In the spring of 2001, I had to go to a training with the other brand new Child Protection Investigator. Joe and I were hired within weeks of each other and we were force to attend the same computer system training (SSIS).
I hated Joe on sight. He was a retired Master Sgt in the US Army. I am pretty sure he hated me on sight as well. I was his antithesis. I am an out lesbian and a complete lefty.
The dreaded day came and we were off to Crookston. It is about a two hour drive from Walker and we started talking. Pretty soon we came to the topic of politics. I was fairly amazed to find that we agreed on many things. We were both kind of wrapping up the heinous assaults on our Constitution, and came to our conclusions. At the very moment I shouted the right wing caused this, Joe emphatically stated that the left wing were the culprits. Both of us were stunned into silence, and we both began to laugh.
We blew out all of the stereotypes about each other and became good friends. We always had each others back and we worked well together for almost three years. Just before he left the county in 2004, he took me aside and told me that I helped him become a Democrat, and that he was voting for John Kerry. I told him I didn’t do a thing, Bush did everything he could to lose Joe’s vote. He laughed hard. I haven’t talked to him for a long time and I miss him.
One other thing Joe told me has stayed with me over the years. We were talking about who would be used to turn on American citizens, if Bush (or anyone) tried to overturn the Constitution and declare martial law. This has been a concern of mine since Reagan, but that must wait for another diary.
I thought that the military would be used, but Joe disagreed with me. He asked me who has already fired upon American citizens and do so every day. The answer, police and other state and federal domestic law enforcement. Joe was furious that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can come into any home without a warrant, to see how much game a person has in their home, and if they have the proper fishing or hunting licenses. I pointed out that the DEA has similar powers.
This conversation took place before 9/11/2001.
I have been worried since 2002 that bush will create a crisis or take the opportunity of a crisis to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, and successfully complete a coup in the US. I really thought that this would happen in 2004. I have been worried about this lately. Thanks to blues for the heads up on the following.
Check out Naomi Wolf’s website.
I decided to add a bit from an article Naomi Wolf wrote for the Guardian in April 2007 called Fascist America, in 10 easy steps.
From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.
If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy – but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.
As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
2. Create a gulag
3. Develop a thug caste
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
5. Harass citizens’ groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Dissent equals treason
10. Suspend the rule of law
I have not read her books, but remembered this article after reading blues diary at mydd.