Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ken Burns: Democracy in danger...

Thank you to Ken Burns for his warnings in addressing the class of 2016 at Stanford University on June 12:

 As a student of history, I recognize this type. He emerges everywhere and in all eras. 

We see nurtured in his campaign:
 an incipient Proto-fascism, 
a nativist anti-immigrant Know Nothing-ism, 
a disrespect for the judiciary, 
the prospect of women losing authority over their own bodies, 
African Americans again asked to go to the back of the line, 
voter suppression gleefully promoted, 
jingoistic saber rattling, 
a total lack of historical awareness, 
a political paranoia that, predictably, points fingers, always making the other wrong. 

These are all virulent strains that have at times infected us in the past. But they now loom in front of us again--all happening at once. We know from our history books that these are the diseases of ancient and now fallen empires. 

The sense of commonwealth, of shared sacrifice, of trust, so much a part of American life, is eroding fast, spurred along and amplified by an amoral Internet that permits a lie to circle the globe three times before the truth can get started.

Watch Burns' commencement address on Youtube:

Or read the full text:

If we elect a president who disrespects freedom of the press and insults women, Muslims, prisoners of war, and others, we may be watching our democracy crumble.  

Our votes no longer count if little dt can buy the presidency by financing his own campaign built on the fears and prejudices of voters who are ignorant.

Asking this inexperienced fool to run our country would be"like asking a newly minted driver to fly a 747," Burns said.

Another full text of the Ken Burns commencement speech:

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