Dear Foundation Members, Friends of the Foundation, and other Citizens,
“In forensics there is what has become known as ‘Godwin’s Law.’ Broadly speaking, Godwin’s Law is that the first side in an argument to compare the other side to Hitler or the Nazis loses.”* But, the existence of Godwin’s law doesn’t mean that Nazi horrors are forever in the rear-view mirror. Post-World War II studies demonstrated that those horrors could happen here, in America. So with due acknowledgement of Godwin’s Law, we also need to acknowledge that we must always be vigilantly on guard against tyranny.
Almost exactly eighty-six years ago today, on February 28, 1933, a National State of Emergency was declared – by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government.** The Hitler State of Emergency was caused by a made-up crisis. The Reichstag, the German Parliament, had been burned down. While the arson was indeed horrible, the perpetrator of the fire seems to have been one member of one faction of the Dutch communist party.*** But, Hitler quickly claimed that the perpetrator was “the communists” as a whole, who were bent on destroying the German government.**** It was the phony communist threat that was the”crisis” upon which Hitler based his decree.
Now, on February 15, 2019 – almost exactly eighty-six years from the date of Hitler’s decree of national crisis – our leader – Donald Trump has declared a State of Emergency based on the phony claim that those south of the border are “invading.”
“The communists” didn’t burn down the Reichstag; and, our neighbors to the south are not invading! Both the Hitler premise for a decree of National Emergency, and the Trump premise for a decree of National Emergency were and are phony! They were and are power grabs by little and dangerous men. Hitler’s decree took away Germans’ civil rights. Trump’s decree is attempting to take away the civil rights of Central Americans’ lawful right to seek asylum in the U.S.; and, Trump’s decree is also attempting to take away our Congressional representatives’ power and right to spend our money how we see fit. Both are abuses of power.
The abuse of power is an impeachable offense!***** Hitler abused his power by declaring a national emergency and so has Trump. The Foundation has called on the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the impeachment of Donald Trump. To our friends on the Judiciary Committee, I strongly suggest that now would be a good time to start that investigation. Now. Before your power is taken by flagrant abuses of Presidential power. Now. Before Trump becomes the Hitler of the 2000s. Now – to save our Republic.
Godwin’s Law is a great guideline for debate; but, it must not obscure historical fact, and the truth that although history doesn’t always repeat itself, it often rhymes – today’s Decree of a National Emergency is rhyming and screaming the events of eighty-six years ago.
*Martinez v. Dept. of Transportation (2015) 238 Cal.App.4th 559.
**https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/…/arti…/reichstag-fire-decree(“ushmm” stands for United State Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia.)