To the Editor:

Paul Stoddard’s and Julie Sorensen’s insightfully expressed concerns about the current state of our country are reverberating millions of times across America and consternate our loyal allies.

The acquittal of President Donald Trump was expected because of a solidly mortared-in position of my-party-right-or-wrong, no matter what. Members of all parties have disagreements, but then hang together. However, in this case the wrongs were so blatant, egregious, dangerous to our national security, and vastly more numerous than the two articles of impeachment, that more than one brave soul should have stepped up and said, “Enough!”

Curiously, the behavior of the GOP senators evoked some of my childhood experiences with unquestioned obedience. When I was four, my family escaped from Soviet-occupied Lithuania, ending up in Nazi Germany, where already in Kindergarten I was brainwashed to greet my teacher by standing at attention, extending my right arm and shouting “Heil Hitler!

Later I could hardly wait to join the Hitler Youth and eventually become a brave soldier for the Third Reich. Fortunately, World War II ended around my eighth birthday.

I’m writing this as an immigrant and proud American citizen, who had the honor to serve in the U.S. Army (Airborne) during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, a trusted and respected Republican.

History has repeatedly shown that when an unscrupulous national leader obtains total control of his party, upheld by an entourage of sycophants, the results can be devastating.

Poor GOP senators, caught in a conflict of interests: fearing the loss of their seats and the wrath of the Fuhrer. The despicable retributions have already begun against honorable Americans who faithfully put our country ahead of personal ambition – Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, Lt. Col. Alex Vindman, and Dr. Fiona Hill, to name a few.

Could America become a dictatorship? “Never!” Too many checks and balances, and Americans are known to be free thinkers. Sadly, a significant portion of our citizenry can be manipulated by Mussolini-like theatrics, supported by one “fake news” TV network, into some questionable attitudes and behaviors.

Meanwhile in Moscow, a dictator smirks at having a malleable president in his pocket.

Ron Slavenas

Genoa

DeKalb County