Too many par­al­lels with Ger­many

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Trump pres­i­dency

The shock and con­ster­na­tion of the early days of Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­dency have some dis­turb­ing par­al­lels with the Ger­many’s new Chan­cel­lor in 1933. Both Trump and Hitler were demo­crat­i­cally elected with a mi­nor­ity of vot­ers and both set out a rad­i­cal agenda which they promised to im­ple­ment.

Trump and Hitler en­cour­aged racial ha­tred and fear of those who were not “pure” white cit­i­zens of their re­spec­tive coun­tries. Both lead­ers promised to re­vive the econ­omy and end un­em­ploy­ment with mas­sive pub­lic work projects. Hitler de­liv­ered on the eco­nomic front and that in­creased his pop­u­lar­ity. Eco­nomic suc­cess ap­par­ently trumped any con­cern about his anti-Jewish agenda.

In­ter­est­ingly the first vic­tims of Hitler’s pol­icy were not the Jewish peo­ple but the politi­cians of the Re­ich­stag. Af­ter the En­abling Act was passed, deputies who op­posed Hitler ended up in Dachau con­cen­tra­tion camp. Hitler also went af­ter the judges, gained con­trol of the me­dia and used ra­dio for his bully pul­pit.

Many Ger­man po­lit­i­cal, in­tel­lec­tual and re­li­gious lead­ers who re­jected Hitler’s agenda were si­lent or si­lenced and the rest is his­tory. We can only hope that the Repub­li­cans will re­ject Trump’s cam­paign of fear and ha­tred. Un­for­tu­nately in the early days of Trump they are ei­ther si­lent or si­lenced. Just as in 1933 the world anx­iously watched the tur­moil of an un­hinged leader, we are ner­vously watch­ing an­other er­ratic leader with a dan­ger­ous agenda in the United States. Edgar Ro­gal­ski, Hamil­ton

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