This is a time of institutional failure.

The Republican Party, hostilely seized by a vandal delighting in destruction; the Senate, prostrated by that vandal; the Supreme Court, infiltrated by lifelong appointments from the vandal, aided and abetted by the silent Senate, legitimating partisan drawn election districts; the free press, daily abused by the vandal unable to tell truth from fiction; the presidency, occupied by the thoroughly documented, repetitive lying vandal who attacks allies in world economic and political peace now being deconstructed by that vandal who personally aligns with autocrats from all parts of the world; and, accepted boundaries of law and civil society, trashed by the vandal’s repetitive personal and public exultation of self and violations of boundaries of religious and personal respect for law and others.

To this the vandal has added “voter fatigue,” a supposed public “tiredness” of the conflict in America unleashed daily by the vandal’s chaotic behaviors perpetrated on all of us and causing some of us to call for a “stop to the political nastiness” of those who speak and act out against the corrupted, corrosive vandalism of democracy patently visible every day.

Americans can disagree about individual policies. Americans should not disagree about autocratic consolidation of power, attacks on truth, violations of the rule of law, claims of “executive privilege” and “executive power,” attempted dismemberment of co-equal branches of government and constant attacks on a critical press, all of which mirror the historic advance to Nazi Germany.

This destruction of democracy is life threatening and morally, legally, religiously, socially and philosophically wrong. Lord Acton, an English historian, said: “Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

It is not “political nastiness” to speak out.

I refuse to be silent.

John Erickson

Brainerd