Historian Timothy Snyder is promoting his new book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. His interview at Salon is well worth a read, but I think his answer to the first question is particularly useful:
The election of Donald Trump is a crisis for American democracy. How did this happen?
We asked for it by saying that history was over in 1989 [with the end of the Cold War]. By saying that nothing bad could [ever] happen again, we were basically inviting something bad to happen.
Our story about how nothing could [ever] go wrong was a story about how human nature is the free market and the free market brings democracy, so everything is hunky-dory — and of course every part of that story is nonsense. The Greeks understood that democracy is likely to produce oligarchy because if you don’t have some mechanism to get inequality under control then people with the most money will likely take full control.
As someone born after the Cold War, I did grow up with the sense that everything bad was in the past; that the track we were on was one of exponential progress. It’s been a process getting to grips with the idea that period of relative, privileged peace may very well have been just a breather.
These all count as one link because they’re all on the same topic: House Republicans finally making their health-care CliffNotes cruel enough to pass in the House.
- Before the vote, Alabama representative Mo Brooks accidentally let slip the Republican line on health care, which is that good people stay healthy and that bad people get sick (and therefore do not deserve the right to stay alive). Because nobody good has ever gotten cancer ever.
- Here’s an easy way to contribute to the Democratic challengers of the Republicans who voted for this bill. (Your contribution will be split up between several races.)
- Vann R. Newkirk II explains how prosperity gospel influences the Republican attitude towards health care. Spoiler alert: only bad people get poor and sick.
- If the ACHA becomes law and guts your coverage, leaving you to choose between medical debt and death, know that the death option can come with mailing your ashes to the Republican congressman who killed you.
- Repealing Obamacare and replacing it with a moralistic shrug is going to hurt the American economy in so many different ways.
- And the best part? It was all to reset baseline tax revenue so that the upcoming tax reforms could be snuck by the Senate.
But let’s end on a kinder note: a gentleman and his wife loved collecting unique candles. After she passed, he gathered together nine candles they hadn’t finished and, with their son, layered them into one candle as a tribute.