In Part 1 of this 3-Part series (on August 31), I introduced an article by Eric Chenoweth of the Shanker Institute warning about the ominous similarities between America in the Trump era and the fall of the 20th century German Weimar Republic, which had been considered to be one of the most advanced democracies of its time.

Chenoweth illustrates how attacking targeted minorities - Jews, Communists and Socialists in the case of the Weimar overthrow; and brown immigrants, legal as well as "undocumented" ones by Donald Trump, has been a key element in the assault on democracy in both cases.

Chenoweth illustrates how the dangerous tolerance of extremist anti-minority ideology by the public and the media can lead to the overthrow of democracy:in America, just as it did in Germany. He writes:


"The tolerance of Trump's rise has some similarity [to the rise of Hitler]. Trump never moderated his positions, nor did his most ardent followers. Expel ALL undocumented immigrants ('on the first day, they're gone'). Ban ALL Muslims from entering the U.S... As he stoked his followers into chants of 'build the wall' and 'lock her up', the media and Republican party leaders cam to explain such extremism as some sort of reasonable political response to porous borders and purported government corruption. Trump himself began to be viewed as a candidate with 'unique political instincts' for reaching voters, not as someone building a dangerous political movement."

See: https://www.shankerinstitute.org/print/6270


Chenoweth is not the only commentator who has analyzed the troubling resemblance between the stoking of fear and hatred against minorities that led to Hitler's overthrows of the Weimar Republic in 1933 and Trump's policies of scapegoating, vilifying, expelling and excluding both unauthorized and legal nonwhite immigrants in 21st century America

Just over a year ago on August 9, 2019, the liberal site Common Dreams.published an article by Steven Rosenfeld reviewing a book by Burt Neuborne, a distinguished lawyer who has had a long career defending civil liberties. The title of the book is When at Times the Mob is Swayed: A Citizens Guide to Defending Our Republic. See


Leading Civil Rights Lawyer Shows 20 Ways Trump Is Copying Hitler's Early Rhetoric and Policies

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/09/leading-civil-rights-lawyer-shows-20-ways-trump-copying-hitlers-early-rhetoric-and

Rosenfeld's article, including quotations from Neuborne's book, will be discussed in detail in Pert 3 of this series.

Does this mean that Trump is another Hitler? No, of course not. Trump is not anti-Semitic and does not support genocide or mass extermination in any form. But a Americans, we can no longer close our eyes to the fact that Trump is using many of the same strategies that the German Fuehrer did in order to overthrow the Weimar Republic and seize absolute power.

Trump's scapegoating, vilification and persecution of both legal and "undocumented" nonwhite immigrants is one of these strategies, just as Hitler singled out the Jews as Germany's "Unglueck" ("misfortune").. If we continue to ignore this reality, we will risk losing our democracy, possibly in the very near future.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law