Readers React: When do we know we’re on the slippery slope to fascism?

Clergy members hold hands as they block the road in front of the federal building in downtown Los Angeles to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies.
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: It’s a fine line between Santayana’s dictum, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” and the complaint, “Bah, another slippery slope into fascism argument.” But we must remember that descending into fascism is indeed a slippery slide into a hell unimaginable at its onset.

Op-ed article writer Joel Stein quotes Daniel Buccino as saying, “We need to take a longer view and trust that this era of incivility will pass.” How bad will it get before passing? What German in 1930 could imagine his nation’s self-created living hell of 1945?

Every day in America, we see some new act of incivility and oppression. We seem to be living in the darkening twilight described by the late Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, when “everything remains seemingly unchanged, and … we all must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become victims of the darkness.”


Chuck Almdale, North Hills


To the editor: Stein approves of causing unrest at immigration centers and respectful confrontation in general. He does not think much of inciting violence.

What Stein seems to miss in laying out a scenario of useful resistance is the most important piece of the puzzle: voting. Unless citizens vote, no other form of protest will count for anything.

Joan Walston, Santa Monica

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