The tinderbox

This is the most important thing I have to say about the Trump administration:

Bad policy is something most of us can survive and undo. But what will hurt us for a generation is how this regime responds to an actual crisis, and how they use it to seize power. The overreaction is in progress already, even though nothing new has happened.

The true purpose of 9/11 was *not* to murder a bunch of civilians. It was to get the USA to discredit and impoverish itself in its response. Al Qaeda’s brutal logic was that the innocent people who died were worth it — including roughly 32 completely innocent Muslim victims. Predictably, the USA started two long and absurdly expensive wars, creating a power vacuum that ultimately led to the rise of ISIS. Al Qaeda goaded us into throwing our morals out the window in fear. Torture, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act, the drone war, domestic spying, police militarization, and on and on. We’re still paying dearly for all these things at home and on the world stage.

We’re sitting on a tinderbox right now, soaked in gasoline. The Trump administration has shown how draconian it’s willing to be to people of seven nations who have demonstrated no threat to us. Why are they doing this?

Trump & Co. know that their crackdowns are radicalizing people, and they’re just waiting for someone to do something stupid to justify their full plans. I don’t know what those plans are, but I confidently predict that the things the Trump administration will attempt in response to an actual crisis will change the face of our society. We’re talking about a man who openly admires brutal dictators with no respect for democracy. He needs a crisis to give himself the legitimacy his presidency is sorely lacking.

The bad news is that our current administration is far more frightening and heavy-handed than George W. Bush’s administration. The good news is that we’ve seen this before. We don’t have to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can be mentally prepared for the trying times we know are likely to come.

Never forget this: no matter what crisis inevitably happens, you are one of the safest, freest people in the history of the humanity. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, when the time comes, do not let them seize authority and steal your a big chunk of your liberty in exchange for the feeling of a little more safety.

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