Marist and the Trump Inaugural Parade

Of course there are rival online petitions: there ought to be. In an ideal world, in a nation that celebrates free speech, there ought to be petitions to reflect each viewpoint.

Two petitions were started on Change.org recently in response to the news that my alma mater’s marching band accepted an invitation to march in the inaugural parade in Washington, DC, next week. It is always good to see one’s alma mater in the news, especially when one’s school is not a well-known one. A Marist College graduate (Class of 1990), I usually see my school’s red and white logo and motto (Orare et laborare: “to work is to pray”) only when I look for it online or whenever the alumnae fundraising committee finds my new mailing address. (Every time.)
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It Can’t Happen Here, Can It?

Certain though Doremus had been of Windrip’s election, the event was like the long-dreaded passing of a friend. “All right. Hell with this country, if it’s like that.”—Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here

The title begs the question: what is the “It” that can’t happen here? The free, democratic election of a fascist (lowercase F, even though any difference in degree or style of fascism is truly no difference at all)? Or any movement to resist it after it takes power?

Sinclair Lewis gives one succinct answer at the end of the second chapter of his 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here: “The hell it can’t.” In the chapter, several of the leading lights of life in fictional Fort Beulah, Vermont, are conversing and considering the campaign promises of U.S. Senator Buzz Windrip, who is considering a run for the Democratic Party nomination against President Franklin Roosevelt.
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