While studying the rise of Hitler, and the horrors of Third Reich and Nazism in1930s Germany, most of us have at some point in our lives truly wondered exactly how the Germans could have allowed such a monster like Hitler to come to power.
The answer is not very complicated. Hitler was elected.
He won a series of electoral victories and was then was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the National Socialist (Nazi) party. Following the humiliation of the Weimar Republic with the Treaty of Versailles at the conclusion of World War One, The German economy suffered, stirring up an already angry populace which then became enamored of their Führer. More and more of these "Patriots" looked for scapegoats on which to blame their woes. The answer was provided by Hitler: The Jews, the handicapped, non-Aryans. In his own words: "Untermenschen," subhumans.
Nazism, with its goose-stepping soldiers to the staccato shouting and whipped-up frenzied speeches by Hitler, became a cult for which its members would commit blatant unkindnesses to unthinkable torture, death and genocide.
Many, many Germans publicly cheered on the Hitler cult. But there were the so-called 'Good Germans' which were German citizens during and after World War II who, while claiming not to support the Nazi party, did literally nothing to stop it.
Since elementary school, I have thought of these 'Good Germans' and wondered if I would have had the courage to step out of the protective crowd of shadows and be different. Not a 'Good German,' but a BAD German.
In the decades from the early aughts, beginning with the Tea Party, and then the distaste and abject fear of the American Republican party after a (oh the horror) Black man was elected president, America has been sliding into fascism. Much like the proverbial boiling frog in the pot, we have continued to accept cruel or confusing changes meted out to our population. An example of such a change is that voter ID would be a good idea. We need to show ID to fly, don't we? Nodding Republicans.
Voter ID was never introduced until the Black man became president. I would point this out to many naysayers. Oh, no, that's not true. I'm not racist, they would shoot back.
Well, flying in an airplane is not a constitutional right, while voting is. And the US Government does not provide a national ID to each of her citizens. Maybe it's the chill of the old WWII movies where German soldiers would bark, "show me your papers."
Obtaining a valid divers license or ID is tantamount to a poll tax on the poor. Taking time away from work, finding a perhaps non-existent or lost birth certificate, getting someone to drive you miles across the town or even the state to obtain a document to vote is also a form of voter intimidation.
The current 'Good Germans' of America either aren't thinking for themselves, or are being silent to not antagonize their friends or families. Those 'Good Germans' are the people who sweetly demur when you want to talk politics. They are the ones who never comment on your Facebook page, even if you post a simple non-partisan message like "Love One Another."
The silence of my friends of 40 or 50 years is deafening. The friends who have been sucked down the rabbit hole of the Trump cult have broken my heart.
The voter ID example is only the tip of the iceberg which we boiling frogs are being fed.
Skipping ahead to the present, with tomorrow being election day, we are well into a groundswell of fascism. Many people, primarily republicans, do not realize this. Donald Trump and his cult has damaged our country like nothing we have ever experienced or could have predicted. The twice-impeached disgraced orange sociopath and psychopath spent four years keeping our heads on a constant swivel, first banning Muslims from entering the US (even those who already lived here). (That was the just first week). Then installing his cronies as well as family members to "advise him,'much like a mafia don. Lying to us, creating chaos, ripping up or stealing Executive documents, threatening to nuke Nato member countries. Not even understanding the difference between NATO and the EU (this I read a couple months ago). Hobnobbing with dictators like Putin, Kim Jong Un and Erdogán.
I could go on and on.
Currently, we all are suffering from the January 6, 2021 Coup, organized by Trump and his election-denying lackeys. We came perilously close to losing our Republic that day. And still, a multitude of Republicans believe the 2020 election was stolen, Why? Because Donald Trump, and other thugs like the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, etc, keep saying so. The lie that President Biden is not the real president is like a flaming tumbleweed, growing, rolling, destroying friendships, burning any smidgen of residual bipartisanship.
There are now over 200 election deniers on State ballots, from school boards to secretaries of state to Congressional candidates. A multitude of 'Good Germans' continues to look away.
Please be aware: Donald Trump is the modern day Hitler, right here in the United States.
And he and his cult members and mouthpieces (Fox News, Newsmax, OANN, Stephen Bannon, Kash Patel, Kari Lake, Lindsey Graham, etc) have already set us on a course to fascism and dictatorship.
Here is what is being done to us RIGHT NOW IN OUR OWN COUNTRY. This is how fascism has begun here in the US:
1. Patriotic Motto (Make America Great Again)
2. Symbols (Trump red ball cap, Trump flags)
3. Common Enemy (Democrats, liberals, Nancy Pelosi, President Biden, socialism)
4. Supremacy of the Military ("My Generals," Clearing out peaceful protestors with tear gas in DC)
5. Widespread sexism (Removal of Abortion rights, suppression of homosexuality and transgender)
6. Censorship by the media and the government (e.g., the control of the CDC to lessen the severity of the novel coronavirus)
7. Obsession with isolationism
8. Religion intertwined with government (the Christian Nationalists which were installed by Trump n all branches).
9. Rampant Lying
10. Fraudulent Elections
There are so many other examples of how the Trump Cult has opened the floodgates and allowed fascism to seep into the United States. It is here, and it scares the hell out of me. Tomorrow and the rest of the week are scaring the hell out of me. And if you care enough to preserve our democracy, the fascism we are enmeshed in should also terrify you.
I simply BEG: stop acting like a "Good German.
And tomorrow VOTE LIKE A BAD GERMAN.
It's not too late.