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A friend sent me the link to a New York times column by Charles Blow in which he said: “Folks, Kavanaugh is only one soldier, albeit an important one, in a larger battle…Stop thinking you’re in a skirmish when you’re at war.”

Exactly.

If you don’t believe the Kavanaugh hearings were part of a larger struggle – “war,” if you will, against our federal system of checks and balances, you are not paying attention.

Don’t take my word for it. Here is a link to an article by historian Christopher Browning (about which another friend alerted me – I have good friends). (https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/10/25/suffocation-of-democracy/).

It is the most informative and alarming article I have read to date that puts what is happening in our country in its proper historical context. Here is an example:

“In the 1920s, the US pursued isolationism in foreign policy and rejected participation in international organizations like the League of Nations. America First was America alone…At the same time, high tariffs crippled international trade… The country witnessed an increase in income disparity and a concentration of wealth at the top, and both Congress and the courts eschewed regulations to protect against the self-inflicted calamities of free enterprise run amok. The government also adopted a highly restrictionist immigration policy aimed at preserving the hegemony of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants against an influx of Catholic and Jewish immigrants. (Various measures barring Asian immigration had already been implemented between 1882 and 1917.) These policies left the country unable to respond constructively to either the Great Depression or the refugee crisis of the 1930s.”

Change the date from the 1920s to 2018 and his words still describe the America we are living in.

But it is worse than that.

“If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy,” Browning says, “it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could. As with parliamentary gridlock in Weimar [Germany], congressional gridlock in the US has diminished respect for democratic norms, allowing McConnell to trample them even more. Nowhere is this vicious circle clearer than in the obliteration of traditional precedents concerning judicial appointments…Whatever secret reservations McConnell and other traditional Republican leaders have about Trump’s character, governing style, and possible criminality, they openly rejoice in the payoff they have received from their alliance with him and his base.”

These are only snippets of this brilliant article that will shake you to your core, but a must read nonetheless since avoiding the truth is never a good option, especially in a crisis.

The hard reality is that our nation is divided precisely because we are at war over what kind of country we want to have and the future we are creating right now.

Trump Republicans want an America I don’t want to live in.

Their values are not my values. Their attitude toward immigrants, racial minorities, and GLBTQ Americans is not my attitude. Their beliefs they call Christian are not my beliefs.

When you think about it, we actually are in a fight that feels like a war, primarily because everything I believe in seems to be under assault.

What is more, having finished Woodward’s book, Fear, the most obvious and honest conclusion to reach is that Trump is totally incompetent as President, mainly because he has no interest in being informed about anything, nothing, not even the smallest issue.

The man just doesn’t care whether what anyone else says because he believes he is right about everything. His senior staff spend all their time trying to keep him from plunging the world in war, undoing critical alliances, or undermining our economy with tariffs nations discovered in the 19th c. were a bad deal for everyone.

Without a doubt Kavanaugh was a skirmish in a very real war Trump is waging against competence, science, and values.

Christopher Browning describes what Trump is doing as “the gradual suffocation of democracy.”

Nothing says it better than that, which means that the only thing that can save us is for those of us who see what is happening to take up the mantle of responsible citizenship.

November is the first step and it is a HUGE one. To say this is the most important election in our nation’s history is an understatement.

Winning control of the House will stop Trump in his tracks. Even if Republicans retain control of the Senate (and they may not), they will not be able to pass a single piece of legislation without support from House Democrats.

If you have any doubt about how critical that will be, listen to an unlikely voice in support of Democrats winning the House and even the Senate.

Max Boot is conservative scholar, writer, and pre-Trump Republican who serves as the Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

He says Trump is the most dishonest and unprincipled President in our nation’s history, and a danger to everything we hold sacred as a democracy.

He further says that every American who is paying attention to facts rather than Fix News and company must vote a straight Democratic ticket in November.

Let me say again. Boot is a highly respected conservative and former Republican, and he is saying the key to saving our country is for all Americans to vote Democratic in the mid-terms.

And here’s the thing. I believe that is exactly what we are going to do.

In spite of Trump being President, I still believe in the common sense wisdom of the majority of Americans, and I believe that majority will vote to stop the gradual suffocation of our democracy taking place at the hands of Donald Trump on November 6.