Everyone I know is talking and thinking -worrying -about the election of 2024. Until the primaries we won’t know the platforms of the candidates for president.

The GOP’s leading candidate has spoken on many occasions about the changes he will make if he is elected president. He has a stated agenda for 2025. At the present time Republicans have not spoken out against his agenda or the agendas of those riding on his coattails. What we do know is the GOP’s present agenda is thought by many to be the end of American emphasis on the rights of individuals, and ignoring or changing the Constitution. Much of what the GOP’s leading candidate promises is to make USA citizens live in an autocracy like those in Russia and other dictatorships.

It is possible to make the USA a police state. Trump’s intent is to create a government focused upon the elimination of liberals, independents, and conservatives who believe in the rule of law. He has now publicly labeled them “vermin” as Hitler did. His goal is also to reeducate or remove citizens who have different religious beliefs, who have entered the USA from other countries, or have different skin color. This is the antithesis of a democracy wherein citizens believe that the Constitution guarantees them certain rights including control over their own bodies.

In local communities this proposed form of government of by and for the dictator will require an almost complete upheaval of government, law enforcement, and educational institutions. It will support the “legal” confiscation of property, including guns, and the imprisonment, or even murder of any who are conceived of as a threat to those in power.

The Democratic Party is focused on the re-election of Joe Biden. The party’s platform will most likely be the continuation of building the infrastructure, creating employment, preserving and expanding the middle class, protecting individual rights, expanding medical rights, improving the democratic process, controlling inflation, reestablishing America’s role in uniting the world, and putting the interests of citizens ahead of the interests of forces motivated by power and greed.

The platforms of the two political parties have real meaning when we apply them to our communities, our lives, and the way we live. If put in place, one of the platforms would eliminate almost every right individuals have. Will you be able to travel freely? Will you be able to speak freely? Can you acquire wealth and own property? Will the rule of law be enforced? Can you be deported with the “vermin”? Or placed in a prison camp for reeducation if you read or write or speak something banned by the government?

To understand what the loss of rights will mean one must study European history in the 20th century. The rise of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and others like Mao in Asia leaves no question that these systems of government exist and can change the direction of societies.

Societies like ours, built upon human rights and dignity, can be brought down by those who choose to hate.

Free and open societies have many problems. We have an electoral college which has been used to override the popular vote. The Supreme Court has allowed corporations which exist only on paper to have constitutional rights just like you and me even though they are totally controlled by humans who wish to become anonymous and escape accountability. These problems can be addressed in a representative society. The workings of the political system in the USA are always in need of upgrading. But over time the representative system can become even more in tune with human needs.

Most eligible Americans will vote in the 2024 election. Is there really any question about the fact that those we vote for will uplift or destroy America’s future?