That was going to change America. We were finally going to do something about the ease of access to guns and the damage that we have allowed our recent re-interpretation of the Second Amendment thanks to the NRA has wrought on our society.
And then. Nothing.
Fast forward a couple of years. Another white guy walked into a black church, and he intentionally picked out a black church, as opposed to any other church that may not include African-American worshippers, and shot nine people dead, boom, dead.
That was going to change things.
Two weeks ago, another white guy asked for directions to a Planned Parenthood, walked in, shot a bunch of people, told police on the way out why he was there, that it had to do with “no more baby parts,” then said in court this week that he is a holy warrior.
Of course nothing happened here. Just another crazy white guy.
Last week a dark-skinned American-born Muslim and his wife shot up a health department Christmas party. The male had worked with these folks for years. Classic workplace shooting scenario, except that he and the wife are Muslim, had interest in international jihad, and apparently the guy had been thinking about doing something similar a few years back, maybe with a different target.
This has to change the world.
White guy shoots up a school, another white guy shoots up a black church, a third white guy shoots up an abortion clinic, it’s because we don’t spend enough on mental health.
Muslim guy shoots up a government center, it’s World War III.
Well, in all truth, it’s how World War II got started. Not the Muslim shooting up a government center. But the politician using an ethnic minority as a scapegoat thing dovetails nicely with the story of the rise of a former failed artist to power.
This is where a segment of the Republican base is threatening to take America.
All told, the support registering right now for Donald Trump is a fraction of what he’s getting credit for. The rosiest snapshot of the 2016 presidential race has Trump at 35 percent among Republicans, who themselves number roughly 40 percent of the American population.
Thirty-five percent of 40 percent is 14 percent of the whole. That ain’t a lot.
But that failed artist who rose to power in Germany in the 1930s didn’t need a majority when he rose to power.
Funny thing about power: even in a constitutional system, it’s not hard for the savvy to figure out ways to consolidate it.
If we can give Donald Trump credit for one thing, it’s savvy.
Our Constitution is no guard against a carnival barker who can convince a country in economic ascendancy that it is in decline, that is seeing an outmigration of Mexican immigrants that it is being overrun, that is in more danger from white Christians than Muslims that it is losing the holy war.
Germany in the 1930s at least had the excuse that it was in the throes of economic depression after a decade of suffering following World War I to try to justify buying into the xenophobia that it was being sold by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
What excuse do we have, America, if we buy the hate that Donald Trump is selling us as making America great?
– Column by Chris Graham