Monday, August 1, 2016

“MR. TRUMP IS A UNIQUE AND PRESENT DANGER”

There is a striking similarity between the rise in popularity of America’s Donald Trump and Germany’s Hitler, between Trump and McCarthyism

For almost a decade after 1933, Hitler enjoyed a remarkable degree of popularity among the great majority of the German people.” Like Donald Trump, Hitler's “character and personality – in some respects bizarre, in others downright mediocre and wholly unpleasant – can nevertheless do little to explain the magnetism of his popular appeal.”

The ‘magnetism’ of Trump’s appeal, too, is inexplicable. For example: “At a Davenport, Iowa, rally on Thursday, Trump threatened to attack several of the Democratic National Convention’s speakers for their remarks against him. ‘ I mean the things that were said about me. I mean, should I go through some of the names? You know what I wanted to. I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard. I would have hit them. … I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy. I was gonna hit this guy so hard, his head would spin, he wouldn’t know what the hell happened,’”

Chris Hedges: “. . .  as Samuel D. Kassow wrote in ‘Who Will Write Our History?: Rediscovering a Hidden Archive From the Warsaw Ghetto,’ ‘was absolutely convinced that the story of Jewish suffering, no matter how terrible, was a universal story and not just a Jewish one. And evil, no matter how great, could not be placed outside of history.’

“ We all have the capacity for evil. The line between the executioner and the victim is razor-thin. Ringelblum and his writers warned us of how easy it is to surrender our better selves in the name of survival. They cautioned us against the danger of political ideologies, careerism, opportunism, the lust for violence and the loss of empathy. They excoriated those who survived at the expense of another. Ringelblum and his writers buried their records shortly before most of them were killed. In their final moments they cried out for us to be faithful to the good. They could not save themselves. But they could, they hoped, save us.”

No one should ever take for granted that a demagogue with proficiency at image building and exploiting the mentalities and socio-political mores of their audience, fashioning a 'Superman' image of political leadership,” could never happen again. Because this is what Donald Trump has done.

That’s why the 2016 presidential election is so important. We should not be apathetic—be the “silent majority”—and let society evolve to a place that allows it possible to happen again.

The polls show Clinton and Trump at a statistical tie. President Obama says, “The America I know is decent and generous," that America has changed but its values remain. The polls clearly indicate that that is simply not true. We are not conforming to generally accepted standards of respectability or moral behavior, nor are we showing kindness toward others.

America is not being “faithful to the good.”

Moreover, “Mr. Trump is great at practicing McCarthyism – and yet a majority don’t seem to care.

Clearly, the probable election of Donald Trump as President of the United States means we are in a “unique and present danger.”


Copyright © Horatio Green 2016


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