Monday, December 18, 2023

Dear America, what's wrong with you?

Republicans confronted after Donald Trump accused of  'parroting Hitler' with migrants speech

Dear America,

What is wrong with so many of you?  Don't you remember Hitler and Mussolini, or have you forgotten the lessons of history?  In 1940, John F. Kennedy, then a college student, wrote a book entitled Why England Slept. about the tragic events of the 1930s that led to Hitler's rise to power.  Kennedy's book also deals with the difficulties of democracies in confronting the threat of totalitarianism.  Why England Slept was reprinted in 1961, when JFK became president.  It should be recommended reading today because if Donald Trump returns to the White House, a sequel, entitled Why America Slept, will need to be written some day.

It's absolutely shocking that millions of people in the United States, which prides itself on its democracy, are willing to vote for a despot such as Donald Trump.  Many of them have had parents and grandparents who sacrificed their lives to rid the world of Naziism.  It's disconcerting that so many Americans are willing to overlook the fact that on January 6, 2021, Trump supported the attempted overthrow of a duly elected a violent mob of his far-right supporters.  It's truly sad that some Americans actually believe that the mob was just a peaceful group touring the Capitol building.  

Trump's behaviour and his criminal activity, should have prevented him from running for president in 2024.  The thought of him in the Oval Office again sends chills down my spine.  It's a very scary prospect.  This is a man who said that "immigrants are poisoning the lifeblood of this country."

The Republican Party is controlled by Trump.  Almost 100 members of Congress have endorsed him, including the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, far-right extremist Mike Johnson. Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said that Trump is fit to be president.

I hesitate to call the Republican Party the GOP (Grand Old Party).  It's no longer grand.  It's no longer the party of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.  Republicans are a spineless herd, except for a few brave dissidents who have criticized mob boss Trump.  If democracy survives in America, it will be due to the courage of Republicans such Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney and Chris Christie. 

With regard to Trump's comment on immigrants, Christie stated, "He's disgusting.  And what he's doing is dog whistling to Americans who feel absolutely under stress and strain from the economy and from the conflicts around the world, and he's dog whistling to blame it on people from areas that don't look like us."

I disagree with the politics of Cheney, Romney and Christie, but they have stood up for the rule of law.  They have dared to speak out about Trump's threat to democracy, risking their own safety and political careers. Unfortunately, they are few and far-between. The egregious "Freedom Caucus " controlled by Trump, rules the show with such far-right zealots as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan and Lauren Boebert.

This is not fear-mongering or exaggeration.  Trump's words and actions speak for themselves.  He has referred to the media as the "enemy of the people."  He has called his detractors "vermin."  He has declared that he would only be a dictator on Day One of his presidency.  Trump is not joking.  Americans must take his words seriously.  Hitler did not hide his intentions.  He made them very clear in his book Mein Kampf.

America, you need to awaken from your slumber before it's too late.  Stop sleepwalking through this crisis.  Why isn't there more concern about Trump's clear and real threat to democracy.  There aren't enough alarm bells sounding.  I can guarantee if Trump gets his hands on the reins of power again, American democracy will be lost.  Trump has not concealed his plans to turn the United States into an authoritarian regime.

Here's how German historian Volker Ulrich characterizes Hitler in his book Hitler: Ascent (1889-1939). Trump's personality and his behaviour are chillingly similar. to that of the Nazi dictator.      

* Hitler was an egomaniac who “only loved himself,” a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and a “characteristic fondness for superlatives” who had a “keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people.”

* Hitler had a “bottomless mendacity” that took advantage of the latest technology to spread his message and “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth.”

* Hitler was an effective orator and adept at assuming various masks and feeding off the energy of his audiences, concealing his anti-Semitism beneath a “mask of moderation” when trying to win the support of middle-class liberals.

* Hitler specialized in big, theatrical rallies staged with spectacular elements and adapted the contents of his speeches “to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist and anti-Semitic listeners.”

* Hitler peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers and fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments in “offering himself as a visionary leader who could restore law and order.”

* Hitler presented himself in messianic terms, promising “to lead Germany to a new era of national greatness,” although he typically was vague about his actual plans while painting “the present day in hues that were all the darker.”

* Hitler virtually wrote the book on modern demagoguery by using repeated emotion-based “mantralike phrases” consisting largely “of accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.”

* Hitler’s ascension was aided and abetted by the naïveté of adversaries who failed to understand his ruthlessness and tenacity, as well as partners who believed “he was not serious or that they could exert a moderating influence on him.”

The parallels between Hitler and Trump are frightening.  I write this with great concern about the future of America and the rest of the world.  I don't expect the brainwashed MAGA crowd to pay any attention to my concerns.  My hope is that I can reach Republicans or independents who are sitting on the fence.  

Donald Trump has shown nothing but admiration for brutal dictators.  He has praised Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un.  If he becomes president again, Trump will not hesitate to support his buddy Putin.  He will allow the Russian despot to completely overrun Ukraine, and Putin will not stop there. He will attempt to invade other countries.  This cold-hearted dictator has visions of grandeur.  He views himself as the Peter the Great of the 21st century.

Americans, stand up for democracy!  Let your voices be heard on election day, November 5, 2024.


Your concerned Canadian friend and neighbour,