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What Will It Take to Overcome Indifference?
Let's hope we can find the answers while we still have time to make a difference
What will it take to convince the indifferent and unconcerned among us how clear and grave a danger Donald Trump and his autocratic enablers are? His latest Nazi talk to “root out” the “vermin”? The out-in-the-open plotting to make the Justice Department his personal weapon to pursue retribution in 2025 against his alleged enemies? Gleeful planning to round up migrants in sweeping raids, put them in mass detention camps, then deport them without due process? Cold-blooded intentions to exploit the Insurrection Act to deploy the military against domestic protestors? A spokesman who attacks critics by promising when Trump wins they will “crush”’ their “sad, miserable existence”?
Is there such a lack of imagination by the indifferent and disbelieving about what this fascistic plotting portends? Do they not grasp how clearly it ends the American project and likely ensures we’ll struggle to ever see a legitimate election again in our lifetimes? Are they unable or unwilling to see how far Trump and his anti-democratic sycophants are ready and willing to go?
What if Trump promises to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue in broad daylight if they don’t vote for him next year? Would that be enough to persuade GOP voters this man is too deranged to ever regain the levers of power? Or is the sheer thought of such a twisted plan so violent, so crazy, so certain to own the libs—so entertaining to them—that they want to see it all play out on live TV?
How many felony convictions will it take to convince voters on the fence that he really is a criminal loser and a danger to America? Are they ready to vote for him even if he's sitting in a jail cell?
Has democracy and decency so completely lost its sway among many tens of millions of Americans that they are more than fine with tossing it all away? Is there nothing or no one that will finally convince them? Is there nothing or no one who can motivate all the elected Republicans who are complicit in their silence that the time has come to say enough is enough and no more?
What will it take to activate the indifferent…before it’s too late?
Is the desire to find scapegoats so strong and the need to blame others so inexhaustible that many will choose to stay home or throw their lot in with Trump even if it causes them harm? Will tens of millions of voters decide again that it’s not their problem and leave the election outcome to others?
Will Democratic leaders fail to find the messaging that makes clear the price to be paid? Will they stand by while inflation fear-mongering defines the discourse, so that Republicans condemning the price of homes, gas and eggs convince the uncertain to side with fascists in a dim hope life will be better? Can Democratic leaders find the words to let the public know the cost of a second Trump term is a permanent rent in the social fabric, the acceleration of public education’s decline, the end of self-governance and the start of a never-ending nightmare?
Can references to history—the Nazis! the fascists! the 18th century and before!— make a difference? Can descriptions of a future with even more extreme economic disparity and violence and fear penetrate the bubbles and break through the indifference and doubt? Might restating all the desecrations and degradations already witnessed motivate the indifferent and disbelieving among us that this is just a glimpse of what’s to come?
What will it take to make a difference…before it’s too late?
Do you have an answer? Are you willing to take the question to the people you know? Can we all keep asking the question until we find the key? Will we be able to drink our morning coffee on Wednesday, November 6, 2024, the day after the national elections, and say that we did everything we could?
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