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Never be the first to stop clapping

Posted by Rob Mania on


There is, for the record, no line. Trump crossed “the line” before a single vote was cast in the Republican primary. But If you’re going to make notches on your bed post, this is one of them. Trump has out and out called Democrats treasonous—that was his exact word—for not standing up or applauding during his State of the Union address.

I’m going to share a story with you that comes from historian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book, “The Gulag Archipelago.” It goes like this.

In 1937, Joseph Stalin made an address at a political rally. Stalin ended the speech, and the audience erupted with ferocious applause. But something strange happened that can only happen in a dictatorship: They kept applauding…and applauding…and applauding. The claps went on for five minutes, then ten, then around eleven minutes in, the director of a paper company was the first man brave and stupid enough to sit down. Everyone else, to their own great relief I’m sure, sat down in a matter of seconds.

That night, Stalin’s secret police arrested the man on some bullshit charge. After being tortured into signing a document of confession, the interrogator leaned him and said to him what could not be any more obvious:

“Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”

This is dangerous. You can’t just say, “oh I’m sure he’s just joking.” He can’t backtrack like a nervous teenager trying to backtrack after asking a girl on a date and being rejected. He can’t talk out of both sides of his mouth on this one. You can’t make excuses for someone that wants to force the military to have a “parade” on the streets of Washington, D.C., and accuses his adversaries of treason in the same week. And every single one of his Republican allies that has not spoken out will have to answer, if not to a voter base that has been insulated and poisoned with lies by Fox News, then to history.

Other commentaries by Rob Mania:

Shit We Wouldn’t Put Up With Obama Doing (That Is Somehow OK When Republicans Do It)
Questions for Conservatives
Shit Storm
Trump, the ShitHead
Tweet Attack: Winter is Coming-err, Here!
Evil Optimum and Dead Net Neutrality
I Got Moore For Christmas!
 

 

 

 

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