Friday, March 04, 2016 9:07 AM
Did you ever wonder how a psychotic Hitler came to be the leader of all Germany? It’s not as if he went crazy after he rose to power—he wrote “Mein Kampf” long before his brown-shirts started bullying the populace, or before he framed the communists for burning down the Reichstag. And in “Mein Kampf”, he even spelled out how he’d like to slaughter virtually every Jew in Europe—he just left out the other ten million people that would ultimately die in his quest for absolute power—and the ruin that Europe would become by the time he was stopped.
A lot of people saw that coming—but people in power couldn’t help having great respect for him—so he remained legitimized in the public eye until it was far too late to stop him without violence. When Charlie Chaplin made “The Great Dictator” in 1940, there were still many Americans who thought it unwise to criticize a ‘respected world leader’. America had many people who thought we should be on Germany’s side, against England. How were we lucky enough to come out on the right side of history?
America was going through the Great Depression—times were tough. But they weren’t utterly hopeless, like they were in Germany. Germany was suffering under the draconian financial burden imposed by the Treaty of Versailles—the government was as broke as the people. American people were broke, but our government still had the wherewithal to institute the New Deal—so we did not have runaway inflation, making what money they did have worthless, like the Germans.
Germany was literally starving. Extreme conditions breed extreme attitudes—‘kill’em all’ sounds like a sensible solution when you are yourself on death’s doorway. Apart from the sociopathic anti-Semitism that permeated Europe (and America) Germans also blamed the rest of Europe for their financial straits (and not without reason). Oddly enough, they saw genocide and world conquest as a survival strategy—and Hitler gave them a blueprint for it. So they all ‘heiled’ Hitler.
Growing income inequality today has made Americans hungry for change—and we’re getting hungry enough to start flailing about for answers, no matter how crazy or cold-blooded. “Build a wall”; “Ban the Muslims”; “Mexicans are rapists”—would Americans have stood for such naked violence in any previous decade? No. But the GOP has been crippling our government, hence our economy, for years now—they lie about the president, they lie about global warming, they lie about Planned Parenthood, they shut down the government. They’ve done all this to protect the wealthy and the evangelicals and the racists—and now they’re upset because someone is using the same tactics to satisfy his own ego—and he’s doing it better than they ever did.
It’s tempting to savor the GOP’s dismay, but they’ve set the stage for something even worse than themselves—so we must perforce join them in condemning their presidential frontrunner. However, the idea that Cruz or Rubio would fix the problem is hilarious—Hillary was right—they’re all ‘Trump’, just not as good at it as he is. Trump has adopted their methods of lying, obstructionism, and willful ignorance—and made it his personal art form.
Trump has an animal slyness that can easily be mistaken for intelligence—especially among the uneducated—his demographic sweet-spot. The uneducated aren’t upset by Trump’s lack of policy details—they’re relieved. They don’t want to discuss the thorny problems of national government—they want someone to fix it—and Trump confidently says he’ll ‘fix it’. That’s all they need to hear. But all I hear is someone promising to cut the Gordian Knot that was tied by Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, King, and Obama—being the ‘lamp beside the golden door’ to the rest of the world is just too complicated—let’s be bullies instead.
The rest of the world is getting ready to refuse Trump entry into their countries—how’s that for an endorsement? His own party is anti-endorsing him (if that’s even a word) but we can’t take them seriously until they break down and tell their constituents to vote for Hillary. The one person endorsing Trump publicly is Chris Christie—and the terrified look on his face every time he appears standing next to Trump makes me think he’s envisioning future history—when his name will be tied to Trump’s in the story of how America died.