“It is high time that we all stopped being tools and victims of totalitarian techniques that, if continued here unchecked, will surely end what we have come to cherish as the American way of life.” –Margaret Chase Smith

Those were the stinging words of Margaret Chase Smith, Republican Senator from Maine on June 1, 1950, rebuking her colleague, WI Sen. Joseph McCarthy, while confirming her commitment to the rights of all Americans to criticize, hold unpopular beliefs and protest. #velshi
Smith’s words remind us that we have, indeed, seen this all before. Trumpism is McCarthyism with a Twitter account. And like all leaders who put their self-interests above democracy and the rule of law, Trump exploits fear to maintain and expand his power. #velshi
While not exactly a student of history, Trump has no doubt learned this methodology from a number of authoritarian leaders over the last 90 years: Atatürk, Franco, Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler. #velshi
It feels extreme to make these comparisons, but it is important that we do so. Because at some point in all those men’s histories, while they were at the height of their power, similar comparisons were made and, at the time, were also regarded as extreme. #velshi
No one wants to believe that American voters elected an authoritarian and may do so a second time. It’s unsavory. Unpalatable, in fact. So, we ignore it now like they ignored it then. #velshi
This willful ignorance works in favor of parts of the population. Until it suddenly doesn’t. Until the freedoms you were okay with someone else losing become freedoms you also lose. The rights you were ok with someone else losing, you lose. #velshi
Rights you thought you had: to control your body, to be covered for your illnesses, to marry who you choose, to live a life under the umbrella of justice and free of discrimination…gone. Because you allowed them to be undermined. #velshi
Americans understandably but incorrectly believe this can’t happen here. We believe our freedoms, our justice system, our institutions, our Constitution and our courts will protect us from our elected leaders. #velshi
For almost 4 years, we have witnessed a slow but deliberate erosion of norms and our civil liberties—banning Muslims, caging children, curtailing abortions, attacking the press, suppressing protest—that paved the way for the most anti-democratic impulse of all. #velshi
Trump is now undermining the way we vote, the elections in which we vote and the idea that a President will oversee a peaceful transition of power. #velshi
We've come so far that Trump doesn't even bother to lie. At some point in any nation’s troubled moments, the question “How did we get here?” is asked. The answer is often “Because people let it happen.” Your chance to rise up and stop this is Tuesday, Nov. 3rd. #velshi

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More from @AliVelshi

27 Feb
I want to tell you a story about a place far away and its people about whom you probably don’t know much, but who are suffering. #velshi
Xinjiang is China’s largest region by size. It borders Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Russia, Mongolia, and the former majority Muslim states of the Soviet Union. #velshi
Of the 25 million people who live in Xinjiang, about 11 million are Turkic, as opposed to the Han Chinese who are the overwhelming majority in China. They are known as Uighurs. #velshi
Read 13 tweets
21 Feb
"The events in Birmingham & elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city or state or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them. It is a time to act, in Congress, in State & local legislative bodies & above all, in all of our daily lives"
That was President Kennedy in a speech to the American people on June 11, 1963. It was considered a watershed moment in the Civil Rights movement and marked the beginning of the end of a long struggle for equal rights. #velshi
Protesters began to pressure Birmingham’s business leaders to open employment to people of all races, and end segregation in public institutions, stores, schools, and restaurants. #velshi
Read 9 tweets
20 Feb
On Thursday the Biden administration, along with congressional Democrats, unveiled a new immigration bill creating a path of 8 years to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country. #velshi
The bill also provides an expedited path for DREAMERS - the undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children by their parents. #velshi
The bill’s approval has a tough road ahead given razor thin Democratic majorities in both houses, but while there’s little bipartisan support for immigration reform in Washington, DC, there’s broad support for what it aims to do among Americans. #velshi
Read 11 tweets
7 Feb
A couple is two people, a minyan is ten, a jury is twelve - so what do you call eleven people? #velshi
2/ 13
Well in the case of the 11 House Republicans who joined the 219 democrats in voting to remove Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committees assignments, you call it a good start … but with a very big caveat. #velshi
The House of Representatives resolution punishing Greene was barely more than a page long. House rules require Members of Congress to “reflect credibly” on the chamber, and pointed to Greene being removed for quote “conduct she has exhibited.” #velshi
Read 13 tweets
7 Feb
This week, the Senate will hear arguments about why the former seditionist President of the United States should be convicted of Inciting an Insurrection. Democrats will argue that the former commander in chief convinced an army of his followers to storm the Capitol. #velshi
Democrats will argue that the events of 1/6 damaged our Democracy.
But democracy was not the only victim of the insurrection. There is a yet greater and more personal toll for those who were inside the Capitol and those who were defending it. #velshi
Officer Sicknick (left) sacrificed his life. Officer Goodman (right) risked his life to save Members of Congress. These are names we’ve come to know & praise, but there are other heroes who woke up on 1/6 as one version of themselves & went to sleep forever changed. #velshi
Read 13 tweets
6 Feb
17 days ago @VP Kamala Harris became the first woman of color, the first woman of south Asian heritage, the first graduate of an Historically Black College & University AND, the first Black woman Vice President of the United States of America. #velshi
@VP 2/12
Whether or not you share @VP Harris politics, who she is embodies the future of our country, one that is growing ever more racially diverse. #velshi
Harris’s history-making started years before her swearing in ceremony when, after becoming just the second Black woman to serve in the Senate, she announced her plans to seek the Democratic nomination for President. #velshi
Read 12 tweets

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