Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nazis And Their Demented Paramours The KKK Should Be Condemned By South Dakota's Elected Officials.

     So far the responses of our SD congressional delegation to the events in Charlottesville have been tepid, ambiguous, and cowardly.  Why these three can't bring themselves to condemn specifically the Nazis and KKKers who were the most visible elements in the march to "Unite The Right" shows a dismaying lack of moral specificity.  Congresswoman Noem blathers on about "anyone spreading hate and fear" while Thune called "the hate and bigotry . . . disgusting and unacceptable."  According to the SF Argus Leader, Mike Rounds deferred questions to a written response (that I haven't found) that condemned violence but didn't criticize President Trump's response.  Do our congressional reps know anything about the history of the Nazis and the Klan? Why can't they bring themselves to call out these two organizations for condemnation?  
   I wish this trio of South Dakota Republicans had the same no-nonsense rejection of moral equivocation that Ronald Reagan did when queried about the support he'd gotten from the Ku Klux Klan.  Said President Reagan in 1984, "the politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan have no place in this country and are destructive of the values for which America has always stood."  As to Nazis, Reagan's wartime service (his vision deferred him from a combat assignment) was distinguished by a long list of of anti-Nazi film productions and public appearances that put his status as a popular actor to work in the war effort.  
     More than two thousand South Dakotans were killed or wounded fighting the Nazis and their allies in World War II.  I'm a life member (by virtue of my 13 month tour of duty as a Marine in Vietnam) of the F.J. Willuweit VFW post in Quinn, at the eastern end of Pennington County. Willuweit was killed fighting Nazis in Europe.  I had an employee, long since dead, who fought with Patton in Europe.  He once told me that when he landed at Normandy the bodies floating in the water were so thick that you could practically walk on top of them to get to the beach.  My own dad, who fought the Nazis in the Balkans while serving in the Greek army, was shot and captured in Macedonia in 1942, then subsequently trucked to a POW camp near Dachau, the infamous concentration camp. He spent the rest of the war as a forced laborer, including a stint as a hod-carrier for German bricklayers constructing the ovens in which thousands of murdered Jews were incinerated. 
      That so many of us in South Dakota have direct linkage to the generation that sacrificed much, if not all, in the battle against Nazism should be enough to spur our elected leadership into condemning the latter day resurgence of this hideous legacy.   It really isn't that difficult or politically perilous.  Along with those demented paramours of Nazism, the Ku Klux Klan, they're easy enough to target with the simple, clear, unequivocal and direct language of modern conservatism's towering warrior Ronald Reagan:  They have no place in this country.  Get it, Noem, Rounds and Thune?  They have no place in this country.  

5 comments:

  1. Robert D. Kaplan avers that America, because it was born as a geographic bounty and an ideal, is nothing without both. I swan it's time our congressional representatives did some homework, starting with this: http://nationalinterest.org/feature/americas-darwinian-nationalism-21889?page=show

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sir, you spoke your mind, and our junior senator listened. �� One down, two to go.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well John, you do know that we have more of the same waiting in the wings, don't you? Marty Jackley the would be next governor of South Dakota and current attorney general (really???) along with Shantel Krebs the would be next US Representative from South Dakota and current Secretary of State (really???), have both attended and supported the anti-Islam rallies in Rapid City and elsewhere in SD. We have enough nazi types in South Dakota, we don't need to look elsewhere to languish our disgust.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Many in the GOP must long for the days of beating up Obama/Hillary. Those were the good old days. An investigation here...an investigation there...time well spent. They made a deal with the Devil and payment is coming due.

    Trump has brought the dark underbelly of the GOP into light and for that he deserves something?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Donald Trump has no problem painting Mexican immigrants with a broad brush of rapists and drug smugglers. He has no problem painting black Americans with a broad brush of living in squalor and murdering each other. He has no problem painting Muslim Americans with a broad brush of hating America and celebrating 9/11.


    He does however have a problem with painting people participating in a Nazi, racist rally as racists responsible for the death and injury of other Americans.


    Anyone who wishes to argue these points is an apologist for Trump and the moral obscenity he's cast upon the nation. They are either too tied to him out of hope of receiving a tax cut or out of loyalty to his prior racist acts.

    ReplyDelete