To the editor:
After the election, I turned from Honeybee Democracy to 2017 history bestseller “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the 20th Century (2017).” Author Timothy Snyder anticipated political violence, and laid out the tyrannical components of the Big Lie that in fact led people to violence on Jan. 6.
1. Do not obey in advance. (Tyrants count on the majority doing so.)
2. Defend institutions.
3. Beware the one-party state.
4. Take responsibility for the world.
5. Remember professional ethics.
6. Be wary of para-militaries.
7. Be reflective if you must be armed.
8. Stand out. (One Republican in Park County voted against the wording of the letter. She stands out a little.)
9. Be kind to our language. (Repetition of lies makes them true. Final solutions become mundane jobs. Violent insurrections become tourist visits.)
10. Believe in truth.
11. Investigate. (Reading books rather than scrolling.)
12. Make eye contact and small talk.
13. Practice corporeal politics.
14. Establish a private life.
15. Contribute to good causes.
16. Learn from peers in other countries.
17. Listen for dangerous words. (“We will no longer recognize her” is a childish pout and a direct threat to the democratic process.)
18. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. (Jan 6? Canceling Rep. Cheney?)
19. Be a patriot. (He contrasts patriotism and nationalism.)
20. Be as courageous as you can.
The local Republican leadership understands themselves to be fighting tyranny, but “firing” Cheney? How do these antics work?
They repeat a tyrant’s jargon, reinforcing the Big Lie. She is speaking the truth about the election result and Jan. 6 (No. 10). She defends the institutions of Congress, investigating insurrection (No.s 2, 11). Does the farcical letter silence the majority in local politics whose personal ethics would otherwise resist lying (No. 5)? Let’s restore truth and secure ecological futures for children.
(s) Mary keller