Posted four days ago (9.19) by Kirk Douglas (edited): “I am in my 100th year. When I was born in 1916 in Amsterdam, New York, Woodrow Wilson was our president. The longer I’ve lived, the less I’ve been surprised by the inevitability of change, and how I’ve rejoiced that so many of the changes I’ve seen have been good.
“Yet, I’ve also lived through the horrors of a Great Depression and two World Wars, the second of which was started by a man who promised that he would restore his country it to its former greatness.
“I was 16 when that man came to power in 1933. For almost a decade before his rise he was laughed at — not taken seriously. He was seen as a buffoon who couldn’t possibly deceive an educated, civilized population with his nationalistic, hateful rhetoric. The ‘experts’ dismissed him as a joke. They were wrong.
“A few weeks ago we heard words spoken in Arizona that my wife, Anne, who grew up in Germany, said chilled her to the bone. They could also have been spoken in 1933:
“’We also have to be honest about the fact that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. It is our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish here…[including] new screening tests for all applicants that include an ideological certification to make sure that those we are admitting to our country share our values.’
“These are not the American values that we fought in World War II to protect.
“I have lived a long, good life. I will not be here to see the consequences if this evil takes root in our country. But your children and mine will be. Until now, I believed I had finally seen everything under the sun. But this was the kind of fear-mongering I have never before witnessed from a major U.S. presidential candidate in my life.
“All of us still yearn to remain free. It is what we stand for as a country. I have always been deeply proud to be an American. In the time I have left, I pray that will never change. In our democracy, the decision to remain free is ours to make.”