Special Political Series – Part 4: Waking Up to the Potential of an American Dictator

Waking Up to the Potential of an American Dictator - Special Political Series Part 4Welcome back to The Missing Conversation for the 4th installment of this Special Political Series. The election is just weeks away and the stakes have never been higher. If we do not attend to the deceptions, denial, and angry provocations that threaten our democracy, we very well could lose our fundamental way of life. Robert and Dave ask you to hear the call to action in their passion for passive Democrats, Republicans that are not in the MAGA group, and Independents to light a fire in your bellies and wake up from the denial of the reality of this crucial time. Violence, fear, anger, and denial have the power to condemn our world to devastation.

Robert points us to the past to illustrate what is happening currently and the potential outcome if Trump and his authoritarian agenda continue to increase in power. Mussolini simply had to threaten violence and the powers of Italy acquiesced to his demands. In essence, that is what is happening now. In the episode, Robert points out the many ways in which this has played out. Trump’s agenda will not support you and your family. He will support wealth, domination, control, lies, elimination of truth, science, our country’s protection, and ultimately,  democracy itself. The degree of intimidation is unthinkable and unspeakable. The Secret Service had to stop Trump on his way to join the insurrection even though he would be violating every aspect of democracy. Trump has a long history of encouraging violence as a staple of his political rallies. These ongoing threats have taken the place of disagreement and discussion. What was before simply passionate disagreement is now a death threat. Robert and Dave hope to motivate you to get out to vote and inspire others to do the same. If there are enough of us, this movement can be stopped before it can cause more harm and violence.

Mentioned in this episode
The Global Bridge Foundation

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Announcer (00:00):

The Missing Conversation, Special Political Series, Part Four.

Robert Strock (00:04):

Can you pause for a second and look at history: violence, fear, anger, and denial has the power to condemn our world.

Announcer (00:18):

In this podcast, we will propose critical new strategies to address world issues, including homelessness, immigration, amongst several others, and making a connection to how our individual psychology contributes and can help transform the dangers that we face. We will break from traditional thinking, as we look at our challenges from a freer and more independent point of view, your host Robert Strock has had 45 years of experience as a psychotherapist, author, and humanitarian, and has developed a unique approach to communication, contemplation, and inquiry born from working on his own challenges.

Robert Strock (00:56):

I truly hope that you have joined us for the three last podcasts that have been going into the same theme as we’re gonna go into today. And I welcome you back to The Missing Conversation. We’re gonna continue our series about the importance of voting in the midterm election that is just weeks away. In the last episode, we explored the part of the road to radicalization that MAGA Trump has introduced into our politics and way of life. We are infected as a country, and if we don’t attend to this affection, we could very well lose our fundamental way of life. This isn’t new, we’ve all witnessed this one way or the other. Today, we’ll continue to focus on this infection and more specifically on the deceptions, denial, and angry provocations that threaten our democracy. And I wanna be really clear that underneath the passion you’re going to hear is a plea for passive Democrats, Republicans that are not in the MAGA Republican Group, Independents. It’s a plea to see that our democracy is truly in danger. So I ask you, please don’t lose the message when you just listen to the passion. I’d like to start off by introducing Dave, partner at The Global Bridge Foundation and my best friend for over 50 years.

Dave (02:33):

Robert, Thank you. I have to confess, these are provoking a lot of feelings in me. These are all at once, uh, so important and just at this stage of my life so painful to see that our country, and who we are, is faced with this circumstance. It is almost unthinkable. I never in my wildest imagination, even hallucinations, could have seen what we’re facing today.

Robert Strock (03:03):

You know, as you say that, and I talk about it later, it makes me think of imagining a TV show happening 10 years ago that had the reality of what we’re going through right now, including Putin, including Trump, the presidency, all the lies, all the deceptions, all the threats to our democracy, all the threats to our world. And there’s no way in the world it would be popular. It wasn’t formed. Sure there would’ve been that percentage, that small 20% of hardcore people, but even they wouldn’t believed it was possible. They would’ve wanted it, but nobody could have fathomed that it could have been this far along. So I think it’s important to reflect that we’ve changed as a people in America, overtly in what we believe what was possible in the last 10 years. So Rachel Maddow set the stage historically a few weeks ago in an incredibly effective and eloquent way.

She started by showing us that almost exactly a hundred years ago, tracking the rise of power of Mussolini in Italy, and tracked it through Hitler and eventually to the past 70 years or so in the United States where authoritarian trends were on the rise. And this is a key. Mussolini simply had to threaten violence and the powers in Italy acquiesced to his demands. In essence, that’s what’s happening now. Trump is threatening everyone. MAGA Republicans are threatening everyone if they don’t kowtow to his demands. And there’s a lot of quaking and caving, and we need to see this is not different than what she was starting to outline. Can you pause for a second and look at history? It’s almost unfathomable to go back, like she did, and see that all Mussolini had to do was get a military support to completely overwhelm Italy.

And they just basically put their arms down. There was no fight. Violence, fear, anger, and denial has the power to condemn our world to devastation. As she poignantly said, their goal—and I include MAGA, Trump, and even a good part of Republicans, but not the majority—is not to serve or do things for those who elect them. It’s power for power’s sake. Now, to me, this was actually an understatement and deserves elaboration. It’s not only power for power’s sake, it’s domination of your life. You need to take it personally. If you’re supporting him, he will not support you and your family. He will support wealth, domination, control lies, elimination of truth, elimination of science, elimination of our country’s protections, elimination of democracy, elimination of a lifestyle that offers any possibility of living the life that many of us in America are already living. The degree of callousness, the degree of intimidation is unthinkable, unspeakable.

Even as I speak about it, I feel like I need to scream it. And I know I can’t reach very far. I’m hoping that your passion is joining the passion. If you aren’t fired up in the belly, then you’re not being reached. What she outlined was a brilliant portrayal of us being pre Mussolini and right on the verge of catalyzing a trend that may be irreversible. It’s important to realize or try to get a perspective that a lack of involvement on your part is unwittingly hurdling us toward a power that truly doesn’t give a shit about you at all that cares almost dominantly or maybe even totally about its own good, its own wealth, its own control, its own power, its own authority over your life.

Dave (07:41):

It is so ironic, coincidental, whatever the right word is, that today is the day of opening arguments into the Oathkeeper trial for seditious conspiracy, that these people brought weapons, organized, attacked our capital and believed, truly believed that the call to arms would come from Trump. That he would in fact support them by voicing his support and invoking the insurrection act and legitimizing their militia, which of course he didn’t do. And of course, as he has said in his rallies, I’ll pay your legal bills. And of course he’s not. And this is the latent anger that is ready to pounce with a person like Trump positioning himself as he has and all the people that are moving in the direction. It is so scary and so concerning that it has to be acted upon. It has to be a motivation to get out there and do what, do what we can right away.

Robert Strock (08:53):

Yeah, terrifying. Scarier than scary is absolutely terrifying. We can’t wake up enough. I actually think I’m in denial. I actually don’t think that as fired up as I am, I can fathom what really we’re on the verge of. It’s absolutely uninvisionable. And just to finish what you were saying, most of us have heard that the Secret Service had to stop him on the way cuz he wanted to join the insurrection, but he wanted to show himself up to be there even though he was violating every aspect of democracy. Trump when he was in an office devastated the environment worldwide negotiation, trust in any uniting of science, the State Department, the right to vote, post offices being prepared for the election so that he could have a better chance of being elected, redistricting, supporting the no water or food for people that are waiting in line.

Even though there was a setup and there is still a setup for that to be the law of the land, limiting or eliminating mail-in ballots even though there’s no sign of fraud, even from the Republican judges. These are the facts that need to be repeated over and over again and again, these are only the obvious facts that we knew. Let that in. Trump is so stupid, so arrogant, so full of himself that he’s given us all these warnings that he thinks he can blatantly be a dictator. This is my Attorney General. We don’t need these other departments. We don’t need the generals. The MAGA Republicans as President Biden distinguished from conservative Republicans in a recent speech, which I would say I don’t think he did it enough. I think we need to badly appeal to all possible Republicans to utilize their wisdom and not follow their guts.

And I do believe there are more than we know. I believe that the fear and even probably their awareness of some prior angers and their ability to see the denial and the fear of consequences with their own family being killed, that there’s a part of them that can be awake. And there’s certainly a part of us, when I say us, I mean people that are Independents or Democrats or conservative Republicans that want to present the imperative of not allowing this kind of dictatorship to take over our democracy, as we all know, but have different reactions towards the insurrection. There was actual violence and it’s being very well revealed that it was a well organized coup attempt. The first ever in our country, we see the threats of violence and conspiracies to act them out. Note the prosecution of those wanting to kidnap and put on trial the governor of Michigan for doing her job or just in the past few weeks after a January 6th participant was sentenced to 86 months in prison for attacks on DC police officer Mike Fong, he continued to receive death threats, some of which he has made public.

Senator Lindsay Graham said, If there’s a prosecution of Donald Trump for a mishandling classified information after the Clinton debacle, there will be riots in the streets. You talk about a false comparative, you’re, you’re talking about what Clinton did with what we’re talking about with a attack on a police officer trying to protect our country. You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me. No shame, are you serious. Trump himself, as many of us have let in, has a long history of encouraging violence as a staple of his political rallies. These ongoing threats have taken the place of disagreement and discussion. This is a key issue. What was simply passionate disagreements is now a threat to death. Now all Republicans and Democrats are subject to death threats. Do you not see this? Again, it doesn’t matter whether it’s increasing the fire in your belly to get involved or whether you are a conservative Republican and voting your true conscience and not your prior guts to protect your family from these threats.

If there are enough of you, this movement will be killed. It needs to be killed. We have to stand up against it. We mustn’t stay in denial. We mustn’t be ruled by our fear. We mustn’t let our unconscious anger rule us. In a 2015 Birmingham, Alabama rally, Trump ordered black activist Mercutio Southall—and I apologize if I’m mispronouncing it—to be escorted out after the young man shouted, “Black Lives Matter.” While on stage Trump stated, “Get him the hell outta here, get him outta here, throw him out.” In reaction to Trump’s words, several white men appeared to kick and punch Southall further as Trump’s security removed Southall from the rally, the crowd chanted “All Lives Matter.” The next day, Trump told Fox News, maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. I have a lot of fans and they were not happy about it.

And this was a very obnoxious guy, was a troublemaker and was looking to make trouble. You gotta be kidding, he’s calling this guy a troublemaker? The king of troublemakers calling somebody that is truly protesting, and having the courage of their convictions, and the ultimate troublemaker calling him a troublemaker. Protestor in Las Vegas says, I’d like to punch him in the face. A clear follow up. Follow up after follow up and what are we looking forward to? These acts of violence can never be separated from the example Trump has set, not only for politicians, but for every angry person. Not only white nationalists to take action, but people who are on the edge moving over the edge. He proudly says, as I referenced earlier, where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters. Now most of us, including me, thought he was just speaking dog shit that he was.

He didn’t really mean it. Now it’s obvious. It’s actually an understatement. He can do much more than that. He can support killing hundreds of thousands of people in Ukraine and nobody would think twice about it. Forget about shooting somebody in Fifth Avenue again, be honest about the rationalizations. If you’re part of that group, as I have talked about with you about my Republican and friends, I don’t like everything he does. Well guess what you need to reallocate what he does and look at it and line it up. Line up to 20, 30, 40, 50 things we’re talking about and see if that’s just a personality quirk or if that isn’t the central aspect of his being. Not seeing that he’s pointing toward and longing for dictatorship power, corruption control. No laws that don’t support him. This is creating violence. Big time. Let it in. I can’t even let it in. My passion doesn’t come close to relating to what I really know inside me. It’s just total outrage.

Dave (17:42):

What you’re describing, that’s just a very small sample of what happened in in the rallies and continue in his rallies to happen has gone beyond, well beyond rallies has, become people even before the 2020 election that were, you know, it, it is one specific story about a poll worker, father of three, a bureaucrat, all of a sudden getting messages, second amendment coming after you, these kinds of things. Stalkers going after him because of his Jewish heritage. Antisemitic attacks, messages about bullets and cuts, et cetera. An example, one of many, that make people that are longtime people that have been poll workers not wanna do that job. Who would, it’s a volunteer job. I’m gonna go risk my life for it. People that are now in Congress having to spend campaign funds to get security teams hired to pay for people to guard them because of the threats. Hospitals having to change their websites because their orientation towards helping people with LBGQ issues or trans issues that are allowed in their states are drawing threats against the doctors, the nurses, as I said, it’s, it’s like a cancer and it is spreading and it needs to be treated. It needs to be treated by us getting out to the polls and voting with all of our hearts, Getting people that we know to vote. Supporting organizations doing all the things you’ve been talking about.

Robert Strock (19:40):

Almost all of us know some passive good natured people who believe one voter doesn’t matter. This needs to be millions and millions of one votes that matter in all throughout our country. This has to be the vote of all time where it not only is a wake up to vote, it’s a wake up to wake up. It’s a wake up to participate in life. It’s a wake up to not be a spectator. It’s a wake up to be, have a sense of purpose because not only do we need to win this election, but we need to fight for a lifestyle that is possible to preserve. I ask you, anybody that views this as just a personality trait, can you continue to view this as a personality trait that he has? No, this is him. This is a person that is a Hitler. There have been many that have said, don’t compare him to Hitler.

No, I’m comparing him to Hitler. He absolutely is out for control, and again, as I said in a prior episode, he has a better chance or the MAGA Republicans have a better chance of controlling the world than Hitler does. This is a key issue that we all must face. The dictators of other nations are rooting for Republicans. They are funding elections. This is happening now. If we don’t take a stand, if we don’t get involved, we don’t deserve to live. As far as I’m concerned, we all have to get involved by getting those we know involved. Can you not see this as a Hitler and trait that endangers the world and democracy forever? Can you not see that there’s an incredible unconsciousness, as we’ve talked about, of being a cult declaring everyone else as a cult. Can you not see that they’re unaware of being unaware?

They don’t have the problem of a guilty conscience. They don’t have a conscience. They have themselves at the center of the universe. This is what’s happening. We need to see this as what we are fighting against. This is very similar to an extreme version of the unconsciousness that’s gone on through the years with war and violence having to be the way that we resolve our conflicts. The difference is now it’s come out front. Now we’re in the nuclear age. Now the world can be controlled. Now we can see a world that has no democracy. Now we can see not only our country, but a world that can be owned by massive amounts of dictatorships. We can see the MAGA Republicans wanna be the king of the kings. It’s not clear how the kings of the kings will sort it out between themselves, but it’s clear they wanna rule the world and it’s much more possible now because of the nuclear age and the amount of powerful dictators that have the world being a small world because of communication and the nuclear age. So I implore you to speak to everybody that you know, get out to vote and let this just be the beginning of passion arising in the depth of your being and allowing yourself to see that this can be a blessing to be a wake up for you. All of us need to wake up. All of us need to find our passion, and all of us need to find the voting booth.

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