Monday 29 Aug 2016

A Bad Playbook
AJ Robinson

I've always loved history. Yes, I know that makes me a nerd. It never really bothered me, how others respond to my interest in history.


A truism about history.

My dad taught me an important point about history, it was an old saying that he said was very true. "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." One of the things I learned is that there was a time when we Americans, when reciting the pledge of allegiance would hold out our right arm in a sort of salute. We changed it to putting our hand over our heart after World War II, for obvious reasons.

It was with a good deal of trepidation that I saw Trump calling on his "Dumpters" to essential give the Nazi salute. What I found particularly insulting was he claimed he didn't know what he asked for was the Nazi salute. Although I definitely don't see Trump as Hitler and his followers as Nazis, there are an awful lot of creepy parallels.

First is the fiery rhetoric full of nationalistic pride and blame heaped on "The Others," meaning anyone who isn't "one of us." Hitler certainly used that one a great deal. Then there's the persecution complex; this was where the Nazis turned things around and always made themselves the victims.


Who does that sound like?

I've seen newsreel footage of how, at Nazi rallies where, supporters beat "undesirables." It was never the fault of the Nazis. No, those "other" people started it and the good people had to defend themselves. Repeatedly, Trump has incited violence at a rally, yet who's to blame for the fights? His democrat opponents, they're sending agitators to harass his followers. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

The media, of the day,, in 1933, say, often laughed at the Nazi movement and many people saw Hitler as a buffoon who would never be elected to any office. Others felt that, if nothing else, he was passionate about his love for the country and they were sure that the fiery rhetoric was just for show. Once in office, he'd tone it down.

Again, all of that sounds just a little too familiar, doesn't it?

Please understand, I am not calling Trump a new Hitler or his Dumpters the new Nazi Party of America. After all, even if elected, he couldn't do half of what he says he's going to do and that's being generous. Build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it. How is he going to do that exactly?


Trump never offers details.

Deport twelve million illegals. Again, how will he do that? Again, he offers no details. Prevent any Muslims from entering the country. That’s not only a direct violation of the Constitution, but impossible to implement. He does call for the registering of all Muslims, which is creepy and, so far, he hasn't advocated making them wear a crescent on their clothes, but does anyone think that's beyond consideration for he and his followers?

Although I do see him as a total clown, I do not dismiss his antics altogether; not by a long shot. I remember several other quotes my dad taught me. The first was that all that is necessary for evil to win is good people doing nothing. The other was that the price for failing to participate in the political process is that you end up ruled by your inferiors. Well, we've had several years of the Tea Baggers running things and where has it gotten us; nowhere. This does help explain Trump's rise. People are frustrated and they want action.

The question they have to ask themselves is, “What do they truly want and who's in a position to help them achieve it?”

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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1 September 2016 through 4 September 2016

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