Just about the time I was completing my Masters Degree Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn published the Gulag Archipelago. Regardless of the number of papers I had yet to research and write, I felt compelled to read Solzhenitsyn’s 150,000 word tome, which I found fascinating. One of Solzhenitsyn’s most quoted paragraphs is:
“Ideology — that is what gives evil doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others’ eyes…. That was how the agents of the Inquisition fortified their wills: by invoking Christianity; the conquerors of foreign lands, by extolling the grandeur of their Motherland; the colonizers, by civilization; the Nazis, by race; and the Jacobins (early and late), by equality, brotherhood, and the happiness of future generations….Without evildoers there would have been no Archipelago.”
“Self-righteousness” is the Ideology that gives Donald Trump and his followers their long sought justification. Trump has instilled in his followers the ideology that all he says and does is right and all his opponents say and do is wrong. Indeed, trump has them believing that all that trump opponents say and do is evil.
It’s that type of “Self-righteousness” that enables EPA security guards to expel CNN and AP reporters from a public speaking event of the EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt.
It’s also Self-righteousness that allows trump to allege, with zero evidence, that the FBI secretly planted an informant in his 2016 campaign for the express purpose of spying on him. Both the removal of reporters from a public event of a Federal agency and the claims of the President that the FBI was “spying” on him are the same as the events Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn describes Soviet agents committing.
However, the thing I found most alarming in Solzhenitsyn’s award-winning book was the warning he offers his readers. That warning should be especially alarming to all Americans as we watch first hand abuses to civil liberties committed by trump and his henchmen. The warning was “don’t be so self-righteous” to think you would not be participants in a police state like citizens of the Soviet Union or like German and Dutch citizens were during the reign of the Third Reich. For that matter we might say, like Americans were when Japanese Americans were arrested and interned during World War II.
Solzhenitsyn’s warning was basically “all human beings are likely to get wrapped-up in mob violence when their own well-being is threatened by the mob”.
48% of Trump voters say they support the use of Japanese internment during World War II, while only 21% oppose it.
It’s a mob mentality that causes otherwise good people, like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to support trump asking to have the FBI investigated. It’s also what allows evangelical christians to ignore or excuse trump’s Stormy Daniels saga. Some evangelical Christians are even using a biblical comparison to explain their continued support for Donald Trump: the story of King David. As one conservative talk show host put it, Trump and King David were both men “after God’s own heart.”
Paul McGuire and Troy Anderson, authors of the book, “Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon,” appeared on the program “Jewish Voice” earlier this year, and assured the audience that President Trump will not recklessly stumble into a nuclear war because “he is a very restrained man” who knows that he has been chosen by God to save America.
With a mob mentality, like the one trump encouraged his supporters to create and then told them he’d pay their legal fees, the event that happened in the first place may not have been that bad, but what’s worse is that so many people found “reasons” to ignore what was going on. .