U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford’s congressional farewell message warned of the growing political decay in the era of President Donald Trump that “could lead to a future Hitler-like character,” the South Carolina Post and Courier first reported.
“One, thank you for your part in allowing my time in the arena of politics. It’s been an honor, and I am most appreciative,” the Republican from South Carolina wrote in a 4,000 word Facebook posting Wednesday. “Two, we are headed for a shipwreck if we don’t change course,” he warned.
Sanford cited the work of economic philosopher Friedrich Hayek, particularly his work, “The Road to Serfdom,” which warns of the government’s abuse of power—and how they can lead to the rise of strongmen dictators.
“Because as open political systems become cumbersome and inefficient, inevitably a strong man comes along and offers easy promises,” Sanford wrote.
“He says that he can take care of it for us. People desperate for a change accept his offer. They have to give up a few freedoms in the equation to get more security. It doesn’t work out so well, as Hayek’s book in this instance is about the rise of Hitler in post-WWI German history,” he added.
“I want to be clear and explicit that I am not likening Trump to Hitler, but the forces at play could lead to a future Hitler-like character if we don’t watch out,” Sanford warned.
Sanford, who had originally planned to deliver his message from the House floor but said his scheduled appearance was disrupted last week by the partial government closure escalation, went on to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin in that “he who trades his freedom for security, deserves neither. Indeed, how true.”
He also addressed the concept of fake news that has been allowed to become part of the modern-day vernacular.
“And context is key to understanding any new bit of information before us,” he wrote. “But this does not make all news fake. In the former Soviet Union, they have truly fake news, and attempts to equate what’s happening here with what happened there is most dangerous.
“There is a reason that the Founding Fathers enshrined the idea of a free and open press in the First Amendment,” Sanford continued. “We should watch this carefully as the populist waves of today now come ashore.”
He also took a shot at Washington’s runaway spending, which was his original message when he first ran for Congress in 1994.
“I believe that we are marching our way toward the most predictable financial and economic crisis in the history of our republic,” he said.
“If we don’t change course soon, markets will do it for us, and the consequences will be damning with regard to future inflation, the value of the dollar, the worth of our savings, and ultimately our way of life,” he said.
The complete text can be seen here: