Could it happen here? Who will stop Trump?


In 1933 Hitler attracted a wide following of Germans desperate for change. He promised the disenchanted a better life and a new and glorious Germany. He attacked Jews and other minorities and used them as scapegoats for real or imagined problems faced by Germany. Germany was a political democracy with rule of law, but in 1933 Hitler came to power never having achieved a majority of Germany's electorate, his party gathering only 33 percent of the votes cast in the 1932 elections, but enough to get himself appointed as Chancellor of Germany. Hitler had his goons that physically attacked his opponents, and he attacked Germany's free press waging an early attack that destroyed an opposition newspaper in Munich. Hitler often worked up his followers to a frenzy of support for him and opposition towards his opponents. Hitler ordered opposition leaders to be jailed. It was the beginning of the end of that German Democracy that ended in concentration camps, a democracy not to be resurrected until after defeat in WWII with the generous help and support of the United States of America.

Enter Donald Trump, elected in 2016 as President of the United States, elected with less than a majority of votes cast. He got 46 percent of the total American vote, to Hilary Clinton's 48 percent. Trump promises disenchanted Americans to "make America great again." He attacked the free press calling responsible reporting with well sourced stories, but not showing him in a good light, as "Fake News." During his presidential campaign Trump urged his followers at his rally to rough up opposition demonstrators, promising to pay their legal bills if they were prosecuted. At his rallies Trump worked up his followers into a frenzy of support for him and opposition to his opponents. He called for his major political opponent to jailed and led the chants against her, "Lock her up." Trump denigrates Mexicans and Muslims and immigrants and uses them as scapegoats. His government is establishing detention camps at the border and separating children from parents and attacking the rule of law and due process. Trump appears to love authoritarian leaders - Putin first and foremost, and most recently Kim Jong Un of North Korea, having said of the latter that ""He speaks and his people sit up at attention," adding, "I want my people to do the same."

Columnist Roger Cohen in an intriguing recent piece wrote a somewhat fantasy piece of what all this could possibly lead to and asked the question "History wouldn't be repeating itself, would it?" Here is the link to that piece. Read it and beware. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/opinion/europe-immigration-trump-putin-germany.html .

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