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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/27/21

Georgians Are Waking Up To Governor Kemp's Authoritarian Takeover

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This naked assault on Democracy sets the stage for other GOP-controlled states to do the same

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In light of what Georgia's legislature and Governor Brian Kemp just did to crush democracy in that state, you will want to read what a brilliant reporter wrote in the 1950s about how the Nazis took over Germany. It illustrates what the GOP is doing with vivid detail.

The Nazis corrupted the political system and took it over, bit by bit, gradually drawing the people along with them, and packing the courts with partisans in a way that was shockingly banal and totally resonant with today.

And then, in a relative instant, they changed the laws so it was all irreversible.

You can draw a straight line from Reagan through Bush to Trump, and then to Georgia and Iowa outlawing democracy in their states this past week. We're watching democracy ripped right out from under us.

This was Chicago reporter Milton Mayer's great fear and great fascination, after he got to know real Germans who'd lived through the years of the Nazis.

An American Jew of German ancestry, and a brilliant writer, Mayer went to Germany seven years after Hitler's fall and befriended 10 "average Germans," asking each how the Nazis rose to power in an otherwise civilized nation.

His book, They Thought They Were Free, is his story of that experience. Intertwined through it first published in 1955 are repeated overt and subtle warnings to future generations of Americans: to us, today.

In Georgia yesterday a voter suppression bill was passed that functionally hands to the Georgia legislature the power to decide who won elections in that state, regardless of how the vote turned out.

It was introduced into the House, passed the House; introduced into the Senate, passed the Senate; sent to the Governor and signed by Governor Brian Kemp...all in less than one day.

Mayer quotes one of his German friends as describing a similar process:

"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security..."

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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