In 10 short days following the inauguration, the United States has relinquished its position as a world leader. While the Republican-controlled Congress sits idly by, this nation is slipping from a democracy to an autocracy, kleptocracy and oligarchy.

I fear for the nation’s democracy when Vladimir Putin is allowed to interfere and is then treated like a newfound friend. I fear when it appears that recent actions have been taken right out of Hitler’s playbook.

As a nation, the people have dumbed themselves down with Fox, fake news, conspiracy theories, and now “alternative facts.”

If this nation is to survive, the public must heed the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

Barbara Payne, Norway

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