“History Will Judge the Complicit”

The above is the title of an article by Anne Applebaum in the July / August Atlantic. She draws parallels with what went on in the Soviet satellite states, particularly East Germany, and in Vichy France. The pattern is being replicated, to a degree, in the United States by Republicans in Congress, each of whom has rationalized why they are not betraying America by supporting Trump and enabling him to remain in office.

It’s hard to believe that sliding from democracy into autocracy, plutocratic kleptocracy, or whatever you want to call it could happen in the U.S.A. But it’s clearly in process, and it’s by no means certain that it can be reversed. Applebaum observes that once certain behaviors become normal, people stop seeing them as wrong. Trump becomes more and more outrageous at such a fast pace that the course of events become a blur. What was once unthinkable becomes the norm.