mr. Trump has surrounded himself with too many bad actors.  Nearly everyone in the highest positions in our government has chosen not to act on behalf of the American people, but for the benefit of large corporations, sources of big money for Mr. Trump, his businesses and his wealthy supporters.  This gang is making destructive pronouncements on a daily basis.  It is impossible to keep track of all of them.  The Congress passes midnight laws with only Republican votes, no hearings, few if any Democratic contributions.  These laws have profound, potentially disastrous impacts, but They are, nonetheless, victories for Mr. Trump and that's what counts. 

How can one feel anything but outrage?  I am trying to figure out how to keep my head on straight through this dark time.  I am looking for the energy to keep up with it all, and  to continue my protests.  Ah, isn't outrage fatigue on the part of opponents what Mr. Trump wants (that is if he  had any idea of what he really wanted) outside of getting his ego massaged. 

Yes, I will commit to keep fighting because that's what I must do, but it won't be easy.  Instead of fund-begging candidates and petitions that go nowhere, I need direction, support, and a coherent message from candidates toward a just and peaceful future. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


by Ruth A. Sheets

Donald Trump could have been a Nazi leader, you know, the ones that commanded sections of concentration camps or were in charge of removing the "enemies of the state" to those camps. He does not have the abilities of a military or political leader of the regime, but, his gifts for resentment, vengeance, self-righteousness, and hatred for anyone he believes inferior (just about everyone else) would have made him a perfect man for such a post.

His charismatic bullying style and bent for cruelty would have endeared him to those in power. They would have given him free hand to do whatever he liked to those under his control and I have no doubt he would have used that power. The objects of his wrath would have suffered tremendously as long as Mr. Trump received good food and a beautiful place to live. 

Having no moral compass, I suspect nothing would have been off-limits to him. That, is, if he didn't have to actually perform the cruel acts himself and could blame it on his underlings or the victims. "They did it" or "They made me do it." 

Mr. Trump's ability to be manipulated by anyone in his circle would be of great benefit to the other Nazi leaders.  They would be certain that he would do what was "necessary" to get the last drop of life out of the powerless he supervised.  Those pathetic souls would declare how much they loved him and wanted to serve in their pathetic inadequate way, under threat of death, of course.

It is impossible to have watched Mr. Trump for the past few years and not notice his cruelty, his inability to accept responsibility for anything he says or does, his inability to judge people on anything beyond their loyalty to himself.  His racist statements, even about the President of the United States show there are no limits to what he will say or do to promote whiteness as the superior attribute of a human being, a perfect Nazi leadership stance. 

And, Mr. Trump's got the lying knack down pat.  His ability for stirring up a crowd while spewing insults and lies to their faces is astounding.  Then, he repeats the lies and false claims over and over to make them true.   

For example, his idea of deportation is telling poor people of color they would be going back to a place where they will be with people of their own kind who will appreciate them, while sending them to a gang-torn impoverished land where their lives will be at risk from the moment they step off the plane.  There are definite similarities with the holocaust boxcar stories, if not the actual horrific conditions of the journey.  Death often comes at the end of both, though.   

This man was elected president of the United States by an outdated, racist structure, the Electoral College.  He has no mandate to be doing the things he is doing to the people of this country just as Hitler and his cronies had no mandate in 1933 when they took power.  As with the German government in 1933, the Republicans and other conservatives are bowing to Mr. Trump's wishes for the win, even if they have only a slight inkling what he is demanding.  If Mr. Trump could, I suspect he would order all kinds of despicable actions on behalf of his racist, sexist, homophobic agenda.  He already started the process by ordering Muslim bans, deporting undocumented parents of American children, ending the "Dream Act," and trying to ban transgender people from the military.

At least this is still America and we have laws to stop him, but the bowers and scrapers reside in our Congress and could make some of his cruelties law, and how likely is it that our highest court would stop them?  We really haven't seen the Court in action yet to have any real sense of it.

Having read Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury, you may note that Mr. Trump surrounds himself with family members and sycophants who either don't know or don't care what America stands for.  It's about power and who has it.  We already know Mr. Trump agrees with the last person who spoke to him, unless they disagree with his basic beliefs of white male superiority. 

Mr. Trump surrounds himself with people who know how to get him to do and say what matters to them, so, the next steps could be dangerous to many people in this country.  As long as the lower level Nazi leaders produced the desired outcomes, their superiors didn't care much how it happened.  What a scary thought that the far right haters could get their "leader," Mr. Trump, to do their bidding.  Their goal is a hierarchy of white men on top and everyone else to serve them.  Too many women or people of color around?  Get rid  of them! put them in their place! 

The parallels are strong with this one.

Monday, January 8, 2018


by Ruth A. Sheets

The year 2017 will ultimately go down in history as a year in which a political party did its best to undermine the American way of life, to promote dysfunction, and to enhance control at all levels by the wealthiest few. 

Donald Trump ran as a populist, which in the past has meant support for the common person.  It has meant a movement toward civil rights for all and a level of equalizing power and resources among many, if not all groups.

The media were enthralled by this man who would say the most outlandish things - Mexico will pay for a gigantic wall on its northern border, there is a war on coal which he will correct, disabled persons are worthy of ridicule, Gold Star families do not love America as much as he does, Black people should vote for him because things can't get worse for them, the mainstream media only does fake news, unlike Fox News, and so on. 

For those not enthralled by this rhetoric, these were shameful words.  They and so much of
Mr. Trump's campaign language were clear lies, just spoken loudly and with conviction.  Alas, it appears for human beings, the louder and more often something is said, the more believable it seems. 

One can understand that Mr. Trump is not ashamed of his lies and despicable actions.  These were a pattern during his professional life for decades.  Since he can't feel shame, he can say and do things that should be, at least seen by others, as shameful.

But, alas, this shamelessness is spreading.

Beginning in January, 2017, after the inauguration, Republicans in the United States Senate participated in the lying, deceit, and acquiescence to the shameful agenda of Mr. Trump.  They rubber-stamped nearly everyone put before them for government positions, no matter how unqualified or opposed to the department, agency, or people they would be supervising or making decisions about.

-Need a Secretary of State, America's chief diplomat?  Well, what about a man whose only experience is as CEO of a huge oil conglomerate, without a diplomacy background? 

-a Secretary of Education?  What about a woman whose only experience of education is through private schooling and anti-public school activism?

-a Director of the Environmental Protection Agency?  What about a man whose political career was engaged in fighting the EPA on behalf of fossil fuel and other polluting companies, and by the way denies science?

-a Secretary of the Interior?  How about someone who sort of cares about the natural lands of his own state, but anyone else's, not so much?

-a Secretary of Labor?  Maybe a person who opposes unions and anything that will help workers?

-an Attorney General, the head of our justice system?  What about someone known for his racist and misogynist views, who is OK with police brutality and militarization?

-need a Supreme Court justice, not one nominated by that last president, who of course, was not a legitimate president?  Why not another ideologue, someone who does not have to think about his decisions, but simply has to think of what would be best for people like him?

-a bunch of judges for the Federal Courts?  How about some of the least qualified, mostly white men, around, especially ones who don't even know the law related to the court they would serve?

-a head of the Federal Communication Commission?  How about a man who has close ties to a large communications conglomerate that wants to control the internet, who opposes "net neutrality"

The Senate should be ashamed!  They should feel guilty that they have put so many Americans at risk, but do they, not a chance. 

Millions of Americans wrote, protested, and called to tell their representatives they did not want the recent tax bill to pass, but those Americans were ignored so Republicans could get a victory.  And, aha, they got away with giving the biggest cuts to those least in need of them.  Who will pay?  The Congress is now preparing bills that will cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as many other programs that serve the middle class and poor citizens in this country.  Where is there shame?  They have none, so the lies they tell themselves and their constituents are only a minor flaw.  The bigger flaw is that they are beholden to the money that they have made while in office and the money that will help keep them there. 

Admittedly, some Democrats are also beholden to the big money, but they have, so far, mostly felt enough shame they could stand against the appalling legislation brought before Congress.  Will they continue to stand firm?  That is unclear.  A vote to continue funding CHIP, the health insurance for children of working-class families, and DACA, the "Dream Act" among other bills will be coming up soon.  We'll see where they stand.  We know MANY Congressional Republicans have sacrificed their humanity for some kind of victory.  Let's hope this disease is not contagious.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


by Ruth A. Sheets
Sexual harassment has come to the fore this year, probably at least partially because the current occupant of the White House has credibly been accused of and has admitted acts of sexual harassment.

Individuals and groups are rushing to jump on a sexual harassment policy bandwagon.  The noise and pseudo-excitement is sweeping up a lot of people, many of whom have made comments or have touched someone in a way the touchee did not want or appreciate.  Often these take place between people whose level of power vary greatly or where one of the people has at least some level of control over the other person's livelihood.

It seems to me any sexual harassment policy MUST take into account levels of harassment.  Touching someone does not automatically mean sexual harassment.  Making comments that are "off-color" does not necessarily mean sexual harassment.  I am so sick of people "coming forward" with claims for things that can happen in ordinary conversation, particularly with someone who is generally demonstrative.  One act like this does not a sexual harasser make.  However, repeated such acts, that's a different story.

The process should begin with training in this area for everyone.  Then, there must be a graduated level of types of harassment from infrequent unwanted comments to  touching in a "Sexual" manner to lack of promotions for women unless they succumb to advances, to actual rape or assault.

Lately, though Democrats are acting as though all sexual harassment is the same.  No matter what the act, it requires the "perpetrator" to resign in disgrace.  This is absurd!  A casual touch, a comment in passing, touching the thigh of someone sitting next to one in the excitement of a stimulating conversation  don't come close to demanding sexual favors for promotions, career opportunities, money, or any other material or other gain.  And, they are not even in the same league with rape or attempted rape.

It is exciting that this issue has resurfaced for the general public.  It was out there in 1991 with the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings when Anita Hill came forward to report an ongoing pattern of harassment on the part of a man who would be sitting on our nation's highest court.  She was only believed by women who had experienced the same kind of harassment.   Even many of them thought this was just the way of life and should not have been brought up.  Thomas was voted into the position he still holds more than a quarter of a century later.

It would be great if the current movement were to stay front and center, but people are already getting fed up with it, and I mean women, not just the men who keep the sexual harassment going.

Most people recognize the differences in levels of harassment and, like me, don't want legislators, particularly Democrats to rush to "do something, anything."  Sometimes when Democrats acknowledge a problem, they jump on it with both feet and want to immediately purge the problem and all perpetrators from their ranks, like some kind of religious mission.  In an undemocratic manner, they drive out people who do care and could learn and practice more appropriate actions in their lives.  Heck, the accusations have only been in the public court, not in the "real" courts or even before any kind of board that can help everyone work through what actually happened.

The need to work through what happened is essential if we are to have any kind of uniform understanding of the levels of sexual harassment.  How did a particular situation arise?  Are there political or other reasons an accusation was made?  Is what happened actually a crime?  Have apologies been made and accepted?  Will either party have to be in a working or social situation again?  Is the harassment a pattern or a one-time thing?  What can other women (or men) do to recognize when what is happening to them is sexual harassment?  Are there ways to avoid the situation? 

Without transparency, sexual harassment becomes a "she said, he said" situation and the victims don't get the full story out and the accused does not get to either explain or defend his/her position. 

Clearly some sexual harassment is a crime and needs to be addressed through our judicial system.  rape, attempted rape, assault, pedophilia, threats, and other acts are truly crimes already on the books.  What a good policy can do is address in a fair way the "lesser" acts.  What is a realistic response by an organization, by persons within that organization?  Should there be laws regarding specific acts described as sexual harassment?  What steps need to be followed to see that accuser and accused are heard?  How should issues of power in relationships related to harassment be addressed?  What kind of training in the workplace and other sites actually improves conditions?  These are all important considerations and will take time if we are to make effective sexual harassment policy.

Democrats MUST be involved in the process, but not pretend that driving their representatives out of office without some kind of due process is OK.  It isn't.  Dems must stop playing "holier than thou.  Republicans and Independents are just as involved in harassing, perhaps even more.  So, when Dems try one of their own in the court of public opinion, with no formal means of explaining, They are enabling the public to think it is only Democrats who are sexual harassers.  That is simply foolish and shows Democrats feeding on their own and gives Republicans victories they don't deserve. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


By Ruth A. Sheets

I just finished reading the book "The Seamstress" by Sara Bernstein.  It is one of the most disturbing books I have ever read.  I nearly stopped reading it numerous times.  I read it as an audio book and the reader's storytelling voice made it all seem almost normal by the end.  What was normal, the experiences of a young Jewish Romanian woman, a victim of the Holocaust. 

As I read, the old question kept surfacing, How could this happen?  How do whole groups of people lose their humanity while they are working hard to destroy the humanity of others?  Do the perpetrators realize they have lost their humanity?  Is there any way to let them know what they are doing in time to save them and everyone else from the horrors to follow?

In the memoir, a young girl, her friends, and a multitude of Jewish women are brutalized, starved, forced to work as slaves, deprived of all dignity, herded like animals because of religion.  Christians performed unspeakable acts on people they did not know just because they could.  They had the power of the state behind them.

The hardest part to read was just how slowly and methodically it all happened to Ms. Bernstein and her friends and family.  Pay was cut, jobs became harder and harder to find if you were Jewish.  Christian citizens of Romania and Hungary had no problem hurting, spitting on, and otherwise humiliating people they thought were Jews.  They restricted where they could live, where they could shop, where they could go.  The Germans had not even entered these countries when these actions were happening, so they can only be indirectly blamed for the way things got started there.  Much of the brutality was home grown in Hungary and Romania.

By 1942, life even in the cities became nearly impossible.  People were arrested and accused of spying, when they were actually charged with being Jews.  The military was everywhere and if they happened to shoot someone, well, that was only a Jew, so who cares.

The labor camps where thousands were driven by overwork to their deaths, then the concentration camps where millions were starved and murdered are so hard to imagine because there has been nothing like them.  The Germans and other leaders built upon each other to devise more and more horrific acts to use against their captives while they pretended they were just doing their duty.

I have read other memoirs of the Holocaust, but this one was the recollections of a woman.  Had I been born in a different time and place, it could have been I who faced the horrors of watching her sister shot in front of her, watching women beaten to death for singing, seeing the bodies of dead and dying women tossed onto piles to be carted away.  The author was 44 pounds when rescued in 1945. 

I know many conservatives don't like anything they do or say being compared with the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s in Europe, but I am seeing clear parallels.  We Americans are told "That could not happen here.  No one would allow it."  Having read this woman's story, I am not so sure.  It came on so slowly most people didn't even recognize what was going on until it was too late to do anything about it. 

A nebulous anger about jobs and working condition led Christians who felt entitled to good work at a decent wage needed someone to blame.  For centuries, Jews had provided fodder for their hatred.   How were Jews responsible, just by existing.  It was easy to target Jews in small communities, but more challenging in cities where there was more education and more religious mixing.  Begin limiting their rights, a bit at a time, make it difficult for them to earn money or have businesses.  Call them "Christ Killers," so you are excused to do whatever you want, in the name of Christ, whether you were actually religious or not.  See Jews as foreigners with no right to be in the country.

Some people in power in our country work hard to limit the rights of those they feel are beneath them, perhaps even inferior to them.  They have helped to create fear of people of color, a disdain of women, resentment of the poor - the takers, a belief that their religion is the only true faith and that one religion in particular is filled with terrorists.  They glorify the military, no matter what it does. 
They champion a kind of American nationalism that leaves many in our nation and the world vulnerable.

Immigrants are bad, except my ancestors "who came here the right way."  These folks are OK with incarcerating children for life, if they are of the feared groups.  They will deport the parents of
American citizen children just because they can, they are illegal immigrants, you know.  Racists and sexists are "fine people" and we have to protect our culture and its statues.

Remember, America has had its own concentration camps during World War II when more than 100,000 Japanese Americans were interned for being Japanese.  We still have Guantanamo which can hold a lot of people in a place that could easily be closed off to all inspection. 

Is this how it begins?  Is this how it happens?