American Nazis

Over a third of American voters still support Donald Trump, incomprehensible as that seems.

I have always had a naive faith in the good sense of the general American public. That faith was shaken in November 2016, and it’s currently on hold until November 7th of 2018, when it will either be revived or permanently destroyed.

This depressing realization– that a third of the country could support (or even endure) this odious man and his thuggish and criminal administration–comes a bit late. It turns out that Americans have never been as impervious to the attractions of fascism as we like to think.  A recent book tells us a lot that most of us would rather not know.

In fact, when Bradley W. Hart first started researching the history of Nazi sympathy in the United States a few years ago, he was largely driven by the absence of attention to the topic. Hart’s new book Hitler’s American Friends: The Third Reich’s Supporters in the United Statesargues that the threat of Nazism in the United States before World War II was greater than we generally remember today, and that those forces offer valuable lessons decades later — and not just because part of that story is the history of the “America First” idea, born of pre-WWII isolationism and later reborn as a slogan for now-President Donald Trump.

Hart’s research was triggered by Charlottesville, and the sight of Americans brandishing Nazi flags and paraphernalia.

Hart, who came to the topic via research on the eugenics movement and the history of Nazi sympathy in Britain, says he realized early on that there was a lot more to the American side of that story than most textbooks acknowledged. Some of the big names might get mentioned briefly — the radio priest Father Charles Coughlin, or the highly public German American Bund organization — but in general, he says, the American narrative of the years leading up to World War II has elided the role of those who supported the wrong side. And yet, American exchange students went to Germany and returned with glowing reviews, while none other than Charles Lindbergh denounced Jewish people for pushing the U.S. toward unnecessary war.

There are a number of reasons this particular element of America’s history is so rarely invoked. There’s the well-knowns  “bandwagon” effect, the human tendency to “remember” ourselves as having been on the winning side of conflicts, and to identify with the narrative that emerged after the war: America saved the world! We’re number one! Admitting that a not-insignificant minority of our citizens were rooting for the bad guys doesn’t do much to advance that narrative.

It was also possible for those who had participated in Nazi-sympathetic groups to later cloak their beliefs in the Cold War’s anti-communist push — a dynamic that had in fact driven some of them to fascism in the first place, as it seemed “tougher on communism than democracy is,” as Hart puts it. (One survey he cites found that in 1938, more Americans thought that communism was worse than fascism than vice versa.) Such people could truthfully insist that they’d always been anti-communist without revealing that they’d been fascists, and their fellow Americans were still so worried about communism that they might not press the matter.

If we are being honest, relatively few people are attracted by the the tenets of political ideologies–communist, fascist, socialist, whatever. Then as now, the real motivators are tribal: people who look and pray like me are superior to people who look and pray like you.

Fascism–like communism–appeals to people who couldn’t define its political philosophy if their lives depended upon it. In Hitler’s SS or Charlottesville, the message was much simpler and much uglier. My tribe is better than yours. They supported “Aryan purity” or (White Christian) America.

That tribalism is central to Trump’s appeal. It has been the only consistent thread in what passes for his message, and that tribalism is what at least a third of America supports. On November 6th, we’ll see if enough of us reject it.

 

31 thoughts on “American Nazis

  1. Thanks for today’s blog post. You have pointed out the true basis of the ugliness in our country that elevated a truly awful person to the most powerful office in our country.

    I was not aware of the pre-WWII hatred that existed in the U.S. On my own, I just keep thinking that so many of us have German ancestry that maybe the fascist blood still runs deep.

    Waiting for the outcome of this year’s mid-term elections is stressful. It could go very badly, which would speed up our trajectory towards fascism.

  2. Will anti-Trump protesters appear tomorrow at Bankers Field House when the President speak to the FAA? I have cold chills imagining his diatribe to high school students. Are there members of the movement started after the Parkland shooting among the FAA students? Have you seen the blue uniformed legions of the FAA?

  3. “If we are being honest, relatively few people are attracted by the the tenets of political ideologies–communist, fascist, socialist, whatever. Then as now, the real motivators are tribal: people who look and pray like me are superior to people who look and pray like you.”

    I will add, and people who “talk like you”. My father’s ancestors are German; Grabhorn and Laxen, they came to this country in 1832; my great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather and two great-great-uncles served with the Indiana Volunteers in the Seventy-Ninth Regiment, Company A, of the Union Army in the Civil War. My great-Aunt Sophia was born February 29, 1864; German was her first language as was my grandmother’s. Aunt Sophia was a favorite of the neighborhood kids for sharing her coconut-marshmallow cookies and playing her player piano for them. Till WWII; when suddenly her heavily German accented English made her the brunt of jokes and insults and suspicion…of what I never knew. Neither did they.

    But neither did the many in this country who denied Jews entry to this country long before and during our entry into the war after December 7, 1941. This country knew but denied the Holocaust. Today’s blog is timely; the Indianapolis Star has a wonderful article about Holocaust survivor Eva Moses Kor who will be the Pacesetter for the 500 Mile Race Mini-Marathon next year.

    “Fascism–like communism–appeals to people who couldn’t define its political philosophy if their lives depended upon it. In Hitler’s SS or Charlottesville, the message was much simpler and much uglier. My tribe is better than yours. They supported “Aryan purity” or (White Christian) America.”

    We were brain-washed to hate Communism but never told what Communism was or why we should hate it. Unions were believed to be based in Communism. Charlottesville, Virginia, and Donald Trump (I CANNOT call him “president”) in 2017 was and is a totally different matter; in 2017 this country was and is well aware of Nazism and the Holocaust and what it means in this presidency and the groups who have been added to the Jews as targeted by Trump. Do those “fine people” in the neo-Nazi group actually support our support in Israel or understand who and what it is supporting. Trump’s support is for his daughter Ivanaka who married a Jew and converted to Judaism and hopes to build another Trump development in Jerusalem, his newly appointed capital of Israel. Can anyone explain how an American president can change the capital of any other nation…other than money and arms going into that nation????

    We appear to be sending arms to Israel and selling arms to Saudi America. There is money to be made by these acts; and money to be made by Trump and his family of leeches – including his Jewish family branch of in-laws – the Kushners. How close are their family ties to American Nazis? Trump’s announcement that he is a “Nationalist” was questioned by one journalist asking if it was a dog whistle meaning he is a “White Nationalist”; what a brave men to question him directly during the current turmoil over the apparent torture and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi..is that journalist safe? Trump barely mentioned the bomb threats yesterday and borderline joked about how nice he was being at the rally last night. His rally attendees are like children laughing at the word “fart” as they laugh and cheer Trump’s insults, name-calling and veiled threats. His “nice” act won’t last long; it goes against his ego. Hitlerism in action on the American campaign trail by our own president; Nazism in English language with no German accent to call attention to its true meaning.

    “On November 6th, we’ll see if enough of us reject it.”

    VOTE BLUE!

  4. “We appear to be sending arms to Israel and selling arms to Saudi America.”

    Wow! Was that term “Saudi America” a Freudian slip or poor editing on my part. I don’t believe I need to apologize….do any of you believe an apology is necessary? I will only offer an apology if Sheila deems it is appropriate.

    VOTE BLUE!

  5. Since capitalists have ALWAYS feared and despised any thought to their left, socialism and communism have always been their bogeyman too. So, naturally, the tribal imperative pushes the weakest of the minds into fascism. The capitalists have told us to hate socialism to the point where it is only used when it benefits the profits of the corporations…like the military-industrial complex. Nothing is more socialistic than the U.S. Military.

    Trump’s version of fascism – now he calls himself a nationalist – is pure bullshit. Trump only cares about himself and his addiction to adulation. We might notice that as the scandals increase and Mueller gets closer to releasing his first reports, the Trump rhetoric becomes increasingly vile, tribal and hateful. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that some lunatic acolyte of his started sending bombs to prominent Democrats. Trump WANTS that stuff to happen. He pathetic ego NEEDS those things to happen.

    Fascism/Nazi behavior will always be there; it exists in all the other democracies too. Our problem, as Sheila has stated, is that we’re stuck with the worst person in the world as our president. He is obviously insane and his pathology attracts only the weakest minds. Just as obviously, we have far more weak minds than any of us on this blog imagined. That caught us all by surprise.

    Trump must be removed from office as soon as possible before it gets any worse and we are plunged into anarchy or a nuclear war.

  6. sounds like trump got his wings clipped or some puppet master told him to calm it down till midterms are over,(mercer?) his tone and malfeases has taken a sinister quiet. to hypocritcal for him…dont buy it… his love for power,liken the reich of 1932 seems plausable.wasnt there a story prior to his win, he kept a book of hitlers speaches beside his bed??? if i see a nazi, and ive have, spoke with such creatures over the decades, as my own looks and self kind stereo types me as being one,tats,long hair, wild eye,and a no b.s. maner. but,its gotten me close enough to being asked to join in the festivities,I never would, as i dont want to be on some fbis resoure file,or be even considered a bigot or nationalists, nor would i feel like i belonged to such a caste. ive read deeply of the nationalist tide after world war one being close to those vets of all races from that period,vets both here in America,and from europe..as a kid,and made apoint to ask questions. newark,nj. in te 60s was a place of change,major,and im greatful i learned tollerance before my teen years. it amazed me how,someone like hitler,mousollini and franco,stallin and tojo, and the like, gained such a following,but,in all, it led to getting the bankers and industrialists,,then the news media. if America had a better news service in europe in 1926 and followed through,it may have been a whole diffrent story..todays media,is the first lines of history,and today we have a near mirror finish of another nationalist movement. except,it hides behind things,social media, fake fox news, and hords of people who are not seen. i reside in north dakota,you know,freindly everyone,until its about liberals and immigrents and taxes, dont even test the water..ive discussed the present,and its like talking to a,piece of suntanned concrete. we have a land locked state,and mind set.. kinda like germany,post WW1. no tolerance for anything that isn’t white.. the latest,the farm bill, i mention to them,if ya voted hilary,she would have given you a farm bill,and kept you in the money,and the likes like sonny perdue would be kept in chicken shit and out of the way.. kinda stabs them when i say it, but they can not deny it,but.like a nationalist,theyd sink America for their thinking,,,,sounds like trump…
    vote blue,take back the rule…

  7. I’m surprised that anyone is surprised by our National Socialist history. Why did it take so long for the U.S. to get into the war? Why did FDR have to wait until AFTER we were attacked to ask for a declaration of war? He knew he would never get one from a Congress that was chock full of nationalists and he was painfully aware that the country would never rally around an effort to engage in “Europe’s problem.” The “Lend Lease” program had far more critics than supporters.

    I’d like to recommend a television show to everyone. It is TRU TV’s “Adam Ruins Everything.” Note that Adam doesn’t get history completely correct, but he does come much closer to it than the history books we had in school.

    Vote like your lives depend on it. They just might.

    VOTE BLUE!

  8. How many brown shirts are on the Nov. 6, 2018 SLATES at the 92 Indiana PLATES? It must be Nazi month in the R101 labs, not the two-volume The American Republic SEAL course or any Friday SPELLING QUIZ for those American NAZI COMBAT professors, drafted into GROUNDED jobs: Nationalsozialitische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei fascist workers’ party founded in 1919 and abolished in 1945. Nazi is another recorded English word, not our Webster’s New World Amercan Language programmed into most computers after 1960 editions of that textbook. That is on p 979 with a fuller entry from World Printers of the material that includes our signs and symbols for courses. As a Substitute for Bucky Howard in a Community Art Course and Tri-Kappa Aileen Pawlik Long for PRATHER consolidated Bulldogs, I have YET to read on American Nazi Candidate name for ANY of these Generals SCHOOL President (up to 4 , NEVAIRE 5): Nationalsozialitische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei fascist workers’ party founded in 1919 and abolished in 1945. Nazi is another recorded English word, not our Webster’s New World Amercan Language programmed into most computers after 1960 editions of that textbook. That is on p 979 with a fuller entry from World Printers of the material that includes our signs and symbols for courses.
    I personally reported the interloper last year when I followed the hearsay advice to renew by phone when the Indianapolis Motor Vehicle Branch workers already knew Security was BREACHED and BREECHED. You really need to CARD your HOME neighborhood door-to-door vendors, not the AGs at ordinary (not dormitory) Suites, not their EMERGENCY RED WHITE GREEN numbers.

  9. Growing up in Detroit, I learned early about Father Coughlin. His Shrine of the Little Flower is an easily recognizable landmark on Woodward Ave., the main road through Detroit and it’s northern suburbs. I also learned early on about what an antisemitic, anti-union jerk Henry Ford was.

    America has long had problems with the “other”. Ben Franklin complained about the influx of Germans, signs reading “no dogs or Irish” were once prevalent, etc. I haven’t seen this myself, but I was told that in the antebellum South, cotton farmers were told to hire Irish workers to operate the dangerous cotton gins because slaves were valuable property but Irish were — just Irish, so who cared.

    Larry – great book recommendation – I read that in high school – great read

    JoAnn – Trump didn’t move the capital of Israel, he just moved the embassy. Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel, but most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv (the equivalent of all embassies being located in New York City). Whether that was a wise move is a separate issue, but Israel is the only country who seems not to be allowed to name their own capital. I will point out that Jewish attachment to Jerusalem predates Islam, Christianity, — and the Second Jewish Commonwealth (530 BCE – 70 CE).

    I will also note that American unions purged themselves of communists and socialist – I think in the post WWII time frame, maybe earlier. Funny how they still get seen as commies – but then again, Bill Clinton (of the anti-liberal, pro-corporate DLC) is a “liberal” and FDR has gone from “radical betrayer of his class” to mainstream and back to “radical left” (compare FDR’s Second Bill of Rights with Bernie Sanders).

  10. From what I have studied, the rise of twentieth century antisemitism predated the rise of Nazism by decades. Around the turn of that century Judaism began to be seen as a race not a religion. With the rise of the ideas of eugenics this new view of Judaism joined in many minds so as to denigrate, not the religion, but the people themselves. WWI and the social upheavals of the 1920s, followed by the great depression, did the rest.
    In Germany, where obedience to authority was ingrained into the culture, the message of Adolf Hitler found fertile ground. Here in the United States at that time there were millions of people who had immigrated from Germany. They brought with them their culture, ideas and behaviors… and most still had relatives in Germany with whom they kept in touch. The ideas spread.
    I suspect that this current rise in Nazism is the result of many of those cultural ideas that have been passed down generation after generation, such as obedience to authority and believing that some races are better than others.
    Like all other groups who came to this country the Germans brought some bad with their good. Their bad turned out to be very, very bad.

  11. If you think only German immigrants to America admired National Socialism, you are wrong. It was widely admired by many here and in other countries around the world. Dare I say if Hitler had not insisted on conquest, there would have been no WWII, most of Europe would have succumbed to similar forms of government, and the United States may have as well. Like Trump, Hitler really only cared about himself, and in the end his ambitions finished the 20th century ascendency of his movement. The ideas behind it, however, continue on and will always be attractive, particularly to the uneducated among us.

    Comments on Trump visit from FFA conventioneers, from Indy Star article today:

    “Personally I think that’s a great opportunity for people to actually know that our president is involved in our organization, and a lot more so than past presidents,” Roehm said. “So that’s great opportunity to see him speak and know that we’re actively working to improve this country.”

    The presidential keynote came as a shock to 15-year-old Constince Koehler of Omaha, Neb. She hadn’t heard about the Trump visit until Wednesday morning, and her jaw dropped upon hearing the news.

    “No! I didn’t know at all. I’m very excited!” she said. “I thinks It’s a really good effort from him to take time out of his day and speak to us.”

    The Trump speech is a highlight for Missouri native Seth Bunch for two reasons: Respect and bragging rights.

    “Getting to see Mr. Trump speak is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” he said. “I really respect him, I think he’s doing a good job, it’ll be a whole new experience and my grandpa will be jealous.”

    Jerusalen Valdez and Gregorio Alfaro, two 17-year-old students who made the trip to Indiana from California, said their group will be flying home on the day of the keynote, but that the president’s effort to address students is appreciated.

    “It’s really cool that they are bringing a president down here,” Valdez said. “The fact that he’s going to be here is going to be really inspired to others.”

  12. “The final status of Jerusalem has always been one of the most difficult and sensitive questions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For years, US policy has been to avoid declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, as the Palestinians also claim Jerusalem as their capital. It was argued that a unilateral decision would break with international consensus and prejudge an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations.
    Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital has also moved the United States a big step closer to relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be seen as cementing Israeli sovereignty over the city.”

    Len; thank you for correcting my mistake/misunderstanding of the issue. Above I copied and pasted a December 7, 2017, CNN article. I remain behind my comments regarding Trump’s reasoning for his declaration being his Jewish family ties and money…always money. Had Ivanka not married a Jew and converted, increasing the possibility of another Trump development in Jerusalem; Trump would have no interest in where our embassy was located in Israel.

    VOTE BLUE!

  13. As a WW II vet I am probably the senior contributor to this blog, and I can tell you that I well remember the “Movietone News” shown along with movies during the 30s which featured German-American Bund members in uniform decorated with swastikas marching in, of all places, New York City and, as for communism, lest we forget, years before, one Eugene Debs, a native of Terre Haute and a communist, garnered six percent of the national vote. Radical reactions to change are not uncommon (see Marx’s reaction to the capitalistic excesses of the Industrial Revolution).

    We are now engaged in a change from an industrial age to an information age, are making enormous strides in AI, and all against a background of a world much smaller and one where those modern day Luddites resistant to change are having their day, led by an incredibly ignorant president, whose corrosive influence has led, predictably, to political violence. We will find out whether change can be sensibly accommodated in consonance with our democratic values November 6 in an election whose importance cannot be overstated. I have early voted here in Florida for such an accommodation, and I hope millions of Americans will leave their couches for the voting booths and do likewise because our democracy is truly at stake. Truly.

  14. Over It; I notice you didn’t mention the FFA attendees who had praise for and anticipated seeing Garth Brooks, their favorite country star, with no mention of Trump. You also didn’t mention the lengthy letter from the father of past and current FFA members who is highly upset that Trump will be speaking; one of his prime concerns is the message it sends to the young girls who are members of the FFA and members of the gender Trump seems to find reason to insult and target as victims of his animosity. How many of those students you quoted are from staunch Republican families would be an interesting question to have answered. Whenever I asked my little Irish mother why someone acted or spoke as they did; her reply was always, “Consider the source.” We can only hope that Trump’s speech on Saturday will end better than the one he gave at the Boy Scouts Jamboree which ended in a public outcry.

    To quote from the letter from Andrew B. Miller; ” Trump does not reflect the values espoused by the FFA as I have come to know them through my sons’ involvement. I know to a certainty that Trump does not possess the values that I’ve tried to impose to my sons. Trump simply does not tell the truth – his penchant for dishonesty is well-documented. Throughout his life, Trump has demonstrated the morality of a barn cat – he’s bragged about his sexual promiscuity and marital infidelities. The speech he uses in referring to women is highly offensive. What message is FFA leadership sending to its female members by inviting Trump to speak? (currently, four of six national officers are young women.)…” Mr. Miller also states; “Trump has license to behave as he does precisely because he is not held to account for his actions. By inviting him to speak, the FFA has endorsed his statements and actions.”

    We have watched him this week as he still tends to uphold Saudi Africa due to expecting billions for selling them arms after they tortured and murdered a journalist, a member of the media he also denigrates repeatedly. We saw him last night joking about “acting nice” in an attempt to dispel the belief by millions that his ugly comments are what led to the bomb threats discovered yesterday – with more discovered to day, to former VP Joe Biden and actor Robert DeNiro. Those “fine people” he supports in the neo-Nazi, WHITE Nationalist and KKK organizations stand behind him and his Fascism.

    VOTE BLUE!

  15. A wise lady I know, (she lived through WW II and the Great Depression) said, “It is about 16% of the population that makes misery for the rest of us.” I hope she is right.
    Vote

  16. I do not buy into to all these comparisons to Nazi Germany and Hitler. The differences between Germany of the 1920’s and early 1930’s and America today are immense. Mussolini’s brand of Fascism predated Hitler.

    We always had here in America the idea of White Supremacy carried forward into Native American lands. Slaves were property and the rights of the “property” owning Southern Aristocracy had to be preserved, after the American Revolution. Slavery was part of the legal framework of early America.

    After the Civil War slavery was outlawed, Jim Crow was imposed in varying degrees over our entire nation. What the Confederacy could not win on the battlefield – outright slavery – they won by creating second class citizenship. Executive Order 9981, executive order issued on July 26, 1948, by U.S. Pres. Harry S. Truman that abolished racial segregation in the U.S. military.

    The Civil Rights movement was met with bitter resistance. Nixon’s callous and self-serving Southern Strategy provided a new path for the racists into the GOP. Reagan added the Evangelicals to the mix.

    So it did not take Nazi’s and Hitler to infiltrate America with White Supremacy, it was already here. The American Fascists or the 1% have long relied on triangulating our society into silos to maintain their power.

    Democratic Socialism is the real danger to the 1%, since at it’s core Democratic Socialism seeks to unite us – not divide us.

  17. When I was a little kid, there was an expression used on a daily basis. “Don’t do as I do. Do as I say.” A bunch of rich scumbags dictated how the majority of Americans should conduct business, while the scumbags were following a completely different agenda. The country had the worst financial depression of all time.

    And then along came a Nazi scumbag, who set out to convince non-Nazis that serving Nazis full time was the most admirable thing they could do. It took five years to swing the pendulum the other direction.

    And now we have a self-serving, lying scumbag who thinks he’s the only important person in the world. He lies. He cheats. He lies. He insults. He lies. He completely ignores the law. Did I mention that he lies?

    The U.S. has an incredibly large number of bright attorneys. It would seem that a few of them could get their heads together and remove this scumbag from office. Tomorrow would not be too early.

  18. “The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are nonexistent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices. Their intention to rule rests with the annihilation of consciousness. We have been lulled into a trance. They have made us indifferent to ourselves, to others. We are focused only on our own gain.”

    The above quote is not from some political observer of modern America, but it is from the movie by John Carpenter – They Live- released in November 1988.

    Another line from the movie.

    “You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.”
    **********************************************************
    Some of the other hidden messages being drummed into the people’s subconscious include: NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT, CONFORM, SUBMIT, STAY ASLEEP, BUY, WATCH TV, NO IMAGINATION, and DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY.

    This indoctrination campaign engineered by the elite in They Live is painfully familiar to anyone who has studied the decline of American culture. https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/10/24/has-america-become-a-dictatorship-disguised-as-a-democracy/
    ***********************************************************

    I believe art imitates life and we have had many warning bells such as the books – 1984, Animal Farm for starters.

    We have the Kardashian’s and other “reality shows” just to keep us entertained 24/7/365. President Agent Orange is a real live guest of the type Jerry Springer would have on as a President.

  19. For an example of anti-Semitism in action check out this link:
    https://theintercept.com/2018/10/19/south-carolina-foster-parent-discrimination-miracle-hill-ministries/
    This is based on “In order to practice my religion, I must be free to discriminate against yours.”
    If this is allowed to go through, we have crossed the threshold into the establishment of the White Nationalist Protestant state. (That, combined with the gutting of the Voting Rights Act = FUBAR.)
    The Republican Party no longer exists, IMO, they have become the White Nationalist Party. And the next “caravan” might be headed OUT of the country.

  20. I suppose that there is some intellectual purpose that is served by sophisticated definition and classification of political ideologies but I have a feeling that it is wasted on the practioners of many of them good and bad. They are interest in the position that they occupy on the spectrum that runs from competition to collaboration – the spectrum that progress keeps moving the environment to the left on as human population and communications technology continually grows.

    Who do I have to beat and what are the ways that I can in order to maintain my position relative to everyone else within society – or – who can I work with to improve the environment that we all exist in?

    Everyone on that spectrum searches for others near them on the spectrum and tribal instincts, or as we call them alternatively, social instincts, take over and tribes naturally form and can be organized by people who seek benefit from enhancing their power.

    Fortunately during their times our founders could be found on the left end of the spectrum and they wrote our Constitution and fought the first of several wars to eject those on the other end.

  21. The certainly upcoming economic shitstorm may help us win this election and the next one but it will also harden the extremism of the left and right as well.

  22. Not for the first time, I was wrong. I felt certain Trump would blame democrats for the bombs in the mail. But he fooled me. Instead he blamed the press and overlooked his own substantial contributions. It’s simply an observation to say that a thoroughly and incurably childish mind is incapable of having an adult reaction, even to the most serious problems. The art of the deal is the art of the real, and like an emotionally stunted child, Trump has not chosen to look reality in the face on any given day since 2016.

    The mindless serfs who abet Trump’s tedious strategy to turn America into an autocracy/plutocracy are at least as obedient as Hitler’s minions and capable of every atrocity the Nazi’s committed. Their philosophy was captured nicely in response to a letter to the editor I wrote encouraging people to think for themselves. “You don’t know what you are talking about,” my critic said. “We are lucky we have smart people to do our thinking for us.”

    If November 6th goes badly, we will observe atrocious actions by the hyper-obedient more quickly than most of us would like to believe. Isn’t the mail bomber just the first to rear his ugly head in a way the president called for?

  23. Hitler gained so many followers in Germany by being an exciting speaker who promised to restore and put Germany first again after its political and economic losses from WWI. He found scapegoats for their problems and blamed them, imprisoned them, and killed them. He was a motivating enough speaker that he could have led Germany to greatness by inspiration rather than dictatorial menas. But inspiring and persuading is so much more difficult and time-consuming than dictatorship and removing one’s opponents.

    The U.S. had any number of corporate leaders who undermined American interests in both WWI and WWII by selling much needed parts, supplies, etc. to Germany. Their almighty dollars mattered more than patriotism. Some like Henry Ford agreed with Hitler that Jews were a problem.

    Perhaps that’s why I have such a jaundiced view of Trump’s “America first” and trickle-down-economics snake oil. Trump wanted tax cuts for himself. He doesn’t manufacture any of his retail goods in America where he could provide more jobs for Americans if only he would. It’s all about Trump first, then maybe his rich friends who can help HIM. America’s interests and anyone else comes in a very distant last place. Trump may not know it, but he seems to like facism just fine.

  24. I have always thought Trump needs to be looked at in two ways. On a personal level, he wants to be like Putin or Kim, powerful and unquestioned. I think he would love Kim Jung-il various names: Brilliant Leader, Superior Person, Beloved Father, Great Leader, and Savior among others.
    On the political level, it is more like Turkey with an erosion of Democratic institutions.

    JoAnn – I actually think Trump would have supported moving the embassy to Jerusalem even without the Kushners. First, there are a number of rich, hypocritical Jews (think Sheldon Adelson) who believe that if they give some of their money to charity and support Israel that they are being righteous and nothing else matters. Secondly, there is that faction of Evangelical Christians, who support Israel believing that if the Jews all go to Israel and get converted to Christianity, it will bring the End Times. Some of them welcome conflict in the region as part of the process.

  25. Welcome information that helps to comprehend this shocking population of blind followers.
    Because we are so present oriented, have so much speed technology, run so fast, we tend
    to overlook the fact that ideas, ideology, and institutions can continue on decade after decade without being obvious.

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