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Democracy in jeopardy in the Rose City

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Federal agents in Portland, Oregon, essentially kidnapped American citizens using unmarked vans and wearing camouflage. Shades of Chile under Pinochet. 

Had those people fought back they might have been badly hurt or killed. White supremacists could do the same thing. That’s why it’s essential that police are identifiable and must have reasonable cause. This is clearly unconstitutional and, I would say, criminal.

President Trump recognizes no limits to his power. He has no interest in governing. He wants to rule. And there seems to be little ability on the part of Congress or the Courts to restrain him. 

Senate Republicans are in thrall to him and House Democrats are stymied at every turn in efforts to hold him accountable. He tells his staff not to testify, to defy subpoenas and refuse to provide information requested by House Committees.

A major concern for me is the willingness of officials and various agency personnel, like the CBP, to follow orders. We like to think that Americans won’t commit atrocities like the Germans did in World War II, but there is a slippery slope and we’re on it. 

Under prior administrations we have invaded another country, legitimized torture, kidnapping, targeted assassinations and indefinite imprisonment. My Lai, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo are names that have an ugly ring now. Police brutality against peaceful protesters makes it clear that the militarization of the police has created dangerous conditions as well. 

November can’t come soon enough but I worry about the Republican’s ability to suppress votes and throw the process into chaos. 

I never thought I’d see the day that democracy in this country was in jeopardy. But I do.

Moss Henry lives in Santa Rosa.

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