OUR DEMOCRACY TEETERS ON A PRECIPICE!

Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their peers, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change… Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened, when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice. (Robert F. Kennedy)

During the past few years, our democratic experiment has come under siege and is only worsening day by day. Basically, we are on the edge of full on fascism.  Will we be able to preserve it before it’s too late?

A few months ago, I watched a PBS historical documentary describing how fascism rose in Europe during the 1930’s ensuring Hitler’s rise to power.  I was amazed to see how many parallels there are to the current trends in America as well as in the destabilizing of other democracies around the world.  Slowly, like a frog tossed into gradually boiling water, we are witnessing fascism coming to our country.

Since we aren’t quite there yet, and may have a slim chance of turning it around, this administration has made frightening and surprising progress in only a few years and it’s clear that not enough is being done to thwart those efforts. Many regimes have toppled democracies in six months; that is about equal to the time that we have left before the swearing in of the next president in January 2021. We must vote in someone else or we are likely doomed.

First, the term fascism gets used frequently, by both parties so let’s understand what it means. It is actually an ideological term.  Two definitions are: 1) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. 2) Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultra-nationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, as well as strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. 

In this blog, I want to explore and compare the changes we have experienced in recent years to the time when Hitler came to power. There are fourteen common traits of fascism, and I will attempt to cover most all of them. The economic times and other factors are similar at this time in history to what they were in the early 1920’s. The election of Trump was certainly a surprise to many and his actions have many parallels to the man he loves to read about, Hitler.

Unlike back then, but certainly a key factor, we are in the midst of a pandemic and have seen historic unemployment rates due to people being unable to go to work. We are in a recession, if not worse, as the outbreak continues to flourish under a lack of federal leadership.

This seemingly autocratic push didn’t just begin with Trump, yet his ties and admiration for Putin and other oligarchs around the world may increase its likelihood of success. Also, his stupidity and narcissism drive many of the ugly policies that have been enacted or altered.  It helps that many cronies he has appointed appear to have similar agendas. Furthermore, the GOP has plotted, planned and promised to change American institutions at least since Reagan’s presidency when his policies promoted libertarianism and the reduction of government’s functions.  Since our 45th President took office, and earlier, primarily Republican administrations they continue to demonize our social programs, reduce or delete the regulations on banking and environmental protections,  promote oligarchical tactics and relationships with other autocrats, and approve  ‘swampy’ men to powerful positions including stacking the court system with cronies who will uphold their decisions for many years.

Journalists, television commentators and many books that I have read, agree we are moving daily closer to fascism.  Recently, more and more have reported on this trajectory frequently as the news becomes crazier by the day.  I am not alone in this thinking and there are many books that go into more detail than I will for sure.  Every single day I am astounded at the actions and executive orders that touch every facet of our lives and of our institutions.  One day you think nothing worse can happen, and the next day it does! Few stones are left unturned. Will the pillars of our great experiment in democracy be able to stand?

After the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Ben Franklin was questioned upon leaving the Independence hall in Philadelphia with this query by Mrs. Powell, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”  Over 230 years later, this question weighs heavily on our hearts.  Can we really keep our republic, one that is indirectly controlled by the people, not by an autocrat?   Currently, we are under a kakistocracy which is a system of government run by the inept, and the worst qualified individuals.  However, it is clear that he wants to be an autocrat, and so far, has succeeded at most of his directives.  Perhaps we are starting to see a wee crack in that wall that protects him by certain military leaders and GOP members finally speaking out.

The blatant disregard for the rule of law, and of our rights highlights our Constitutionally-created checks and balances are totally inadequate.  Also, many of our leaders in the FBI and Congress have not done enough to stop this growing insurgency.  Some have resigned, and a few are whistleblowers, but even that doesn’t seem to work.  Impeachment didn’t work either, mostly because the Senate is made up of supporters who won’t risk Trump’s disfavor by doing the right thing for our country and the constituents they represent. If we can’t depend on the other branches now; it’s up to us to take action into our own hands by taking to the streets and voting out ALL of those who promote this takeover.

For years, many of us have marched, rallied and massively called our representatives, not unlike the early days in Germany, but to little avail. While these tactics so far haven’t worked against the rise in white supremacy, the stacking of the court system to their favor, and the blatant disregard of the rule of law, we still have our first amendment right to speak up and to protest and the larger the crowds, the more they will be noticed. One hope is with our youth taking to the streets this year for the Black Lives Matter protests against police abuse and racial inequities. They are shedding light on systemic problems, and their efforts have already may have helped. Unfortunately, it has also given rise to groups who have infiltrated under disguise, and caused violence when most of the protests have been non-violent.   It is one of our few tools, so the protests must continue!

Teflon Don has been able to get away with many crimes throughout his lifetime including while President. If we survive this administration, many laws and practices need to be revisited; we’ve realized that our current judicial system failed us under this tyrannical Presidency.  Our founding fathers did not envision anything this crazy nor prepare us for how to handle it! Thankfully, our youth, out of work and school, and without jobs during the pandemic, have found their voices and are now demonstrating in the streets.  What a mess for them to clean up!

Nevertheless, as Americans, we never thought an autocratic ruler could be elected in our country; we expected our checks and balances would prevail. Our textbooks didn’t teach us the true history of our nation; one built on the brutality against the Native Americans and the enslavement of Blacks who were kidnapped. Somehow, our civics lessons failed us as our education system has declined.  Apparently, civics was dropped in the 1980’s from curriculum, sad to say.  Many people don’t vote, aren’t active in their communities and likely don’t even know who their elected officials are, much less contact them regularly about important issues nor attend town halls.  What would wake people up?  Perhaps we are seeing the beginning with thousands protesting in many major cities and seeing the videos of brutality on television (back in the 30’s there was not so much immediate news coverage or cell phone videos). 

Almost every Republican Administration in the last century, has left us in a recession or worse, and after the 1950’s economic boom, the middle class began its decline.  Unions have gradually been decimated, voting rights were challenged and unprotected, and wages fail to keep up with rising costs. It’s was a perfect storm for a so-called populist liar to run for office. But the fact is, he wasn’t there for the people, he is there for himself!  Jobs haven’t returned from foreign countries, factory doors have closed, and migrant workers have been ostracized and expelled.

Just to revisit 2016, a TV reality-show star, Donald Trump, was elected by the electoral college (not the popular vote which he lost like other Republicans in recent times).   In her amazingly telling book, Hiding in Plain Sight, Sarah Kendzior, states in the introduction: “The Trump administration is like a reality show featuring villains from every major political scandal of the past forty years—Watergate, Iran-Contra, 9/11, the Iraq War, the 2008 financial collapse – in recurring roles and revivals, despite the widespread desire of the public for the show to be canceled.  From Roger Stone to Paul Manafort to William Barr, it is a Celebrity Apprentice of federal felons and disgraced operatives dragged out of the shadows and thrust back into the spotlight—with Donald Trump, yet again, at the helm.”  Furthermore, his niece, Mary Trump, has written a book about Trump’s childhood and how he grew up to be such as narcissist.

Both Kendzior and film maker, Michael Moore, predicted ‘45’ would win in 2016.  In her own words Sarah says, “In fall 2015, I predicted that Donald Trump would win the presidential election, and that once installed, he would decimate American democracy.  For years, I had warned of the widespread erosion of American institutions and social trust “  

“Donald Trump is, at this moment, becoming the American version of a Hitler and a Mussolini. We have created a fascist Frankenstein.”  Dr. Cornel West

The Germans didn’t think it could ever happen in Germany either, yet Hitler rose to Chancellor in 1933. (recommended reading ‘It Can’t Happen Here; by Sinclair Lewis). As we’ve seen with the pandemic 100 years ago, history can repeat itself. Let’s look at examine a few ways fascism can come into being:

First Create a big issue.  The first group of German National Socialists marched on Reichstag in 1933 wearing their brown shirts, giving Hitler salutes, breaking out windows of Jewish businesses along the way shouting “Juda Verreck!”  None of the 300 protesters were arrested, and they spread the false news that the Communists had stated the riot.  The lie was repeated so frequently that the truth was lost.     

Not soon after the aforementioned riot, a fire burned their Parliament/ Reichstag which suspiciously may have been set intentionally.  This action gave Hitler an excuse to arrest thousands of Communists and then to ban all Communist publications. He outlawed that party and did not allow them to take part in the elections that year, where previously their party had 17% of the votes the year before.  Therefore, he won the majority in Parliament and became Chancellor that year and quickly rose to power. And many supported him, with youth gladly becoming his soldiers.

For a bit of background, the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ began in the French assembly in the 19th century where people were labelled by where they sat in their meetings, not by their views like today. German parties had similarities to our left and right leanings. The ‘left’ were more interested in social programs, labor unions, rights for women and were less nationalistic.  The Social Democrats were supporters of democracy and the Communists wanted more of a dictatorship. The most important of these radical anti-Republican parties were the communists on the left and the National Socialists (Nazis) on the right.  There are many facets to the almost thirty parties which you can read more about  at this link: https://www.facinghistory.org/weimar-republic-fragility-democracy/readings/weimar-political-parties.”  There are a few comparisons to the parties we have in America today. Nevertheless, in 1930, the Nazi’s won the elections with 18% of the vote and went from the smallest party to the second largest.

Other than unpopular GOP policies and actions, the first really big American event which changed our political course was 9/11.   Was that our Reichstag? That act of terrorism paved the way for the Patriot Act to be passed which stripped away many rights from us.  I am one of the few who believe there was even more behind 9/11 than we know (based primarily on the way the buildings fell like pancakes, and the fact that building 7 fell similarly to the two towers when it was not hit by a plane). We’ll probably never know the full truth. Not only did our leaders strip us of rights due to ‘the fight on terrorism’, it also made those in power very rich over the wars they started so its hard to argue that they didn’t have a hand in this big event.

The second big event I believe was when this President decided to take military action on his own citizens in front of the White House and more recently in Portland!   People were protesting peacefully, yet he chose to bring in the might and force of the military in uniform to disperse them to make a grand gesture for his own aggrandizement. ‘45’ decided to create a big issue by pulling in the military, threatening to send troops to all states and calling it an insurgence. I watched in horror and dismay on television as military police pushed people back, threw tear gas into the peaceful crowd, and other military appeared on horseback. In addition, military planes flew overheard to intimidate.  All of this partially to have a ‘photo op’ in front a church and leave his safe bunker?  Instead, his actions have created even greater protests around the nation and even brought former President’s and candidates out to speak against this.

To give some background on the powers he claims to have: the INSURRECTION LAW[S1] , dating back to 1807, was originally signed by Thomas Jefferson and amended over the years. It states: “Whenever there is an insurrection in any State against its government, the President may, upon the request of its legislature or of its governor if the legislature cannot be convened,” send in military troops.  Note, no governor asked for this, however, since the District of Columbia doesn’t have a governor, he basically has that authority.  The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law signed on June 18, 1878, by President Rutherford B. Hayes. The purpose of the act – in concert with the Insurrection Act of 1807 – is to limit the powers of the federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States.  He should not have used power upon his own citizens. The soldiers standing on the steps of our monuments chillingly engraved in my mind.

Then, more recently, uninvited by the governor, this President has sent unmarked vans with camouflaged men to snatch peaceful protesters from the streets of Portland. He threatens to send them to other cities as well.  Apparently, these men are possibly ICE agents, or recruits of groups who believe in white supremacy and are willing to do his bidding. Whoever they are, it is unconstitutional and very scary. We have never seen any action like this before. And Trump has threatened to send them to other cities as well, although supposedly they are supposed to be leaving after the Portland Governor fought back.  Note: he is only sending them to ‘liberal’ states.

Claim an emergency situation to suspend rights   Hitler used any excuse to suspend the rights of the German people, especially for the Jews over and over again.  In the U.S, the Patriot Act was one of the biggest suspensions of our rights, and in my estimation never should have been voted in. Once you start stripping rights, you begin losing them more easily.

 “The USA Freedom Act replaces the USA Patriot Act, which expired in 2015.  It contains most of the same provisions, but imposes some new limits on the bulk collection of telecommunication metadata on citizens by intelligence agencies, including NSA.  But it doesn’t undo many of the privacy provisions and it restores authorization for roving wiretaps and tracking solo terrorists.” According to the Verge: “The Senate has voted to reauthorize the USA Freedom Act, bringing the surveillance bill closer to becoming law. The USA Freedom Reauthorization Act restores government powers that expired in March with Section 215 of the Patriot Act. While the Senate adopted an amendment to expand oversight, it shot down a proposal that would have restricted warrantless collection of internet search and web browsing data.” Since it is up for a vote soon in Congress, including spying on us through our emails, one action you could take is to call your Congressperson asap!  Recent protests provide a wakeup call as the military was called in to push its own people back who were only exercising their 1st Amendment Right to protest. Many people have been injured for life, or even killed.

 Also, as I mentioned before, many rights have decreased in the past few years like the Muslim Ban, the revoking  of the  Voting Rights Act, stripping women of reproductive rights, allowing gerrymandering, filling the courts with conservative judges, blocking legislation even being voted upon by Senator McConnell stripping away rights of immigrants, removing regulations of banks and protections for our environment, including air and water.  The Muslim ban is also up for a vote soon, so please voice your views asap.

Who knows what rights could be suspended as elections near this year?  Just this week he suggested that we move the election due to Covid!  How about to August!  Will he even leave office if he loses? As more protests happen, and people are fed up with what is happening, more laws are being created to stifle our freedoms to protest and speak up.  He could expand this policy of sending troops (aka brown shirts) to cities, and/or creating martial laws that could usurp our elections in November.  He seems unstoppable at times.  Leader, Nancy Pelosi contends that he will be fumigated from the White House no matter what. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/27/new-pen-america-report-warns-surge-anti-protest-laws-trump-era-danger-expressive 

Repeated lies.  Hitler lied and made promises that were unfulfilled. It’s obvious that Trump lies, as it is documented he has already made over 20,000 of them   He made simple promises to his ‘base of supporters’ which haven’t been kept; one was to keep factories and jobs here when in fact many more factories have closed and many have lost their jobs.  He said he would preserve Social Security and yet wants to stop the payroll deduction to ruin this popular program. He creates problems that weren’t there and then supposedly fixes them.  His lies are so frequent that I am unsure if he even knows the difference. Also, numerous women say he sexually assaulted them, and he claims he never knew them when there are photographs to prove differently.  He gives false facts and asks others to cover them up, like the true numbers of how many have died from the coronavirus.  He even went as far to say he was taking a drug that has proven to be dangerous, and asked others to take it; I question if he ever even took it.

Also, ‘45’claims that climate change is a hoax, and that any news source that disagrees with him is ‘fake’ news.   His cabinet lies and makes up stories to cover-up what this administration is doing. Recently, within the USDA, scientists were told they had to move or lose their jobs.  Most of them did not want to move and so many just resigned.  As it turns out, as stated by Chief of Staff at the time, Mulvaney, it is difficult to fire Federal employees, so what could be a better way to get rid of them than to offer them something that will force them to quit? They don’t want liberal scientists saying that climate change is real and coming up with solutions so you create a bogus situation to get rid of those who don’t agree with you.   https://www.alternet.org/2019/10/ralph-nader-how-corporate-power-is-locking-out-experts-and-civil-leaders-and-winning/

Identify enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.  Hitler clearly chose the Jews and Communists as his enemy/scapegoat in Germany and other countries that he invaded.  But he also disliked many other groups such as the disabled.  It begins with ‘othering’ those who were not considered Arian.  For him, if they were not Aran, like him, they are different, and less than human. He wanted to obliterate them so after denigrating them, he eventually locked them up and murdered most of them.  He also made it a national policy for women to remain in traditional roles by staying at home and having babies.

No one can argue that Trump displays rampant sexism.  He puts down women reporters and dismisses Congresswomen and Pelosi, even making up names for them.  Hitler and his cronies began by encouraging women to stay at home, have more Arian babies, and upholding women’s traditional roles. Plus, Nazi’s did not approve of birth control or abortion.  Since Trump was elected, we have seen many women come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment or worse, seen more states try to do away with abortions and  we know he would approve the overturning of Roe vs. Wade if he had his way so  he is stacking the courts in hopes of that happening.  Furthermore, Trump never takes responsibility, blames others, fires staff regularly who disagree with him, nor does he ever apologize for anything. 

Since day one, his racism has been prominent. A top target is Latino immigrants and he began his term with the Muslim ban. He finds ways to belittle all minority groups, even the disabled. His racist solutions are building THE WALL to keep Mexicans out, attempting to change the census questions so that immigrants are excluded, , increasing surprise ICE raids, separating families and caging children, increasing tariffs and much more to denigrate these people. He also puts down women, many in power positions like Congress for their race and genders, people with disabilities, and more. And now he blames Chinese people for the coronavirus and frequently calls it the ‘China virus’ (we need to call it the Trump virus since it happened on his watch and he did little to stop its trajectory).

His blatant racism has targeted immigration in a big way by suspending the rights of immigrants. “U.S. citizenship: Children born abroad to certain U.S. service members and other federal employees will no longer be granted automatic citizenship under a Trump administration policy set to take effect in October. Parents of those children, including those born on military bases, will have to apply for citizenship on the children’s behalf before they turn 18, according to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services policy released on Wednesday. Federal spokespeople could not provide estimates of the number of families affected. The policy change infuriated some at the Pentagon and confused and surprised others in the military community (The New York Times).”

The Trump administration has quietly altered its handling of visas granted to immigrants who cooperate with criminal investigations, allowing people to be deported even while they are waiting for their visas. The change to visas will make immigrants far less likely to report serious crimes, say immigration attorneys, who argue it also reflects the Trump administration’s efforts to deport as many immigrants as they can from the United States. Immigrants may also fear getting tested for the coronavirus and spread it unwittingly, which is also happening in the detention centers and prisons of our country (he lets his cronies leave prison, but not thousands of others who are at grave risk).



This is a long blog, but informational and important.
 I hope you will continue reading!
 
Lots to cover!

Another scapegoat is blaming the people who dare to investigate any of his actions or policies. Those people become the target of his ire. After year, he continually brings up Hilary Clinton and President Obama, and encouraged his crowds to continue to chant ‘Lock her Up’.  From the very beginning, he has undone everything possible that President Obama enacted.  He attacks people on his own staff as well as other agency heads like Comey, Meghan, James Baker (FBI) as well, and anyone who disagrees with his policies or dares to question his own actions.  And recently his right-hand crony, who thinks he is his personal lawyer instead of representing our nation, A.G. Barr started an investigation into the people who worked on the Russian investigation of the 2016 elections.  He seems to be continuously investigating Obama and Clinton, as well as others who dared to cross him.  Many of his cronies were found guilty of crimes, but most have been released due to the virus, pardoned or ironically found dead.

 The rise of anti-Semitism, the KKK and white supremacy has grown greatly since his Presidency.   Hate crimes have grown substantially and it appears that he incites them.  His ‘base’ goes along with this and he incites their fervor. And now some of his fans are taking to killing sprees with their weapons inspired by his racist rhetoric. Hate crimes here in Colorado doubled from 2017 to 2018 at an all-time high!

Rampant Cronyism and Corruption.  The aforementioned cronies and family in the White House have already been covered.  One quote, “Can I just say this is one of the most corrupt administrations I’ve seen in my lifetime. Trump’s Cabinet and attorneys, family are all his cronies. They all march to his drum, are vetted for their willingness to be ‘yes’ men and women (few women).  The impeachment inquiry will show how deep the corruption goes hopefully. I repeat, many of his cronies are already in jail.”

Consolidate power.   Hitler made power moves quickly. The first was to arrest the Communists and not allowing them to vote.  Hitler merged the Presidency and Chancellorship positions when he took power in 1933 when the Enabling Act in 1933 allowed him supreme dictatorial power.  He introduced censorship, ended civil liberties with a law, at which point Germany only had a single party.

Trump has appointed his family to top positions with complete nepotism; people who had no qualifications or security clearances, and yet they remain the focal governing group in the White House.  Who else can he trust but family?  He originally appointed many of his mobster cronies who would do his bidding.  He still lines his cabinet with people who are not qualified and who will blindly follow his lead.  Many were campaign donors or have a business stake in the very department that they head, like the fox guarding the henhouse.  As department posts are vacated, many positions are not filled.  Many agency personnel are being cut, including scientists at the USDA.  Most regulations have been cut including EPA and banking.  The GOP’s goal has been to minimize the government for many years.  The courts are being stacked with conservatives, so that future legal battles may be lost when they have been our only recourse at times.

Let’s consider the power of the military and national security next.  America boosts a strong military and we spend more on our military budget than the next ten nations combined.  Trump seems enthralled with military might and enjoys the exhibition of military power of the dictators he visits. He has continually increased the military budget, to the detriment of other programs, and threatens other countries frequently.  To pattern other autocrats, he insisted upon   our first 4th of July military parade last year and the spectacle of a speech and fireworks at Mount Rushmore this year on sacred Native American lands where fireworks were not allowed.   He seems to believe he is above the law, and so far, has gotten away with most everything he’s done illegally. Never before have we seen tanks rolling down the streets of D.C. but it is becoming more common now.  He also vetoes military legislation that Congress and the Senate pass to stop purchases and actions around the world.

And nationalism is growing. What is that?  In the world of politics, it identifies the nation with the people, to ethnographic principles.  An early sign was the wearing of the ‘maga’ red hats. Now these hats are symbols much like the brown shirts are associated with the Nazi’s.  These were the storm troopers in Hitler’s army who wore brown shirts and were known to be Nazi soldiers. To be called a ‘brown shirt’ meant you were opposed to human rights or freedom.  What attributes would you associate with someone wearing a ‘maga’ hat?  The GOP has tried to adopt the flag as theirs, their symbol of freedom, and they have also begun displaying more Confederate flags.  Trump doesn’t want Confederate statues removed and seems to esteem the Confederate ideals and symbols, even though they lost the Civil War.

Trump’s rhetoric and the chants in his rallies drum up nationalism, as well as racism.  He is not happy unless he is the central focus of the news, and often deflects news stories by creating some new crisis.  His base would claim that they are the only patriots and ones who love America and freedom, while Trump in fact would strip us of the very freedoms for which our military has fought. Here are a couple of stories that depict his nationalistic tendencies:

1)https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/7/18/1872743/–Trump-s-Go-home-invective- echoes-Nazi-incitement-against-Jews-Chemi-Shalev-for-Haaretz

 2) https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/8/14/1879047/-Chilling-film-of-huge-pro-Nazi-rally-in-New-York-City-1939-foreshadows-Trump-s-rallies-today

3) https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/11/highly-disturbing-pentagon-document-shows-us-military-surveilling-groups-protesting  

4)  https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/28/call-it-surge-vowing-nationwide-crackdown-trump-touts-tougher-and-more-militarized

Recent Black Lives Matter protests have lasted more than 50 days. Trump decided on June 1 to take a stand by rolling in the military to push back protesters, and take a photo op in Lafayette Square. This was a grand -standing moment, unlike any we’ve seen before.  When I saw the men lined up on the memorial steps, and the soldiers riding horseback, it was like a scene from a third world country.  Our own people, whose salaries we pay, were tossing tear gas at our fellow citizens.  It was frightening, angering and horrifying!  Now Portland protesters are being seized without being read their rights, or charged for any unlawful action. It is likely illegal and a very unconstitutional thing to do!

Control Mass Media.   Trump continuously from the beginning has condemned the media and calls them ‘fake news’.  Recently he called them out as enemies. His favorite messaging is through Twitter with numerous tweets daily, but they have finally called him out by fact-checking him and other social media platforms are coming down a bit on him.

His favorite media source is television from his reality show days.  To date, Fox news remains his favorite station and he thinks they should promote his reelection.  It mimics a state-controlled station as they continually support his policies and exclude many stories, or alter them, plus give him air time any time he wants it.   In very recent news he tweeted, “Many will disagree, but @Fox News is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get reelected on November 3rd” so clearly, he thinks that is their purpose.   Very recently, some of the FOX newscasters have begun to question him more, and he is turning more to a newer station, O.A.N.  In press briefings, he calls on them more than many others.

Certainly, the media has changed from what it was during the 1930’s! They didn’t have television, the internet or social media and certainly not Twitter.   Hitler made the press his target!   Trump calls the media ‘fake news’ and Fox News supports him like a government channel might although lately they have been more outspoken and made him angry.  He constantly rebukes news publications, especially when they disagree with them. He uses Twitter like a memorandum, which can be seen by the world.   Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t yet monitor him, but does monitor our personal posts and declines to post some of them.  At least Twitter seems to be targeting some posts, and just banned David Duke, KKK leader. Journalists are frequent targets, as you can read about in these two posts:

 1) https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/ag-barr-facebook-we-need-lawful-access-users-digital-messages-n

2)https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/united-states-added-list-most-dangerous-countries-journalists-first-time-n949676

Like Hitler, Trump seems to have a disdain for human rights.  Otherwise, he would not be locking up children in cages and separating families.  He would not make the comments he does about women and those who are disabled.   I think some other human rights he has violated have been covered.

Religion and Government are Intertwined

It’s no secret that Trump’s base is viewed mostly as the ‘Christian right”.  Trump himself professes to be a Christian but is rarely seen in services on Sunday mornings.   His staged antics at the White House recently showcased him holding up a Bible, one he borrowed, and I believe upside down.  It was all for show, but he continues to play the religious card to his supporters.

Hitler wasn’t really religious either.  He grew up in a family with a Catholic mother and father who considered religion a scam.  Many of his followers were Christian. Clearly, he hated Jews. He thought he could best serve God but ridding the planet of inferior humans and promoting the Aryan race.  The religion became Nazism “God’s Chosen ones”. Trump has said things like he would welcome immigrants like smart people from Norway.  I would surmise that both Trump and Hitler only used religion as a means to the end, whatever will help them get ahead. Trump has indicated he would like to bring prayer back to schools. And I’ve often wondered why they allow an opening prayer in Congress which doesn’t seem like separation of church and state to me.

One case from CNN: “Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie issued new policies Wednesday allowing religious symbols to be publicly displayed in VA facilities nationwide beginning next summer. Wilkie said the new directive is intended to help protect “religious liberty” as part of a broader effort to make sure “veterans and their families feel welcome at the VA.” The instructions allow the VA to accept donations of religious literature, cards and symbols at its facilities to be shared (CNN).”

Corporate Power is Protected.  It is no secret that the power of corporations has grown over time, and especially since the Supreme Court granted the Citizen’s United ruling, making them equal to people.  Most legislation and taxation benefits corporations over people.  Even the recent stimulus checks benefited corporations and the rich have become richer this year, when many have lost their jobs and others their homes too.   Till many corporations get away with paying zero taxes. Of course, Trump and his family, with businesses they have not divested from, are also benefiting from this unfair system.  And they have insured corporation’s futures by removing regulations, the very ones that created the Great Recession of 2008.

Obsession with Crime and Punishment. Trump’s obsession began with the chant “lock her up” and the investigations into Hilary Clinton continue into his last year in office.  Now he is going after others who investigated him.  He is quick to punish those who don’t go along with him.  Hence, recently, Lt. Vinman resigned after being harassed since his impeachment testimony.  Many others have been fired or sued

Even before he was elected, Trump was a thug and dishonest businessman. He didn’t pay his debts or pay the people who worked for him, he filed bankruptcy several times and he hung out with dishonest cronies. That has continued, only he has moved the ‘so-called swamp’ into the White House where it is rampant with dishonesty, cronyism, and criminality.

He is quick to call for punishment for persons who are accused of doing things he has done himself. While he promoted the “lock her up” chant, his own children use private servers in their White House work.

The other day during the pandemic, Trump said they should find the looters at the protests and lock them up for ten years.  That Trump’s obsession began with the chant “lock her up” and the investigations into Hilary Clinton continue.  Now he is going after others who investigated him.  He is quick to punish those who don’t go along with him.  Hence, recently, Lt. Vinman resigned after being harassed since his impeachment testimony.  Many others have been fired or sued is gross over-punishment!  Most recently, fixer Michael Cohen, who was released from prison because of Covid concern, was then led back to prison in shackles after he stated he was writing a book. Temporarily, he was in solitary confinement but Cohen filed a lawsuit against AG Barr over his first amendment rights and was let out again. Not so for thousands of other inmates who probably have more serious health concerns.

One case from CNN: “Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie issued new policies Wednesday allowing religious symbols to be publicly displayed in VA facilities nationwide beginning next summer. Wilkie said the new directive is intended to help protect “religious liberty” as part of a broader effort to make sure “veterans and their families feel welcome at the VA.” The instructions allow the VA to accept donations of religious literature, cards and symbols at its facilities to be shared (CNN).”

Corporate Power is Protected.  It is no secret that the power of corporations has grown over time, and especially since the Supreme Court granted the Citizen’s United ruling, making them equal to people.  Most legislation and taxation benefits corporations over people.  Even the recent stimulus checks benefited corporations and the rich have become richer this year, when many have lost their jobs and others their homes too.   Till many corporations get away with paying zero taxes. Of course, Trump and his family, with businesses they have not divested from, are also benefiting from this unfair system.  And they have insured corporation’s futures by removing regulations, the very ones that created the Great Recession of 2008.

Obsession with Crime and Punishment. Trump’s obsession began with the chant “lock her up” and the investigations into Hilary Clinton continue into his last year in office.  Now he is going after others who investigated him.  He is quick to punish those who don’t go along with him.  Hence, recently, Lt. Vinman resigned after being harassed since his impeachment testimony.  Many others have been fired or sued

Even before he was elected, Trump was a thug and dishonest businessman. He didn’t pay his debts or pay the people who worked for him, he filed bankruptcy several times and he hung out with dishonest cronies. That has continued, only he has moved the ‘so-called swamp’ into the White House where it is rampant with dishonesty, cronyism, and criminality.

He is quick to call for punishment for persons who are accused of doing things he has done himself. While he promoted the “lock her up” chant, his own children use private servers in their White House work.

The other day during the pandemic, Trump said they should find the looters at the protests and lock them up for ten years.  That Trump’s obsession began with the chant “lock her up” and the investigations into Hilary Clinton continue.  Now he is going after others who investigated him.  He is quick to punish those who don’t go along with him.  Hence, recently, Lt. Vinman resigned after being harassed since his impeachment testimony.  Many others have been fired or sued is gross over-punishment!  Most recently, fixer Michael Cohen, who was released from prison because of Covid concern, was then led back to prison in shackles after he stated he was writing a book. Temporarily, he was in solitary confinement but Cohen filed a lawsuit against AG Barr over his first amendment rights and was let out again. Not so for thousands of other inmates who probably have more serious health concerns.

Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts. Obviously, Trump cares little about scientist and facts.  He has fired scientists and now discredits Dr. Fauci over pandemic facts. In fact, he claims to be the authority himself on most ever topic, claiming to be a ‘stable genius.’  Past presidents have enjoyed outings to the Kennedy Center or the Correspondent’s dinner, but he doesn’t even go. If he isn’t the star of the show, he may not want to watch it. If he is the butt of a joke, he doesn’t take it well either.  In fact, when Obama made a joke about him many years ago, it may have set off his desire to take down everything Obama accomplished in retribution!  He cut budgets for educational entertainment such as PBS, and Sesame Street. “Trump doesn’t care much about culture,” says Marla Stone, a professor at Occidental College who has studied the role of arts and culture in 20th-century European authoritarian regimes.  Under the heading above about lies, I talk about the way many scientists were put out of work, Trump doesn’t believe in the climate crisis either so dismissed the many scientists who encourage that belief.

 Hitler dabbled in painting, but cultivating the arts was not his primary goal. He wanted to rule the world with a gun and his mind.  He thought of himself as a philosopher.  However, the Nazi’s censored art between 1933 and 1945.  He preferred to showcase his own preferences in art, which included nude blondes, idealized soldiers and landscapes. He did not care for modern art at all! “Once he was made Chancellor, Hitler was in the perfect position to enforce his artistic values on the whole of Nazi Germany. The March 1933 Enabling Act gave him the legal basis to do this. Hitler created the Reich Chamber of Culture headed by Joseph Goebbels. This organization was split into seven sections: fine arts, music, theatre, literature, press, radio and film. “

It’s summer 2020, the oddest year in my lifetime. I’ve spent more days at home that probably any year in my life. It’s an election year, and the pandemic is growing. What better time to try to look like a hero?  “The most recent is a compelling and chilling account of Hitler’s First Hundred Days, by the historian Peter Fritzsche – a familiar story revisited by the author with fresh verve and insight.  He wrote, “All this open talk by Trump of dominance is pretty undisguised fascism. He’s inciting chaos to set the stage for the strong man to ‘rescue’ the nation.”

There was no doubt who would be Superman riding to America’s rescue. When Trump promised to end what he called “American carnage” – a crisis of “poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, crime and gangs and drugs” — he did not ask for our help. He did not ask that we put our faith in each other or in our democratic values or even in God. Donald J. Trump would be our savior, the new Messiah — because “I alone can fix it.”

We don’t think it could ever happen in the U.S.   But it can, and it is!   I wanted you to see a comparison, to watch for more clues, and to ponder your engagement in stopping the rise of fascism in America. Democracy is about people…people like you and me who can protest, who can vote, who can hold our elected’s accountable.  If we don’t, then our lives will look much different in the near future.  Take heed! Take action! Be Aware!


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