Message For The New Year: This Is How To Be Your Own Light In The Dark Age Of Trump


(Editor’s Note: This warning was written right after last year’s election. The author, Sarah Kendzior, is an authority on totalitarian regimes. Now, one year into the Trump era, much of what she warned about last November is true and accelerating. Her advice to each of us is central to maintaining our personal integrity and freedom. As tough as 2017 was, 2018 promises to be an even bigger challenge. This is an important read for the New Year and the years to come. – Mark L. Taylor) 

By Sarah Kendzior, Flyover Country Correspondent
The Correspondent (11/18/16)

My fellow Americans, I have a favor to ask you.

Today is November 18, 2016. I want you to write about who you are, what you have experienced, and what you have endured.

Write down what you value; what standards you hold for yourself and for others. Write about your dreams for the future and your hopes for your children. Write about the struggle of your ancestors and how the hardship they overcame shaped the person you are today.

Write your biography, write down your memories. Because if you do not do it now, you may forget.

Write a list of things you would never do. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will do them.

Write a list of things you would never believe. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will either believe them or be forced to say you believe them.

A president-elect who wants to strip our country down for parts

It is increasingly clear, as Donald Trump appoints his cabinet of white supremacists and war-mongers, as as the that are supposed to protect us cower, as are shattered, that his ascendency to power is 

You need to know yourself – right now, before their methods permeate, before you accept the obscene and unthinkable as normal.

This is an American authoritarian kleptocracy, backed by millionaire white nationalists both in the United States and abroad, meant to strip our country down for parts, often using ethnic violence to do so.

This is not a win for anyone except them. This is a moral loss and a dangerous threat for everyone in the United States, and by extension, everyone abroad.

I have been studying authoritarian states for over a decade, and I would never exaggerate the severity of this threat. Others who study or have lived in authoritarian states have come to the same conclusion as me.

And the plight is beyond party politics: it is not a matter of having a president-elect whom many dislike, but having a president-elect whose explicit goal is to destroy the nation.

None of us deserves what’s coming

I am writing this not for those who oppose him, but for those who support him, because Trump and his backers are going to hurt you too.

I live in Missouri, now a bright red state, alongside you. I have faced the same economic misery as you, struggling to stay afloat since the recession, which never ended though many falsely claimed it did. I have the same anxiety over crime and racial tension and corrupt leadership as you. I am an independent, not a Democrat or a Republican, because I am as disappointed in political parties as you.

I am writing down my own good memories, and some of them are with you. I have walked beside you in our state parks, along our flowing rivers, and in our cities and small towns. I have talked and laughed with you in St. Louis, in Cape Girardeau, in Hannibal, in the Ozarks, and in the devastated rural areas in between, while surrounded by your signs and hats proclaiming support for Donald Trump. You do not deserve what is going to happen to you, and I do not deserve what is going to happen to me, because there is absolutely no one in the world who deserves what may be coming. …

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(Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to )