I stopped watching Chernobyl after the first episode because a lifetime ago, I was a serious physics nerd and everything they were saying was absurd about the levels of radiation. Last night we watched the other 4 episodes and I thought maybe I might try and push the rock up the hill again and maybe open some eyes about where we are right now in this truly dystopic Orwellian nightmare.
J. Robert Oppenheimer was a particular hero to me as a teen because he was so brilliant and accomplished the impossible in just 18 months. If you have not read American Prometheus, I highly recommend it because it details a time when we had a government of imbeciles running around with their hair on fire about communists who threw people in jail who wouldn't admit to that old drunk McCarthy that they were communists.
Like all demagogues, McCarthy thought he was the lone arbiter of who was and who wasn't a patriot and he rose to such prominence because he was willing to lie about anything to make his baseless allegations. But Joe McCarthy was no patriot nor was his principle henchman Roy Cohn. They used the collective paranoias of stupid people to manufacture a crisis that did not exist. They destroyed lives and relished doing it to what would be referred now as the 'elitist liberals' like Dalton Trumbo and Oppy.
Oppy was an extremely educated liberal who spoke to other people like him. Some of whom were communists. This made him a threat in the minds of the men who put Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to death. Ethel was entirely innocent but that didn't matter to a public brought to full froth by the hysteria of the day. Those men beating the drums of patriotism could not conceive of a man like Oppy talking to a communist and not be a communist himself, the same was said of Trumbo. Guilt by association was just enough for the likes of Cohn and McCarthy.
"For each lie, a debt to the truth is incurred." Chernobyl
Historians have written heroic books about the great generals of WWII, MacArthur and Patton being the most famous and they do deserve their notoriety but they ignored to a large extent who actually won the war for the allies and that comes down to two men: Alan Turing and J. Robert Oppenheimer. By any measure, Alan was the greatest man of the 20th century.
Oppy is a bit harder to fit into that calculus and he said so himself because he knew atomic weapons would change the world and not in a good way. It's true the Japanese were whipped and that Doolittle could have continued to firebomb Japanese cities until the Japanese came to heel but that is still speculation. After Nagasaki, the war was over right or wrong, Oppy did that and saved hundreds of thousands of American troops.
After the war, McCarthy went after Oppy. He wasn't treated like the hero he was and didn't want to be. He was treated like a Soviet agent and stripped of all of his security clearances because he would not name names. He was threatened with prison, his jobs were taken from him and he was exiled from the community of scientists that *he* built because of the lies of scum like McCarthy and Cohn. Alan Turing didn't fair much better from his government either.
The McCarthys of that time didn't really believe in America at all, he wasn't a patriot no matter how loudly his supporters screamed it. McCarthy didn't think the idea of America could survive 'communist infiltration'. He had no grasp of why communism spread in Russia like wildfire because to his primitive and ignorant mind, he didn't know what it was like to live under a Tsar. 'If it spread there then it can spread here' was the thinking because McCarthy didn't understand or believe in the ideals that founded America. To him, they were so weak and feeble that communism would be preferable than what we had in America. That lie destroyed lives, destroyed families and stands as a black stain on our nation's history.
The thing about liars is that they have to tell bigger and bigger lies to cover for all the small ones and then that debt to the truth comes due. It came to McCarthy when Lawrence Welch lanced the festering boil that was McCarthyism with the truth. Before Welch delivered his fatal blow, he reacted to McCarthy's slander with this:
"And so, Senator, I asked him to go back to Boston. Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is true he is still with Hale & Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale & Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I would do so. I like to think I'm a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me."
Then a moment later, he drew the blade that ended the national nightmare when he murdered McCarthy with the indelible truth:
Mr. Welch: You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?
McCarthy and Cohn of course had no decency. Cohn delighted in going after homosexuals and destroying their lives while being a homosexual himself. They were the most vile hypocrites the world had ever known. McCarthy incapable of feeling shame, drank himself to death after he was humiliated as the coward he was.
I sat there thinking about this as the full horror of what happened at Chernobyl unfolded. The entirety of the Russian government played out exactly like Trump having all of his cabinet praising his greatness, it was vulgar, it was disgusting. Then I remembered all the other dictators I've read about in history who surrounded themselves with sycophants. Martin Bormann being the reference example who served Hitler so faithfully. Bormann was a slack-jowled imbecile who was barely qualified to lick stamps but nobody in the Reich dare cross the thug because he was Hitler's favorite yes man.
I remember that day Trump's cabinet took turns telling Trump how honored they were to serve under his super terrifically awesomeness and that they were but boot-licking sycophants. Pence really had to lather up Trump's ass before he could muster a vulgar enough kiss to satisfy that insidious git. I sat thinking that this was the lowest moment in the history of the Republic.
What separated them from the Soviet Central Committee under Gorbechev? Not a damn thing. They *all* lie for a living and kiss the dear leader's ass. It was the most unAmerican thing ever done in the White House. It was sheer cowardice by each and every single one of them. Any man who had a lick of honor would have walked out in disgust to save what's left of their honor. The *only* one who got out of this administration with any was General Mattis.
And you can see this cult in all of its terrible glory if you just glance at any of the stories coming in from visitors to the concentration camps now open on United States' soil. There are zero testimonials from any objective visitor who says conditions are fine. Last Thursday a government Lawyer argued to 3 appellate judges that giving toothbrushes and toothpaste were luxury items not to be afforded for the $700-$800 a day American tax payers are paying private prison companies to house these thousands of misdemeanor offenders. Republicans have strenuously objected to calling these 'detention centers' 'concentration camps' because nothing offends cult members like the truth about what they are really do. Ask any Scientologist if you're not positive of this undeniable fact.
Children are living outside, locked up and fully exposed to the elements without food and running water because the man who concocted this policy is a 32-year-old psychopath named Stephen Miller who has devised schemes to strip parents of their children as a 'deterrent' from coming to the US. I remember wondering as I read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich how so many people were duped into voting Hitler into office and here I am now witnessing it.
I see right wing lunatics actually calling people 'Antifa' as if it is some slur. "Antifa'' meaning 'anti-fascist.' They seem wholly unaware that Americans won a war against fascism because we were all against what the Axis was doing. What the nazis knew was that they needed to control the press. What modern fascists like Rupert Murdoch have learned is that it is easier to control the masses with propaganda and to do that is to obey Goebbels' edict to 'accuse the other side for what you are guilty of.' This is where Republicans are now.
There is no Republican party anymore. It is a cult of personality except it isn't Hitler being exalted by the hoards of half-literate morons, it's Trump. Trump lies to them and they breath in his lies and they repeat them with a religious fervor because none of them are aware that for each lie they tell, they incur a debt to the truth. In Germany and in Chernobyl, those lies always caused death on a mass scale either through incompetence or outright evildoing.
Here we are at a crossroads in American history with an ignorant electorate chanting 'lock her up' as if that's something that's going to happen. The Secretary of the Treasury is openly breaking federal law in full few of all these miscreants and the cult doesn't care. The Attorney General of the United States, the highest law enforcement official in the land openly committed perjury before the US Congress. The President has committed election fraud, violated the emoluments clause and committed more acts of obstruction of justice than can be counted in full view of the American people and the sad fact of the matter is nothing is being done about it.
The Republican cult doesn't even want to pretend like they don't want the Russians involved in the next election. They've done exactly nothing to safeguard our elections from Russian interference because they are so easily bought by Putin that they aren't going to do a damn thing to stop someone who is trying to help them win elections.
I don't know what it takes before the people take to the streets but if opening up concentration camps isn't appalling enough to put the spurs in then nothing will. This is how it was done, the chipping away of normalcy with outrage after outrage until insanity became the new normal because as Voltaire so presciently said, 'anyone who can make you believe absurdity can make you commit atrocities.' Little children are locked up outside in the elements without so much as a blanket to protect them. They have no rights to anything because the courts are so overwhelmed with cases now that it will take many years before any of these refugees get a hearing. They're standing children up in front of a judge without a lawyer to defend themselves against imaginary crimes of crossing a line on a rock turning 35,000 mph in a small solar system.
Republicans stole a supreme court seat and they will continue to lie, cheat and steal to remain in power. That's why Mitch has delivered over 100 carefully selected members of the Heritage Society to fill vacant judicial posts because he does not care about our democracy, he cares about power. As many Republicans have said, they only need someone to sign stuff, they don't care who. Trump is perfect for their agenda and democracy has never been on their agenda, usurping it is.
20 years of Murdoch's brainwashing has gotten us to this point and if anyone really believed in justice in this country, the heads of everyone at Fox would be rolling down main street as a lesson to future ambitious propagandists who mean to undermine our nation as that rogue Australian has done more than any other.
To rid ourselves of this seditious scourge is going to take all of us who agree to speak with one voice at the ballot box. It's going to take protests on a scale not seen in the US. Blood is already being spilled in these concentration camps. Edmund Burke's warning that all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing is coming to pass *yet again* and here we are at tyranny's doorstep. How much is enough? What atrocity must be committed on American soil before we get off our sorry asses and start doing something about it?
If you don't think we aren't at war with a very determined enemy bent on destroying our country then you need to wake up to reality before we wake up that one morning like Martin Niemöller did when he said,
"First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
Every single Republican in office right now is an enemy of the United States who are conspiring with our foreign enemies to keep themselves in power. So are the people who vote for them because they are no different than the people who voted Hitler into office. I sincerely hope if you agree with what I have said here that you spread this message with any like-minded people because as of yet, I haven't seen any presidential candidates calling these concentration camps what they are. If we don't start preparing for next November today, we could wake up to another 4 years of Trump. Our nation cannot survive such a reckless criminal administration the likes of this one for another four years.
The nation will be bankrupt and in its death rattle. We can start speaking in unison this Independence Day by squelching this Trump celebration in DC by turning the real patriots out on a scale he can't imagine.
It's time to start fighting and dirty at that while there's still something worth fighting for.
Your very life depends on it as does our future as a nation.