On Tyranny

Here’s a book that I recommend for all citizens of a democracy. It’s cheap, it’s small but it is loaded with information that we need.

“On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder


In the twentieth century, many Europeans saw their democracies yield to fascism, communism, or Nazism. Twenty years into the twenty-first century we have the advantage of this knowledge but we must be aware and mindful. Timothy Snyder, an Oxford graduate, presents twenty lessons we can learn from the last century.

We need to be prepared for the uncertain years to come and this little book can help us in that effort. I recommend that you read “On Tyranny” soon.


“Mr. Snyder is a rising public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between past and present.” —The New York Times



Elections are a big deal. Much can change due to voting and every citizen of a democracy should utilize this right at each opportunity. But, no matter how an election turns out, whether your party comes out ahead or loses, our responsibility does not end with a vote.

So, do not be discouraged after Tuesday’s election here in the U.S. Instead act. Act out of the goodness of your heart, out of your desire to make this a better place. There is no room for apathy or inertia if we want change. 

John Pavlovitz says it better than I ever could. Here are a few words from his blog today:

“The really critical act, is remembering that leveraging your life on behalf of others isn’t an event, it’s your ever-present calling. It’s about you and your daily ability to make this place more compassionate and generous and kind than when you found it. You get to be helper and healer and listener; to be an ally and an advocate and an activist. There will be no way you can lose that.”


U.S. Election Day

No matter your political party, no matter your personal beliefs, if you are an American citizen I urge you to vote on November 6. This election is called a “mid-term” and some seem to think that makes it less important. Presidential elections may be more exciting but the so-called mid-terms are just as significant. Our government is based upon checks and balances and whether in local races, state or Federal we must choose all branches carefully. 

While this post is for US citizens, if you live in another democracy your elections are just as important and I urge you to vote as though your life depended upon. Indeed at some point, it may. 


A larger percentage of  US citizens voted in 2004 than in any year since 1968 and that was only 58%. It is a disgrace that in the 2016 election over 100 million people did not choose to execute this solemn right! 


Show up! Speak up! Or Shut up!


Graphics by Pixabay