To the Editor:
Those of us who watched the invasion of our nation’s Capitol were horrified, but many commentators have reported it was shocking but not surprising. Many who watched Donald Trump campaign and “govern” didn’t have to be warned that something like this might happen. I have followed the growth of fascism in other countries since my pre-teen years. Political change doesn’t happen quickly. Authoritarians need to dehumanize their “enemies” first. I have seen this personally as many in my grandmother’s Jewish family were killed as a result of the work of authoritarian rulers.
In New Hampshire, Dawn Johnson, a newly elected representative to the New Hampshire legislature from Laconia, posted an article on social media from The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi publication. (Recovered from http://indepthnh.org/2020/12/14/sununu-condemns-rep-johnson-neo-nazi-defends) “[Andrew] Anglin [the article’s author from The Daily Stormer] has said his goal is to use the Internet to normalize his far-right ideology so that it is acceptable to most mainstream people.” Johnson has removed the posting and issued a public apology. I shudder to think that she is also on the Laconia school board.
Others in New Hampshire made the news as participants or supporters of the domestic terrorists who travelled to Washington for the pro-Trump demonstration. According to numerous media reports, Thomas Gallagher of Bridgewater, N.H. was arrested for non-lawful entry at the Capitol Building. Also, the police chief of Troy, N.H., David Ellis, attended the right-wing Washington demonstration, according to New Hampshire Public Radio. And a former Republican candidate for the Sullivan County Commission, Jeremy Harrell, said that he “is proud of people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.”
While people might have legitimate reasons for supporting a more conservative ideology than I would, I think we should all agree that denigrating groups like Blacks, Jews, Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, women, and the disabled has consequences that few of us would support. There is a demographic and political change happening in this country. Let’s welcome and cheer it!
We couldn’t agree more: demographic change will eventually sort a lot of this out—provided that global warming, pandemics, and nuclear war don’t kill us all off first. As you say, though, until that time comes, it’s best to keep a sharp eye out for Nazis!