I do hope you like quotes, because you’re about to get a lot of them:
The day will come when a multitude of people will choose the legislature. Is it possible to doubt what sort of a legislature will be chosen? On the one side is a statesman preaching patience, respect for rights, strict observance of public faith. On the other is a demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalism and usury and asking why anyone should be permitted to drink champagne and to ride in a carriage while thousands of honest people are in want of necessaries. Which of the candidates is likely to be preferred by a workman? When Society has entered on this downward progress, either civilization or liberty must perish. Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand, or your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire in the fifth, with this difference, that the Huns and Vandals who ravaged Rome came from without, and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your country, by your own institutions. – Thomas Babington Macaulay
“Even the iron hand of a national dictator is preferable to a paralytic stroke.” – Alf Landon, governor of Kansas and 1936 candidate for President, in a letter to newly elected president Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933
“If this nation ever needed a Mussolini, it needs one now.” – David Reed, United States Senator of Pennsylvania, on the floor of the Senate, 1933
If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.
With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.
[Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933]
That should be enough historical quotes for the moment. Now let’s hear from a couple of contemporary voices:
We have a broken society that is filled with broken families in broken homes with broken values and priorities, where kids are watching entertainment full of broken messaging. So it should come as no surprise that this set of circumstances is producing broken children who are further destroying society. — Natalie Argyle
Today, barbarians are not just at the gate, they have breached the barricades. They are coming for your children, your religion, your guns, and especially your soul. It is no longer enough merely to comply; you must repent, you must believe, and you must swear your allegiance.
Who is to save us? Who is our LeMay, our Patton? A man so coarse and vulgar no civilized man would dare associate with him—if not for desperation—but who knows how to “rip the goddamn living guts out” of the woke ideologues and dismantle the Deep State? — Huck Davenport
You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before. – Rahm Emanuel
The rising demand for a Man on Horseback is a well-known feature of badly troubled nations. Ours is such a nation today. But while it’s pleasant to think that “no rules means no rules,” and that we can discard all constraint in fighting for the restoration of the Republic as it was meant to be, the cautionary notes in the above ought to be heeded as well. There are few instances in which a man who rose to take a “strong hand” over the nation has voluntarily relinquished power. In the usual case, such a man must be removed from power by violence.
But there’s another effect to be observed…and feared:
[I]t has been said more than once that you should choose enemies wisely, because you are going to become just, or at least, much like them. The corollary to this is that your enemies are also going to become very like you….
If I could speak now to our enemies, I would say: Do you kill innocent civilians for shock value? So will we learn to do, in time. Do you torture and murder prisoners? So will we. Are you composed of religious fanatics? Well, since humanistic secularism seems ill-suited to deal with you, don’t be surprised if we turn to our churches and temples for the strength to defeat and destroy you. Do you randomly kill our loved ones to send us a message? Don’t be surprised, then, when we begin to target your families, specifically, to send the message that our loved ones are not stationery.
[Tom Kratman, A Desert Called Peace, Afterword]
The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it. – Adolf Hitler
“Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Though we do what we must, we cannot avert the consequences…or absolve ourselves from our part in bringing them about.