This will be my final post.
On February 23, 2016, I published my first article in relation to the now finished, and disastrous 2016 Presidential race. [i] I chose at that time to assume a nom de plume, a false name to write under. I chose to do this not out of any fear, but as a statement. The name I chose, Doremus Beadle is an amalgamation of the names of two characters, one fictional, on historical, from two books. Both these characters sounded the alarm when their people were in grave danger. And sadly, both were ignored until it was too late.
The first book, Night, was written by Elie Weisel in 1958.[ii] There is a link to the full text of the book in the footnotes, I highly recommend it. It is a book that changed my perspective on many things. Rebbe Weisel was a Romanian-born Jewish writer, a political activist, and a Nobel Laureate. He was also a survivor of the NAZI death camp, Auschwitz. Night describes R. Weisel’s experiences leading up to and during his incarceration in Auschwitz. Moishe the Beadle was a vagrant Jew, known throughout young Elie’s village who escaped a NAZI death squad by feigning death in a pile of bodies. He comes to the village of Sighet and warns the Jews living there of the impending arrival of NAZI soldiers. Yet even after knowing that Moishe had been deported by the NAZIs, the elders of Seghet refused to believe his story.
“Jews, Listen to me! That’s all I ask of you. No money. No pity. Just listen to me!” He shouted at the synagogue. Yet even Moishe lamented “They think I’m mad,” with tears in his eyes. Within a year every Jew in Seghet was rounded up and after much abuse by the NAZIs and their Romanian Fascist allies into train cars and on the way to the camps.
The second book, It Can’t Happen Here was written by Sinclair Lewis in 1935.[iii] A link to the Gutenberg Projects scan of the full book is below. I also recommend reading it… it is…prophetic. The character, this time a work of fiction, Doremus Jessup, described as “a pretty smart fella but kind of a cynic…” is editor of the Fort Beulah Daily Informer. The story is of the campaign of one Buzz Windrip, an unrepentant corporatist, who gains the presidency and then installs a fascist government. Windrip whose message is basically, “Cure the evils of Democracy by the evils of Fascism!” – at least as Doremus interprets it. Like Moishe, Doremus’s writings about the dangers of Windrip were mostly ignored and poopooed by others… right up to the point that the jackbooted thugs – the Forgotten Men – were marching up and down the streets.
Doremus’s own son-in-law, Fowler Greenhill, M.D., turns coat until he realizes that his father-in-law – an outspoken opponent of the Windrip administration is to be tortured, imprisoned, and executed. The son-in-law does not survive. The kangaroo court orders its Gestapo to “…Just take the bastard out and shoot him.”
The preamble of It Can’t Happen Here reads like a play by play of the Trump campaign – including his upset victory. Windrip too was a gadfly and a puppet, whose master laid hiding in the shadows. Only Lewis’s puppet master didn’t speak with a Russian accent. Lewis was looking into a crystal ball attempting to forewarn of the rise of fascism in the United States… he was simply 81 years too early.
For the nine months I have written, ranted, cajoled, debated, pointed to facts that were readily ignored…. To no avail. Like Moishe and Doremus, you’ve ignored me, even ridiculed me at times. I don’t care about the ridicule, but the ignoring shows your heart. And for that, you’ve lost my faith. I guess I should have expected it, but I ignored the lesson of Moishe the Beadle and Doremus Jessup in favor of hope. My hope was misplaced.
America is – if not dead, then dying. It listened to the Fascist when he said to be sure to vote for him before it died. Me? I have nothing left to give. I have no more fight. I give, you win. Enjoy your fascism, your racism, your bigotry, your misogyny, enjoy it all… I’m leaving. I’m going to go find a place to live where they still value the values the founding fathers espoused…because America does not – and now I’m not even sure it ever did.
[i] Rainer, Todd (as Doremus Beadle), “American Defeatism in the Face of a Fascist Future – The Impending Death of the American Experiment”, Strollingthroughmymind – Mind the Gap. URL: https://strollingthroughmymind.com/2016/02/23/american-defeatism-in-the-face-of-a-fascist-future-the-impending-death-of-the-american-experiment/ accessed: 9 November 2016.
[ii] Weisel, Elie, Night (Translated by Stalla Rodway, New York; Bantam, 1960) URL: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=cHJvZXN1ci51dmcuZWR1Lmd0fGhpZ2hzY2hvb2wyMDE0fGd4OjUyNmU5NzAyZmUxYzQ5NDY Accessed; 9 November 2016