It’s the beginning of a new year. Yikes, I hope—like everyone else—that 2021 brings an improvement over 2020.

 Like almost everyone else in Canada, I desperately hope that we have a new administration to the south of us.  OMG, if we don’t have a new, duly elected government to the south we will have pandemonium and outright fascism to deal with on our unguarded border. Unfortunately what the Obama administration has so clearly shown us is that no matter who they elect the US has entirely lost its way as a leader for a just and sustainable world.

 Having just read the 1200 page The Rise and fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer, I am amazed and terrified at the parallels between the buffoon, would be dictator to the south, and the Third Reich’s disastrous leader that left so many dead people while destroying nations in his wake.

 Both Hitler and Trump had/have not even a passing interest in democracy for anything other than a path to absolute power.  The truly terrifying thing is that while Hitler left millions dead and devastated countries in his wake, Trump has access to enough nuclear weapons to make Hitler’s efforts look like a tea party—pun intended. What Obama and Trump have so clearly shown us is that–no matter who leads the US–its pillaging of the earth, its emphasis on torture with no judicial oversight, its extra judicial killings all point to a nation that can no longer lead on the path to a more just and sustainable world.

 No matter how far the Democrats have let down the standards for justice and sustainability, I find it terrifying this latest revelation that Trump has ordered Georgia election officials to “find” him enough votes to overturn Biden’s win in that state. How many other state election officials are being subjected to similar demands?

 It is amazing to me that Trump and his crony Republicans have not considered the devastating consequences that would follow from a jerry-rigged election. Yikes, we would have to leave our borders closed indefinitely to keep the belligerent nut cases from storming north with their vast arsenals of combat weaponry. I don’t mean the military (though they might soon follow). I mean the legions of heavily armed nutty–wackos that roam the streets to the south of us as though there is nothing a little off about taking an AK-47 to Bible study with you.  

 A faked election to the south would unleash so much devastation that it would make COVID seem like a toy game. None of us could begin to guess the extent of the devastation nor what could bring it to an end.

 I have learned to be aware of the universe’s love of irony.  While it was the armed might of the United States that brought an end to the Third Reich what would/could bring an end to the aggressions of a Trump led hollowed out/quasi-democracy?

 What is with the Republican’s continuously court turned down efforts to overturn the election? To any rational person such efforts seem to be without value or merit.  Why does Trump continue to pursue them with so much vigor?

 The ominous answer to that is written clearly behind the lines of the recent join declaration by ten former US secretaries of defense–published in the Washington Post—calling on the current acting Pentagon chief, Christopher Miller, to refrain from any military action to support Trump’s efforts to involve the armed forces in Trump’s schemes to overturn the Presidential election results that clearly designate Joe Biden as President. It is difficult for us to imagine the urgency that has brought these people together to make such a statement.

 All these people–of very different back grounds–would not have come together for such an unprecedented statement if they were not deeply worried that Trump is plotting just such a coup having exhausted all legitimate means of contesting the election.

 But what can we, in Canada, do to forestall these ominous events? It seems time for a history lesson: Early on, stopping Hitler could have been done with a tiny fraction of the cost in misery and lives that was eventually paid. Hitler was able to have so many early successes because the international community had no meaningful commitment to international justice and human rights.

 Today we suffer the same gutting of international commitment to peace/justice and environmental security. Led by the US, the international community has allowed International Court of Justice to be stripped of meaning by exempting powerful nations from its jurisdiction. Under the goading of the United States, only powerless nations are brought before the court which makes the court and its rulings a sick joke. It is just the kind of caving to powerful interests that paved the way for the rise of the Nazis and to is paving the way for uncontrolled extrajudicial killings and torture that has become routine for the United States—whether led by a Republican or Democrat.

 It is urgently time for Canada to rise to its highest calling and take back the mantle of international peace maker and advocate of human rights for all. It is time for Canada to throw off its subservience to the US and remember its once important role in calling for common action, a renewed vision of international justice and human rights—a vision that has been so lost but is our only hope of never again having to go through the horrors that were the rise of the Nazis in 1940s Germany.​

Norm Reynolds