We’ve Taken Democracy for Granted


I hate the “not my president” hashtag.  I hated it before it was a hashtag, when Gore won the popular vote in 2000 and people said it about George W. Bush (it was annoying in 2000; my hatred developed from hearing it for eight years).  Bush was our president, that’s how it works, just as Donald Trump will be our president on Inauguration Day because the failsafe failed.  I’ve read rants and essays that have fired me up but when I get to the end and see #NotMyPresident, it deflates me and stops me from sharing the author’s words.

And yet…

Thanks to Godwin’s Law (if an online discussion on any topic lasts long enough, someone will compare someone or something to Hitler) we’ve largely lost the ability to compare someone to Hitler without seeming like poor debaters, whiners, or nutjubs – even when that comparison has merit.

My family went to the Holocaust museum in DC in June. We learned about the Nazi party’s rise to power, which included minorities used as scapegoats for complex economic issues, a small but vocal and energetic Right charged by nationalism, a Left weakened by infighting, and a vast propaganda machine. When our vacation ended and we stepped back into coverage of the election, those parallels were impossible to ignore.

Hitler lost the general election in 1932, so President Hindenburg appointed him Chancellor to appease the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party.  He hoped this would stabilize the government.

The German Reichstag was destroyed by fire in 1933, a false flag blamed on Communists which gave Hitler (democratically, by passing of the Enabling Act) dictatorial powers.

Five paragraphs of law turned a democratic state into a fascist regime.

Protesters – folks marching peacefully to make it clear that they will not tolerate fascism – are being painted as rioters and looters (thanks, Portland Anarchists!).  More troubling, they are being painted as paid for by liberal billionaire George Soros.  And enough folks on the right believe both of those lies to make them… well, not facts.  But nuggets of truthiness which they can nurture into the (alt)righteous anger that seems to be fueling them lately.

If (when) the protests on Trump’s Inauguration Day get out of hand and there is destruction of property and possibly even loss of life, how long before Trump passes Patriot Act 2017?

Or will there be another 911?  Will ISIS kidnap and kill Kim Kardashian?  Will “sore losers” set fire to the White House?  Whatever happens, the Trump response will be swift, brutal, and totalitarian.

Watch for it.

And if (when) it happens, don’t take it at face value.

Don’t be afraid to think for yourself.

We don’t compare Trump to Hitler because he is going to build ovens.  Trump doesn’t even know what he’s going to do from day to day so it’s nigh impossible to know what Holocaust 2017 will look like.  Do you understand, people asking us to “give Trump a chance?”  We don’t fear the unknown because it’s unknown, we fear the backlash that has historically followed progress because we know it’s damned harsh, even deadly, for people on the margins.  Trump can deliver on exactly none of his promises and still be considered successful by delivering on that one – giving even the most impoverished straight white man the ability to feel superior to The Other.

The Germans called it gleichschaltung, the political process of “getting in line” or “coordinating” with the Nazi party.  Give that a think the next time you finding yourself typing “give Trump a chance.”

We compare Trump to Hitler because of the way he can whip a crowd into a foaming frenzy, even as they barely listen to anything he says.  The man wants to stay on the campaign trail while in office so he can keep that frenzy alive.  The “Thank You” tour didn’t spring from Trump’s love of the people, it’s because Trumpism is integral to his sense of self; he’s not interested in leading the country, he wants the country to love him.

We don’t compare Trumpism to Nazism because white supremacists Sieg Heil in Washington, we do it because so many invoke his name when they harass minorities or commit violence against them.

Trump talks of limiting and punishing the ability of US citizens to speak out against the government (i.e., him) and his supporters are all for it. His supporters, who allegedly love America above all else, don’t understand that dissent is what makes America great. The idea that America is not fully-formed, but a work in progress.

Supporting oppression because it’s your side doing the oppressing is not national pride. This is Trumpism, an ouroboros feeding off itself and choking truth, rationale, and critical thought to death in the middle.

Do you wonder how much power the Trump Administration will have? Watch for the false flag, and see how much we’ll give them.



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