To the Editor:
A month has passed and many of us are still in shock at the riots of Jan. 6. I am getting calls from friends abroad asking how we let it happen. Populism is rising all around the world; I heard international reporters compare the US populism to Erdogan’s Turkey, Bolsonaro’s Brazil, and Modi’s India. Think about it – comparing the USA to developing countries like Brazil and Turkey and India? How did we fall so low?
It is scary to read how Hitler came to power. It was a populist movement due to high unemployment and severe sanctions imposed on Germany after WWI. Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers Party (Nasi-Sozi later Nazi) promised jobs and benefits, then gathered support by telling people it was the Jews’ fault for their plight, suppressed newspapers and radio media and then took it over, jailed reporters, and Jews, and anyone who opposed him and finally, when he had absolute power, killed or jailed the socialists (Night of the Long Knives). It is a process… a process that Trump started in the same way.
Hopefully, a 9-11 type task force will clearly identify the perpetrators and donors and bring them to justice along with those already arrested. But, there is a cancer in the Republican Party and it has metastasized through the entire nation of Republicans. Not all and even not all of those at the rally – but most. There is a delusion of lies due to the misinformation bubble that is self-imposed by most Republicans of consuming only radicalizing extreme television, radio, and internet media. The lies moved the more gullible into action against their own government and against other Americans and even police, who they pledge to support and respect. For those that are caught and arrested, it will damage their lives forever. Most are saying they were called to DC by their president and they considered themselves “patriots”. Many were QAnon believers.
QAnon is a scam. They are selling T-shirts, hats, signs, defense weapons, apocalyptic survival supplies to these people and getting donations. This is an old story – even the claims are old. Hitler told Germans that the Jews were abusing children in rituals, too. Back in the 90’s within the Catholic church, there were a number of Messianic priests who went to foreign missions. My very devout catholic mother-in-law started giving money to one of them, and talking about survival, end times, warning of a plot to put a chip in your arm for tracking. Yes, even that same conspiracy back in the 90’s. It got so bizarre that my lawyer husband told her if she did not stop, he would have her legally declared incompetent and take over her affairs. That stopped her cold. She went back to her regular parish church.
There is an investigative report of a woman whose mother is so involved with QAnon that she cut ties with her daughter. QAnon believers are ill. They are being scammed and taken advantage of. Especially if they are donating money, cutting ties with friends and family, family should intervene. Possibly they could report the abuse to Elder Abuse hotlines in Florida. If severe, they should do what my husband did and threaten to have them declared incompetent and take over their affairs and get psychological help. If they are young and parents are intervening, they could withdraw support systems of money, housing, or other assistance. It is much like a drug or alcohol problem. Do nothing to enable. it. It is time to intervene. It is time to stop the insanity and call out the lies and the scam.
Village of Calumet Grove