May 9, 2016

Trump's Troops

Trump’s followers, perhaps unconsciously, borrowed from Hitler’s playbook by capitalizing on our frustration that we are no longer the only “shining city on a hill” with much of the world slowly catching up.


“At the time that it was written, the tide was starting to turn against Germany,” Anthony said. “In response Hitler began to turn his attentions to the German home front.”
“...  MacCurdy recognised that, faced with external failure, the Nazi leader was focusing on a perceived ‘enemy within’ instead – namely the Jews. Given that we now know that the Final Solution was commencing, this makes for poignant reading.” … http://goo.gl/Cu3fRN
“For Hitler, Jews came to represent everything he despised and feared. He believed they were responsible for Capitalism and Socialism, .. "Thus I finally discovered who were the evil spirits leading our people astray...," Hitler claimed. "My love for my own people increased correspondingly. Considering the satanic skill which these evil counselors displayed how could their unfortunate victims be blamed?.... The more I came to know the Jew, the easier it was to excuse the workers." … http://goo.gl/Zeuj61

Prior to Hitler Germany lost World War I and was punished with sanctions making it difficult for their economy to recover. Ten years later the Depression devastated the world. The psyche of the German people was damaged and Hitler used the Jews as a scapegoat.

It is possible that the United States is experiencing the same psychological trauma as Germany did in the early part of the last century and Donald Trump is capitalizing on it like Hitler. One could make the case that many whites are using scapegoats to explain the nation's decrease in relative world power and influence. This time the scapegoats are blacks, Muslims and impoverished whites?

Current citizens of the United States do not remember when we were not the most powerful, wealthy and successful country in the world. We can only read about the times when the Roman Empire, Greece, England, China and others dominated the world. We bought into the concept of our “Manifest Destiny”, an attitude prevalent during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to stretch from coast to coast. Today, many have expanded its meaning to our status on the world stage in general. They feel it is our “right” to be the top dog on the planet.

Many in this country are in denial. They don’t like the idea that China once again is a world power and a strong economic and military competitor. Most are pleased, but concerned, that Europe has fully recovered from World War II and is now economically competitive with a lifestyle and wealth at our level.  Many in this country are opposed to free trade agreements because they see jobs shifting to other parts of the world and have no way of stopping it.

Americans are frustrated with our relative slippage in power and influence, but either do not know what to do about it or refuse to admit it. These Americans are looking for something, or someone, to blame. Many of the uninformed and naive blame black Americans and the poor. What other nations do is pretty much out of our control, so instead we search for scapegoats within our borders. The easy prey is the poor and minorities.

I love my country, but I am worried about its future and concerned that someone like Donald Trump has even a chance of being the leader of this great nation. His rise to political power says much about are psychic.

We are not a country that is “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We were getting there but lately have regressed. My theory for this is we are not totally comfortable with sharing our planet with other countries of equals, or soon to be equals, such as those in the Eurozone, China, India, Canada, parts of Africa, Japan and South Korea. The list will continue to grow. We should be proud of our past leaders including Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower, who chose not to try and conquer the rest of the world after World War II, but rather to help in its rebuilding and making it a better place for all to exist.

Now we are facing the inevitable. Much of the world has or is about to catch up and Trump and his Trumpettes don’t like the feeling. Instead of being partners with the world we want to continue to dominate. Instead of accepting the inevitable, we blame the most vulnerable in society for the reason for our relative decline. Trump is using this paranoia to his advantage.

* Revised May 10, 2016 to clarify that writer is not suggesting Trump is another Hitler, but rather he is using to his advantage the fear that many in the nation have that our worldly influence is declining.

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