Every time I think we've reached a new low with POTUS 45 he just has to dig a little deeper. Today's new depth was reached when Trump called Democrats "treasonous" and "un-American" for refusing to stand and applaud him during his State of the Union speech. Wow. I honestly can't imagine anything more genuinely un-American than being told you're un-American for disagreeing with a genuinely deplorable human being. This is Stalinism in it's most pure and recognizable form.
What is Stalinism though you ask? Right now it's something we should all be studying very closely, because it is the new and dangerous territory that American democracy is inching toward with each passing day. Joseph Stalin is one of history's most infamous men for a variety of reasons, and became so as the both the General Secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union and Premier of the U.S.S.R. from 1941-1953. The philosophy of Stalinism was to quell political dissent by force. "Enemies of the state" disappeared off the streets with no warning. There was no such thing as freedom of speech or freedom of the press. Intellectuals routinely feared for their lives. If you didn't routinely and loudly profess your love of the state and idolize Stalin as the supreme leader, your loyalty could be question and you could be branded as treasonous. Punishments for treason were swift and merciless.
The fact any of this sounds familiar to anybody who studied world history while listening to Donald Trump's remarks should be a very serious cause for alarm. Even though Senator Mark Warner has said there are "red lines" Trump can't cross that would precipitate a Constitutional crisis, it's the opinion of this editorial's writer that he already crossed numerous red lines long ago. Referring to people with dissenting opinions to his own as "un-American" and "treasonous" is only the latest of those red lines, but in many ways it may be the most disturbing. This is the epitome of polarizing the electorate. He is deliberately creating a cult of personality around himself (see Joseph Stalin) and speaking of loyalty to him above all others (see Joseph Stalin) and encouraging those loyalists to seek out dissenters (see Joseph Stalin) and punish them for being treasonous (see Joseph Stalin) against him.
This is what the future of the United States of America looks like if we don't put a stop to the Commandant-in-Chief before he labels anyone who disagrees with him as "enemies of the state" and sics the full power of the federal government on them. Let us remember the powerful words of the Protestant pastor Martin Niemöller: "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me." This is our future. If we don't speak out now there won't be anyone left to speak at all.