The Failure of American Justice

On Wednesday, October 23, two clients of Donald Trump‘s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, pleaded not guilty to federal campaign finance crimes during an appearance in Manhattan federal court.  The two men, Russian-born Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were released on $1 million bonds and subjected to house arrest at their homes in Florida.  According to an ABC News report, the indictments outline a “foreign national donor scheme” alleging the men conspired to circumvent federal election law by funneling foreign money to candidates in U.S. elections.  The indictments detail how the defendants allegedly funneled $1-2 million’ from a Russian donor into the U.S. political system between June 2018 and April 2019.

The two men face charges including conspiracy to commit campaign finance fraud, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and falsification of records.  ABC News reports that  the defendants have “in recent weeks become key figures in the congressional impeachment inquiry against the president,” suggesting that they “played a significant role in assisting the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.  It is also alleged that Parnas and Fruman made a series of illegal contributions that included a $325,000 donation to the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action, and that the two violated the law by falsely reporting the source of those funds.   

The indictments cause us to once again deplore the existence of a double standard in U.S. law enforcement under which Republican-linked wrongdoing is thoroughly investigated and severely punished, while the same violations, linked to Democrats, are ignored, excused, and covered up. 

For example, in July 2008, Barack Obamaboasted that, as of May 31, that year, his contributor base numbered some 1.5 million people, with one-fourth, or $66.25 million of his $265 million, coming from those contributing $2,000-2,300… some 33,200 people.  Thus, the remainder, or $198.75 million, came from some 1.47 million people, each contributing $5, $10, $20… or, as Obama assured us, “whatever they could afford.”    

While it is true that Obama is the kind of guy who could read Bill Clinton’s golf scorecard off a teleprompter and make it sound convincing, simple arithmetic should have told him that $198.75 million cannot be contributed by 1.47 million people in “$5, $10, or $20” amounts.  Each of those 1.47 million people would have had to contribute, on average, $135 to create a pool of $198.75 million… and that simply does not happen.  It has never happened before in American politics and it did not happen during the 2008 presidential campaign.

But then, in October 2008, the Obama campaign compounded their error.  They reported that their contributor base had increased from 300 1.5 million to 2.5 million people, and that the total amount raised approached $600 million.  If we can assume that 25% of their contributions still came from individuals giving $2,000-2,300, that base had grown from 33,200 individuals to 65,000 in a time span of just three months, and the number of individuals contributing modest amounts… “$5, $10, $20, or whatever they could afford”… had grown from 1.47 million to 2.43 million people, each contributing, on average, $185.  Anyone who believes that bold-faced lie will believe almost anything.  So how did they do it? 

In a July 25, 2008, column we pointed out that UBS Americas, headed by Robert Wolf… along with George Soros, one of Obama’s top two bundlers… had been accused of highly unethical and illegal banking practices in six months of hearings by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.  According to an article in The Nation, UBS Americas, a subsidiary of UBS, of Zurich, Switzerland, had advised wealthy Americans, including many of our worst villains, how to shelter funds from the IRS, as well as from prosecutors, creditors, disgruntled business associates, family members, and others.     

In a Statement of Facts in the criminal trial of former UBS executive Bradley Birkenfeld, it was alleged that UBS took extraordinary steps to help American clients manage their Swiss accounts without alerting federal authorities.   For example, UBS advised American clients to avoid detection by using Swiss credit cards to withdraw funds, to destroy all offshore banking records, and to misrepresent the funds received from their Swiss accounts as loans from the Swiss bank.” 

It was the perfect instrument for funneling illegal campaign contributions into the coffers of an unscrupulous American politician.  Putting two and two together, I surmised that a very wealthy individual, or cartel, wishing to influence the election of the president of the United States, could transfer unlimited sums of money through this device.  A U.S. recipient, such as the Obama campaign, could receive hundreds of thousands of individual contributions via Swiss credit card transfers, with fictitious donors… contributors “borrowed” from the campaign’s list of $10 and $20 contributors… being entered on FEC reporting forms by teams of paid staffers working in a “boiler room” setting.  The owners of the Swiss accounts would receive periodic statements indicating: a) debits of varying amounts, up to $2,300 each, and b) offsetting credits provided by the cartel, or by the wealthy, but unnamed, “international financier.”   

For most of the super wealthy, especially those attempting to hide income and assets from U.S. authorities, an unexplained debit and credit of $2,300, or less, would not even raise an eyebrow.  So, who would ever know the source of such contributions?  No one. 

But then, in an October 20, 2008, Newsmax article by Kenneth Timmerman, an article following up on suppositions contained in my July 2008 column, provided details from FEC records that gave substantial weight to my theory.  In studying Obama’s FEC filings, Newsmax found more than 2,000 donors who had given substantially more than their $4,600 limit ($2,300 in the primaries and $2,300 in the General Election).  The law requires that such excess contributions must be returned to the donor within 60 days of the donor going over his/her limit.  However, many of the donors contacted by Newsmax said that they had not been contacted by the Obama campaign, nor had they received refunds.

But those were relatively minor infractions compared to 66,383 highly suspicious contributions, from 37,265 donors, whose contributions were not rounded to even dollar amounts. For example, Timmerman found that an insurance agent in Burr Ridge, Illinois, gave a total of $8,724.26.  He gave in odd amounts such as $188.67; $1,542.06; $876.09; $388.67; $282.20; $195.66; $118.15; and one of $2,300. 

A self-employed Los Angeles caregiver made 36 separate contributions totaling $7,051.12.  An astonishing number of contributions.  Thirteen of her contributions were later refunded.  However, in an odd coincidence those 13 refunds, in amounts such as $233.88 and $201.44, came to an even $2,300, the maximum amount then allowable in any one election.

One contributor interviewed by Newsmax, a retired schoolteacher from Rockledge, Florida, was reported to have given $13,800… $9,200 over his limit.  However, the donor did not remember giving that much money to Obama, nor had anyone from the campaign ever contacted him about a refund.  Of the 66,383 who contributed in odd amounts, 44,410 were in unrounded amounts of less than $100; 15,269 contributions were in unrounded amounts of between $101 and $999; and 704 contributions were in odd amounts greater than $1,000.

Lest anyone suspect that these 37,265 donors either emptied their piggy banks or emptied their pockets and purses periodically and just sent it all to Obama, pennies and all, allow me to suggest something a tiny bit more Machiavellian.  Those 66,383 contributions are the proceeds of foreign currency conversions, smuggled into the country through foreign credit card receipts, and converted to U.S. dollars.  According to a Newsmax analysis, the Obama campaign finance reports contain some 370,500 unique names… a far cry from the 2.5 million contributor base claimed by the campaign.  Of course, when your money is coming in large chunks from offshore accounts, such as hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time from the Middle East and from Third World African countries, then laundered through UBS accounts in Zurich, it takes a bit of creativity to put authentic-sounding names on all of it for the FEC records.

How massive was their crime?  Since the Obama campaign refused to disclose their complete contributor list (they continue to hide the identities of some 2 million donors).  Newsmax estimated that “Obama was financing his presidential campaign with anywhere from $13 million to a whopping $63 million from overseas credit cards or foreign currency purchases.”

On January 20, 2009, we inaugurated a man who should have been impeached before his wife had a chance to measure the White House for new draperies.  But that’s not what happened.  Instead, official Washington gave our first black president a wink and a nod and then looked the other way.  So, can Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Giuliani’s Russian clients expect the same kid glove treatment from the U.S. justice system… even though it is highly unlikely that Trump had anything at all to do with the illegal contribution made by Giuliani’s clients?  Not a chance!

Realizing what has happened to General Michael Flynn, Dinesh D’Souza, Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone… the latter two destined to spend the rest of their lives behind bars for relatively minor offenses… their chances do not appear to be good.  They simply had the misfortune to put their faith in the American system of justice and then to serve openly as members of the Republican Party.  

If our constitutional republic is to be saved, our first imperative is to reelect Donald Trump to a second four-year term in 2020, during which he will be in a position to create a strong 7-2 or 6-3  conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, while adding  hundreds of like-minded judges to our district and appellate courts.  We have no alternative.  We must deliver a landslide victory in 2020.  The only long-term alternative is political, economic, and geographic bifurcation.  We damn sure can’t live with Democrats any longer, but I’d sure like to try living without them.

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College.  He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

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Beggars Can’t be Choosers

Watching the members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) attempting to either exonerate or crucify Donald Trump… depending on which side you’re on… it is necessary to remind ourselves over and over again what this is all about and what is at stake.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early ‘90s, many of the Warsaw Pact nations of eastern Europe have been used as pawns in the endless post-Cold War chess game between NATO and the Russian Federation.  While the U.S. and its NATO allies have attempted to nourish the seeds of freedom and democracy in countries such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and others, the Russian Federation, led by former KGB Colonel Vladimir Putin, has continued to agitate throughout the region, hoping to one day regain its Cold War dominion over Eastern Europe.

One of Russia’s most brazen moves has been the invasion of eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea in February and March 2014.  That incursion set in motion a series of events that has culminated in the current attempt by Democrats to impeach the president of the United States.

The Ukrainians, ill-prepared to withstand the Russian onslaught, appealed to the United States and its NATO allies for military assistance.  Barack Obama, implementing his preferred “whistling past the graveyard” policy for dealing with international troublemakers, sent supplies of blankets and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).  No war-fighting materiel was sent and for a period of three years the Ukrainians suffered heavy losses on the battlefield.

Throughout 2016, the Ukrainians were fully aware that the American people were about to elect a new leader… either former secretary of state Hillary Clinton or businessman Donald Trump.  And although they judged either to be far preferable to the Obama administration, in terms of their willingness to supply anti-tank weapons and other lethal weaponry, they knew that if they were to avoid returning to the smothering embrace of their Russian neighbors, they would have to establish a new bilateral relationship with the U.S.  Their greatest mistake was to assume the truth of what they were reading in the New York Times and the Washington Post… that Hillary Clinton was destined to be the next president of the United States.  Wrong!!

Soon thereafter, when the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) detected friendly signals emanating from Ukraine, a DNC contractor, a Ukrainian American, Alexandra Chalupa, paid a visit to the Ukrainian embassy in Washington.  The purpose of her visit was to solicit dirt on Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, establishing the appearance of a link between Trump and the Russian leadership.   According to the Ukrainian ambassador, Valeriy Chaly, the DNC contractor also sought to arrange for Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to promote the appearance of a Trump-Putin relationship by commenting on Manafort’s Russian consulting activities during a visit to the U.S. during the 2016 campaign.

Ambassador Chaly also stated that, at the time of the 2016 contacts, the embassy knew Chalupa primarily as a Ukrainian American activist and learned only later of her ties to the DNC.  As such, the embassy considered her efforts to be a clear violation of a treaty between the U.S. and Ukraine signed on July 22, 1998, a treaty that obligated both countries to root out corruption whenever and wherever it was found in the bilateral relationship.   

So, how do we make sense of all this?  According to a Real Clear Politics report published on October 4, 2019, it was in December 2013 and February 2014 that vice president Joe Biden was assigned to serve as the Obama administration’s “point man” for U.S. relations with China and Ukraine, respectively. 

On December 2, 2013, Biden flew to Beijing, presumably to formalize his position as “point man” for U.S.-Chinese relations.  Flying with him on Air Force Two was his son, 43-year-old Hunter Biden.  According to author Peter Schweizer in his book Secret Empires – How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, the Bidens returned to Washington just ten days later.  On that date, it was announced that the Chinese had agreed to provide an infusion of capital in the amount of $1billion (later increased to $1.5 billion) to a small private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, which was underwritten by Christopher Kerry, the stepson of former secretary of state John Kerry, and operated by Hunter Biden and his business partner, Devin Archer.  

When questioned about what appeared to be a high-dollar enrichment scheme, designed to benefit the scions of the Biden and Kerry families, and others, Biden responds, unfailingly, that his son has not received a single dollar from the Chinese.  Biden must have learned how to parse words from the King of Parsers, Bill Clinton.  Of course, Hunter Biden has not been paid a single dollar by the Chinese.  But when Rosemont Seneca Partners begins to realize long term profits from their private equity lending activities, the income from those investments will be enormous.   

Schweizer tells us in “Secret Empires” that, just two months after Joe Biden was made “point man” for U.S.-Ukrainian relations, Hunter Biden and his business associate, Devin Archer, were appointed to the board of directors of Burisma Holdings Ltd, a notoriously corrupt Ukrainian energy company.  According to court documents obtained by Peter Schweizer, both men were compensated at the rate of $53,300 per month, even though neither man had any background or experience in the energy industry.

Almost immediately, Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma raised eyebrows in Ukraine and in the Washington’s foreign policy community.  However, nothing was done to mitigate the appearance of a major conflict of interest.  Schweizer tells us that, “Interviews with more than a dozen people, including executives and former prosecutors in Ukraine, paint a picture of a director who provided advice on legal issues, corporate finance, and strategy during a five-year board term which ended in April of this year.”  Those interviewed also said that Hunter Biden’s presence on the Burisma board didn’t protect the company from charges lodged against its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, a multimillionaire former minister of ecology and natural resources… charges of tax violations, money-laundering, and license fraud during the period in which Zlochevsky served as a cabinet minister.

Then, on April 21, 2019, President Zlochevsky was defeated for reelection by Volodymyr Zelensky, a popular Ukrainian actor and TV personality, prompting a congratulatory telephone call from Donald Trump on July 25, 2019.  This was followed by a letter from an anonymous “whistleblower” who charged that, in that July 25 conversation, Trump used the threat of losing $400 million in U.S. military aid to pressure Zelensky to open a probe into possible corruption involving Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.  However, true to his reputation for doing the unexpected or the unconventional, Trump was quick to release a transcript produced by two separate simultaneous translators who listened in as Trump and Zelensky spoke.  The operative portion of the transcriptions quote Trump as saying, in part: 

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.  I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it.  There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation…  I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.  As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine.  Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.”

No reasonable person would describe Trump’s words as being extortionary, threatening, or in any way an attempt at a quid pro quo.  But that is how the implacable Democratic opposition sees it, prompting Democrats to vote overwhelmingly in favor of a series of impeachment hearings, on the basis that Trump had threatened to withhold $400 million in U.S. military aide from Ukraine if they failed to investigate official corruption by a political rival, Joe Biden.

To the contrary, and the argument that congressional Republicans fail to make, is what any reasonable person would conclude.  When a U.S. president speaks with a foreign leader, he speaks first and foremost as president of the United States.  The fact that he also happened to be a candidate for reelection, and that the investigation he requested might damage the political fortunes of a major rival for the U.S. presidency, was merely coincidental.  In requesting an investigation of the Ukrainian business activities of a U.S. citizen, or citizens, Trump was simply doing his job; he was following the dictates of the July 1998 anti-corruption treaty.  

Another aspect of the Trump impeachment farce that Republicans totally fail to exploit is the question of the existence of an anonymous “whistleblower.”  Instead of proceeding from the assumption that the Democrats are speaking the truth when they claim that there is, in fact, a “whistleblower,” Republicans should be going on the offense by questioning whether or not there is, in fact, such a person… or was the whistleblower letter produced by Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of HPSCI, and his staff of anti-Trump radicals? 

If there is systematic corruption in U.S.-Ukrainian affairs, it is not corruption with the Trump family name on it; it is corruption with the Biden family name written all over it.  In fact, members of Congress and the mainstream media are in possession of a videotape in which Joe Biden boasted at a 2018 Council on Foreign Relations conference that he had once threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine failed to fire a federal prosecutor who was getting close to unearthing Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian business activities… a clear quid pro quo.

 Now, just one year later, Democrats are attempting to throw Trump out of office because they support the notion that the Ukrainians should be in a position to receive $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, whether or not they agree to investigate corruption in a Ukrainian energy corporation with close ties to the Biden family.  It appears that Trump is now in a position to remind corrupt Democrats and self-serving Ukrainians of the old adage that, “Beggars can’t be choosers!”

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College.  He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

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Are We There Yet?

When my children were still quite young, we regularly spent a week of our annual vacation with our families in St. Louis.  Needless to say, the 16-hour drive from our home on the Philadelphia Main Line was a long and tedious experience for our two young sons, who shared the back seat with their little sister.  Invariably, when we had covered only about half the distance between Philadelphia and St. Louis, we began to hear the plaintive question, “Are we there yet?”   

What brought that experience rushing back to mind was a July 12, 2016 column by David Brooks of the New York Times, titled, “Are We on the Path to National Ruin?”  In his column, Brooks wrote, “I never really understood how fascism could have come to Europe, but I think I understand better now.  You start with some fundamental historical transformation, like the Great Depression or the shift to an information economy.  A certain number of people are dispossessed.  They lose identity, self-respect and hope.

“They begin to base their sense of self-worth on their tribe, not their behavior.  They become mired in their resentments, spiraling deeper into the addiction of their own victimology.  They fall for politicians who lie about the source of their problems and about how they can surmount them.  Facts lose their meaning…”  Brooks concludes, “Once facts are unmoored, everything else is unmoored, too.  People who value humility and kindness in private life abandon those traits when they select leaders in the common sphere.  Hardened by a corrosive cynicism, they fall for morally deranged little showmen.  And then perhaps there’s a catalyzing event.”

As I read those words I couldn’t help but think that I have never read a more apt or a more devastating description of the Democratic Party, the wretched legacy it has created for itself, and the cancerous impact it has had on our American culture.  And what, I asked myself, could be the fearsome “catalyzing event” that Brooks foresaw? 

What Brooks foresaw in 2016 is now happening in Washington, DC, planned and implemented by truly evil men and women such as former CIA Director John Brennan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and hundreds of other co-conspirators and their socialist/communist fellow travelers.     

Writing for The Jewish Voice in their October 30, 2019, edition, Caroline Glick describes the vast transformation that has occurred in the Democrat Party during the past two decades… a transformation that has made us a vastly different country than we were prior to the year 2000.  She writes:

“Until 2000, the peaceful transition of power in the wake of elections was a feature of American democracy that everyone took for granted.  In 2000, the Democrats shifted.  They refused to accept the election results in Florida that gave Bush his victory in the state… and through it, in the Electoral College… until the Supreme Court ruled that the results were legitimate.  Even afterwards, many Democrats considered Bush’s victory and his presidency illegitimate.”

As a member of the 2000 U.S. Electoral College, having been elected by Republican leaders in a statewide election, I was very much interested in the outcome of the electoral dilemma created by the extralegal interference of the Democrat-dominated Florida Supreme Court. 

As I watched the angry mob of Gore-Lieberman demonstrators as they filled the streets outside the U.S. Supreme Court, demanding that the court allow the recount to proceed, I had just one thought:  Did those mindless demonstrators not understand that, when all is said and done, the only thing that stands between us and the barrel of a gun is the U.S. Supreme Court?  And when the court ruled in the only way they could… that to recount the votes in only the four most heavily Democrat counties in Florida was a clear violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution… Democrats charged that the Court majority was acting along partisan lines.

However, in the sixteen-year period that followed, the Democrat Party underwent a major radicalization.  As Glick describes it, “The day after the (2016) election, Democrats coined a new term in American politics: ‘resistance.’  Until then, the side that lost a presidential election was the ‘opposition.’  But the Democrats don’t simply ‘oppose’ Trump, they ‘resist’ him.”

Glick continues, “The distinction is profound.  An opponent recognizes the basic legitimacy of the person he opposes.  A resister does not.  The purpose of the anti-Trump resistance is not to offer an alternative path for governing.  It is to nullify Trump’s presidency by, among other things, delegitimizing and dehumanizing Trump, his family, his associates and supporters.  The resistance seeks to paralyze Trump’s presidency, to prevent him from wielding the power of office, and (to) oust him from that office as quickly as possible.”

With each new day producing yet another sordid chapter in the seemingly endless saga of Democratic Party criminality… best typified by the countless crimes of Bill and Hillary Clinton…  the party that was founded by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791 has become a lawless enterprise.  Jefferson and Madison could never have visualized the evolution of their party into a criminal conspiracy that consistently attacks constitutional principles and uses fraud, violence, and intimidation in order to win elections and maintain themselves in power.  Faced with the alternative of doing what is best for the country or doing what is best for their party, Democrats invariably choose to do what is best for their party.

In terms of ethics and morality, the Democratic Party has been in decline since the day it was founded.  As the party of slavery, secession, and segregation, Democrats supported the denial of basic human rights to an entire ethnic minority.  Following the Civil War and throughout the entire period of reconstruction, Democrats continued the denial of basic human rights through the enactment of Black Codes and Jim Crow laws.  

Then, when the Brown v. Board of Education decision ushered in the civil rights era and Democrats found they could no longer lynch African Americans and white Republicans with impunity, they turned their attention to such things as plundering the rich, dumbing-down our children, murdering post-partum infants, desecrating the American flag, and promoting marriage between same-sex partners.  And when delegates to the 2000 Democratic National Convention booed a color guard of Eagle Scouts carrying the American flag, it was clear that they had sunk to an all-time low.

So, what is it that has caused Democrats to become so loathsome that they would seek to remove a sitting president by engaging in bold-faced lies and outright deception, denying the president and his Republican supporters the ability to cross examine his accusers and to subpoena their own witnesses… the most basic legal rights available in any court in the land?  

The answer may lie in the results of an October 2019 Pew Research survey which tells us that, in 2009, when Barack Obama entered the White House, 68% of white Democrats described themselves as Christians, 24% claimed no religious affiliation, and 7%  claimed to be members of other religious groups.  However, just ten years later, in 2019, after nearly a decade-long Muslim-friendly administration in the White House, only 47% of Democrats call themselves Christians, 42% claim no religious affiliation, and 10% are members of other religions.  Conversely, the same survey showed significantly different numbers among Republicans.  According to the Pew survey, 81% of white Republicans now describe themselves as Christians, 14% are unaffiliated, and just 4% are affiliated with non-Christian religious groups.

As Patrick Henry once said, “Bad men cannot make good citizens.  It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.  A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom.  No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” (A.K.A. Conservatism)

So, when David Brooks asks, rhetorically, “Are we on the path to national ruin,” the answer is an unequivocal “yes.”  But Brooks goes on to suggest that this long and painful decline is followed by a “catalyzing event.”  Democrats have attempted to destroy Donald Trump by financing the preparation of a dossier of falsehoods; they’ve attempted to link his electoral success to a false charge of “Russian collusion;” and they’ve twisted a totally appropriate conversation with a foreign leader into grounds for impeachment.  In doing so, they have developed a level of hatred and discord among the American people such as we’ve not experienced since the Civil War.  Has fascism finally come to full bloom in America?  Could it be that history will judge the unjustified impeachment of Donald Trump to be the American version of Kristallnacht?  Occurring as it is on the 81st anniversary of Germany’s descent into fascism, is it too farfetched to ask, “Are we there yet?”  And are the tyrants hard at work forging our chains?

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College.  He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

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