By all accounts, the 2016 Presidential primary season is the most bizarre and worrisome in decades. A billionaire reality TV star, the wife of a former President, and a self-professed socialist are running for the highest office in the land. Up until May, an evangelical Hispanic could have been added to the bunch. As if that weren’t enough, accusations have been bandied about that Donald Trump is cut from the same cloth as Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
But, is he? No. Former Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan accurately mirrored the historical record when he described Hitler as, “an individual of great courage…a political organizer of the first rank…steeped in the history of Europe, who possessed oratorical powers that could awe even those who despised him,” and, “an intuitive sense of the…character flaws [and] weakness masquerading as morality…in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.” Tragically, his strengths and mania were channeled into war, racial hatred, and atrocities far surpassing anything the world has ever known.
Time’s The Party of Reagan is No More, March 10, 2016, by Peter Wehner wrote of the conditions that, “gave rise to Trump and Trumpism,” and how, “the explanation starts with certain harmful habits,” such as, “employing apocalyptic rhetoric, like the assertion that America is on the verge of becoming Nazi Germany. Such reckless language is evidence of fevered and disordered minds and paves the way for Trump’s incendiary rhetoric.”
Is America becoming Nazi Germany? No, but there are several disturbing parallels between the Republican and Nazi Parties that seem to be coalesced and underscored in Donald Trump. It’s time we took a step back, recognize and acknowledge these parallels, and alter the direction and discourse of our country to avoid the mistakes made by other societies in other places at other times.
In doing so, supporting details herein come from reputable mainstream news sources, while all historical quotations and events regarding Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany come from just one source, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Written by William L. Shirer, a reporter in Berlin during the nineteen-thirties and early forties, this masterpiece is arguably the most definitive and well-known history of the war years.
A Few of the Parallels
A teacher of Adolph Hitler once described him as, “gifted, although only for particular subjects. [He] lacked self-control [and] was also argumentative, autocratic, self-opinionated, and bad tempered.” As a young man after the Great War, he became disillusioned with what he saw happening to his beloved Germanic people. Determined to save them, in his twisted way of thinking, he began studying the successes and failures of various political parties, and came to the Machiavellian conclusions that parties succeed when they create a mass movement, learn the art of propaganda, appreciate the value of spiritual and physical terror, and have no compunctions over the use of lies and slander against their adversaries. In 1919, he joined the National Socialist German Workers' Party – the Nazis – and by 1921 was its leader. Over the following decade, he put those conclusions into devastating practice.
A Mass Movement
Germany’s loss in WWI culminated in the Versailles Treaty with the victors taking large tracts of the country’s land for themselves. It also imposed massive war reparations and upended the German form of government, shifting power to a multi-party parliamentary republic. The messy business of party politics, compounded by the humiliation of Versailles and a devastatingly weakened economy, led to a disillusionment among the German people. As the 1920s dragged on, they began to long once again for the pre-war days of German hegemony and lose faith in the Weimar Republic (Hitler said during a speech belittling Roosevelt, “I took over the Reich in utter ruin, thanks to democracy”).
Such times were heaven- (or perhaps hell-) sent for Adolph Hitler. He preached incessantly of his beloved country’s victimization at the hands of the WWI victors; belittled the leaders of Britain and France, calling them “little worms;” demeaned whatever peoples and races he believed inferior; praised the righteousness and superiority of Germans; mixed religiosity with nationalism; blamed a “Jewish world conspiracy” for Germany’s woes; and prophesied a utopic future if he were elected of more jobs, more business, and more military power.
In the end, the German people believed him. They wanted change and they got it. On March 5, 1933, Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party were voted into power. By March 23rd, Hitler assumed emergency dictatorial powers under the guise of pulling Germany back from the abyss. He became Der Führer, a title he would hold until his suicide 12 years later in a bunker amidst the smoldering ruins of his beloved Germany. He’d succeeded in his quest for power by creating a mass movement made up of people who chose – purposefully or passively – to think like he did. Within six years, they would march off to a devastating world war, slaughtering tens of millions of people, all the while seeing themselves as righteous, wholesome, superior, and empathetic, though only towards their fellow Germans.
Did Hitler understand this basic human willingness to demonize and rank as inferior those who are different? Do the political movers and shakers of today? Are they exploiting it as he did? Undoubtedly.
A decades-old psychological war is being fought on three fronts, the first of which is fear. The nebulous dread of the Cold War vanished with the fall of the Soviet Union. But, like a virus looking for a new host, the dread quickly shifted to the oft chaotic changes in the former soviet bloc nations and a Middle East no longer held in check by strong men propped up by American and Soviet money. Terrorism and civil wars exploded across the region, culminating in 9/11. Fear led us into two wars that in the end did little more than kill thousands of American soldiers and tens of thousands of Middle Easterners. The Arab Spring came with its fleeting moment of hope, only to fade into more civil wars and ISIS’ new brand of terrorism.
The second front is theo-societal. Since the late 1950s, traditionalism has taken body blow after body blow – desegregation of schools, the Civil Rights Act, race and anti-war riots, the drug culture and the pill, the humiliation of Vietnam, Watergate and Nixon’s resignation, the Equal Rights Amendment, Roe v. Wade, gay rights and gay marriage, no more prayer in public schools, no more ten commandments in courthouses, and a growing number of religious ‘nones.’ Many Americans feel marginalized and disillusioned. They feel like strangers in a country of ‘us, nice, misunderstood, victimized people’ pitted against ‘mean, immoral, good-for-nothings.’
The last front is economic. Thirty-plus years of policy, trade, and market changes have undermined the quality of life for many and left them behind financially. Since the 1980s, the nation’s manufacturing sector has been decimated with countless good-paying jobs sent overseas. Real incomes of middle-class families have stagnated and many children may not do as well as their parents for the first time since the Great Depression.
Yet, on the whole, nearly every economic indicator is positive, the stock market is near record highs, unemployment is in the five percent range, the country’s at peace, violent crime is down, immigration is little more than a minor annoyance for an economy as robust as ours, and terrorism on the home front is virtually nonexistent as measured against deaths and injuries from drug abuse, car accidents, or mass shootings by our own citizens. So, what’s causing our angst, pessimism, and vitriol?
H. L. Mencken once said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” To a very large degree, the shadow we find ourselves in has been created by those who wish to gain control of all three branches of government. Now, clearly both parties strive for this, but every so often a politician or a pundit goes to such an extreme that a time portal is ripped open and we glimpse in ourselves a Nazi past coming to the fore. While they themselves may not see it that way, what’s happening is no accident. It’s Mencken in Machiavellian practice. It’s the purposeful creation of dark times to generate a mass movement. On some levels, this has been going on for decades, though it seems to have begun in earnest after the 1994 mid-term elections when Newt Gingrich became the first Republican Speaker of the House in 40 years and much of the so-called "Contract with America" became law.
Twenty-two years – an entire generation – has passed by since then. In The Atlantic’s, The Eight Causes of Trumpism, January 5, 2016, Norm Ornstein wrote, “Both Trump and Trumpism…are neither immediate nor transitory phenomena. The disdain for the status quo…and the anger at inexorable changes in society are real, enduring, and especially deep on the Republican side.” In the U.S. News and World Report’s, The Long and Winding Road to Trump, March 15, 2016, Lara Brown wrote, “The seemingly overnight success of Trump’s campaign has been twenty years in the making.” His candidacy is fueled by, “voters who possess a nostalgia for an earlier (albeit fictional) tie in our history.”
Adolph Hitler proclaimed that Germany had, “undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement,” tie-barring politics to religion. He then tied-barred religion to racism by saying, “The noblest and most sacred [task] for mankind is…[to] preserve the purity of the blood which God has given it...It is not for men to discuss the question of why Providence created different races, but rather to recognize the fact that it punishes those who disregard its work of creation.”
“From millions of men, one man must step forward who, with apodictic force, will form granite principles from the wavering idea world of the broad masses and take up the struggle for their sole correctness until from the shifting waves of a free-thought world there will arise a brazen cliff of solid unity in faith and will.”
- Adolph Hitler
“Our children are being robbed of their innocence. Their minds are being poisoned against their Judeo-Christian heritage…indoctrinated in moral relativism and…an anti-Western ideology. [The] radical Left…detests Christianity and finds Christian moral tenets repressive.”
- Pat Buchanan
As much as anything, the Reagan Revolution was about linking religion with politics. The Bible Belt had been democratic since the Civil War, having associated their defeat with the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln. Yet, it was, “Reagan, who set a standard for exploiting white anger and resentment rarely seen since George Wallace” (Time, Lott, Reagan and Republican Racism, Dec. 14, 2002, by Jack White), along with his overt appeals to Christianity, that rallied the southern states to the GOP. All have reliably voted Republican ever since, as have swaths of self-professed religious whites elsewhere in the country. It is no surprise, then, that GOP candidates like evangelist Ted Cruz openly wear their religiosity on their sleeves. They revel in criticisms of political correctness, saying it flies in the face of sincerely held religious beliefs. They accuse the Left of being anti-Christian. They pass laws allowing discrimination against LGBT individuals, banning same-sex marriage, and limiting access to abortion. All this they do in the name of “religious freedom” and “states’ rights,” the latter being a code phrase harkening back to Reagan’s less-than-subtle exploitation of white anger.
Hitler considered free enterprise absolutely necessary to obtain the highest possible production, dissolving trade unions and putting an end to collective bargaining. “Wages were set…according to the wishes of the employer,” Shirer wrote, “[with] no provision for the workers even to be consulted…Although millions more had jobs, the share of all German workers in the national income fell [three percent]…At the same time, income from business rose [nine percent].” In parallel, businessmen held the mistaken belief that if they coughed up large enough sums for Hitler, he’d be beholden to them and do their bidding. In the end, of course, he was beholden to nobody but himself.
Sign above the main entrance to Auschwitz: “Arbeit Macht Frei.” It meant, “Work Sets You Free.”
Both sides of the 2016 Presidential campaign have made an issue of wages and the wealth gap. CEOs, entrepreneurs, and the wealthy alike tend to view the GOP as the pro-business party, and after Citizens United opened up the flood gates to private donations, political contributions by rich Americans and industrialists grew exponentially, often in the form of dark money channeled through PACs. The Republican Party promises that by doing away with regulations, lowering taxes, shrinking government, and letting corporations do whatever they want, more people will have jobs and wages will go up. While perhaps more extreme today, the theory is essentially the same as Reagan’s trickle-down economics. Over the intervening thirty-plus years, the wealth gap in America has grown to what it was just prior to the Great Depression. Part and parcel to that trend has been the Party’s anti-collective bargaining stance and the outsourcing of good jobs to cheaper labor markets. Union membership is falling; “Right to Work” laws are being pushed through to weaken the unions’ financial strength; and corporate profits and the concentration of wealth are rising.
Loyalty to the Third Reich, and Adolph Hitler in particular, was essential to the Nazi Party. Reichsführer Rudolph Hess said, “The National Socialism of all of us is anchored in uncritical loyalty, in the surrender to Der Führer that does not ask for the why…but in the silent execution of his orders. We believe that Der Führer is obeying a higher call…There can be no criticism of this belief.” Hitler exacted from the officers and soldiers of the armed forces an oath of allegiance to himself, rather than to Germany, which included the words, “I will render unconditional obedience to Adolph Hitler…and to risk my life at any time for this oath.” As a symbol of that loyalty, they – and everyone in Germany – were obliged to give the “Heil Hitler” salute.
In the New York Times article, Riskiest Political Act of 2016? Protesting at Rallies for Donald Trump, March 10, 2016, Ashley Parker noted that Trump asked, “supporters to raise their right hands and pledge their loyalty to him, creating tableaus that critics have likened to the salutes of followers of Hitler and Mussolini.”
Hitler barked to one of his generals, “There’s no need for you to try and teach me. I’ve been commanding the German army in the field for five years and during that time I’ve had more practical experience than any gentleman of the general staff.”
Donald Trump said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “I’m speaking with myself, number one,” when asked who his foreign policy advisor would be. “I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things…my primary consultant is myself and I have a good instinct for this stuff.”
The Art of Propaganda
After Adolf Hitler became Der Führer, his SA and SS took to the streets, brutalizing and arresting opponents, breaking into political party offices of Communists and Social Democrats, and taking over newspapers and radio stations. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum article, The Press in the Third Reich, the Nazis controlled less than three percent of Germany’s 4,700 newspapers before 1933 but soon after controlled virtually all of them. The media, airwaves, and newsreels became Hitler’s tools to stoke fears of a pending uprising against the Reich by nefarious forces, and channel anxieties into political measures that gave the Nazis supreme power over nearly every aspect of government and society.
In America, politicians and journalists have always had a tense relationship. It’s been that way since our country’s founding…by design. It’s what ‘Freedom of the Press’ was meant to do. But, over the past few decades, that tension seems to have grown to irrational proportions. Yes, the trend towards corporate media and profit-centric journalism have contributed to sensationalistic reporting that’s tainted the fourth estate. But, almost every political debate and call-in news show these days has someone who blames the media for something. Many politicians, including President Obama, shy away from opening up to questions from reporters, while others are openly hostile towards them. Trump, for instance, keeps reporters and cameramen inside a gated area at rallies, singles them out for ridicule during his speeches, and said once, “I would never kill them…But I do hate them, and some…are such lying, disgusting people.”
Politicians and movement leaders have long understood one ironic truth: Repeat a misstatement with enough hubris and fierceness, and people will believe it. But the Internet has added a new danger level to that destructive theme.
[When] Sarah Palin… wrongly characterized Paul Revere’s Revolutionary War-era ride [claiming he was] warning the British that the colonists would not give up their guns, [her] fans rushed to edit the online encyclopedia Wikipedia to [literally] rewrite history, seeking to turn Palin’s misstatement into historical fact.’
- U.S. News and World Report, Sarah Palin and the Wikipedia War Over Paul Revere, June 8, 2011, by Susan Milligan
The number of Americans today with even a modicum of trust in the mass media to report news accurately is at historic lows – a mere forty-percent – having steadily declined since the days of Speaker Gingrich and the Contract with America. To reverse this trend and preserve our freedom of the press, the media has a duty to report what the people need to know, not what they want to hear. What’s more, they must prove beyond a doubt that what they’re reporting is true – not hearsay, posturing, or politicizing. Just as importantly, the people must take to heart their responsibility for Constitutional democracy. They need to listen, read, and watch sources of information that are objectively factual. They mustn’t let political parties dictate what they listen to, and they mustn’t let the media become coopted into political tools of one party or another…as it did in Nazi Germany, helping to lead its people further and further away from reality.
William L. Shirer wrote in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich that, “notwithstanding the opportunities I had to learn the facts…a steady diet of falsifications and distortions made a certain impression on one’s mind and often misled it. No one who had not lived for years in a totalitarian land can possibly conceive how difficult it is to escape the dread consequences of a regime’s calculated and incessant propaganda. Often…in a casual conversation with a stranger…I would meet with outlandish assertions from seemingly educated and intelligent persons. It was obvious they were parroting some piece of nonsense they had heard on the radio or read in the newspapers…[and] the facts of life had become what Hitler and Goebbels, with their cynical disregard for truth, said they were. [But] the people…did not seem to feel that they were being cowed and held down by an unscrupulous and brutal dictatorship. On the contrary, they supported it with genuine enthusiasm. Somehow it imbued them with a new hope…and an astonishing faith in the future of their country.”
With startling effectiveness, the Nazis were able to create an alternate reality using newspapers, radio, and newsreels. Today, we have newspapers, radio, movies, YouTube, hundreds of TV channels, and thousands of Internet web pages pumping out fiction and non-fiction every minute of every day. People can pick and choose the information coming their way and immerse themselves in a virtual world that matches their self-identification and bolsters their beliefs. They can create an echo chamber wherein nothing has to be controversial and their ideas can remain unchallenged. When something incongruent does happen to break through, they simply run to their alternate reality for solace as though it were the intellectual equivalent of a drug…an addiction the user will do anything to feed while their mind rots from atrophy.
The Value of Spiritual and Physical Terror
Before relinquishing power to Hitler, German President Hindenburg accused the Nazis of being, “intolerant, noisy, and undisciplined.” Such a tendency for violence was endemic to the Party, particularly to the Sturmabteilung – literally, Storm Department, or SA for short – which provided protection at Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupted meetings of opposing parties, and intimidated Jews and communists.
The moment that Ms. Nwanguma, 21, who is black, held up her signs, Trump supporters ripped them away and began shoving her, screaming racial slurs and calling her “leftist scum.”
Rakeem Jones, 26…was punched in the face by a Trump supporter…as law enforcement officers were leading him out of a campaign rally in Fayetteville, N.C. “He deserved it,” the assailant, told the television program Inside Edition. “Next time, we might have to kill him.”
- New York Times, Riskiest Political Act of 2016? Protesting at Rallies for Donald Trump, March 10, 2016, by Ashley Parker
Bill O'Reilly made reference to the SA in a FoxNews.com article, Fascism and Donald Trump, March 10, 2016, saying, “Some in the media – both left and right – are portraying Mr. Trump’s…supporters as budding Brown Shirts.” Yet, the physically aggressive nature of Trump and his followers is well represented in both words and acts. “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep,” Trump said, unknowingly quoting fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. When the origin of the quote was pointed out to him, he replied, “What difference does it make? It’s a good quote.” He’s lamented the “good old days” when protesters would have been treated more harshly. “I’d like to punch him in the face,” he said once, referring to a protester being removed from a rally. “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters,” he’s even declared, and warned of riots if he fails to secure the Presidential nomination at July's Party convention in Cleveland.
His violent rhetoric extends beyond just political opponents as well. Referring to ISIS, he’s promised to, “knock the hell out of them.” In the CNN story, Donald Trump on terrorists, December 3, 2015, by Tom LoBianco, Trump was quoted as saying, “With the terrorists…when they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”
The Use of Lies and Slander
Science and Education
At the beginning of World War Two, Germany’s arms production, tanks, submarines, and aircraft were far superior to those of the western allies. During the war years, Nazi jet and rocket technology far outpaced the West’s. But beyond its use for war, science became whatever Hitler and his henchmen wanted it to be. According to Shirer, “A great deal of time and resources were spent on researching or creating a popularly accepted historical, cultural and scientific background,” to the benefit of the Third Reich. Much of their effort was directed at proving Germans were descended from a super-human race called Aryans. They supposedly, “originated from the apocryphal lost continent of Atlantis” and Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler actually sent party of SS men to Tibet to search for the race’s origins.
Hitler knew full-well that the future of his empire depended on creating a next generation with minds figuratively imprinted with the Nazi swastika. “The schools…were quickly Nazified,” wrote Shirer. “Textbooks were hastily rewritten, curricula were changed…[and] teachers who failed to see the new light were cast out.”
Because many believe that teachers’ unions have too much power and public schools are too liberal, a war over school budgets continues to rage on. At the same time, more and more taxpayer money is being channeled to charter schools, many of which blur the line between separation of church and state.
Many a battle has been fought on the field of curricula as well. For instance, according to a New York Times article, Texas Conservatives Win Curriculum Change, March 12, 2010, by James McKinley, the Texas State Board of Education passed more than a hundred amendments to curriculum standards impacting the textbooks used in public schools across the nation’s second largest state. Classroom texts were required to stress the superiority of American capitalism, explain that Darwinism may not be true, mention the Contract with America and the Moral Majority, remove Jefferson’s name from discussions of revolution, question the founding fathers’ commitment to secular government and emphasize their belief in Christian principles. Subtle though some of these may be, they noticeably tack into the realm of historical subjectivity.
Countless examples of statements and theories that go well beyond mere subjectivity are but a few mouse clicks away. Much of it flies in the face of established historical and scientific fact, and isn’t just the harmless Big Foot and Area 51 flimflam. Some twisted notions gin up harmful behaviors, while others border on defamation and incitement. More than ever before, people can to be taken in by what they see and hear in the virtual world of the Internet, social media, and 24/7 ‘reality’ TV. It becomes easier for conspiracies to be substantiated and facts to be ignored. For every website that promised the world wouldn’t end in 2012 because the Mayan calendar did, a hundred others said it would. Like Shirer’s seemingly educated persons who fell for the outlandish assertions of the Nazis, many Americans believe completely unsubstantiated ideas – Obama’s mustering the military to declare martial law; vaccines cause autism; the massacre at Sandy Hook was staged; global warming is a myth; abortion causes cancer; homosexuality can be cured; rape can’t cause pregnancy; the Earth is 6000 years old; etcetera, etcetera.
Trump and others have purposefully capitalized on this willing suspension of disbelief. Statements like Ted Cruz's father helped Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate President John F. Kennedy, or “We can take back America, it’s never too late,” can become powerful messages in the warped minds of those living in virtual bubbles. Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami said, “The one thing that’s remained absolutely consistent [about Trump] is his penchant for conspiracy theorizing. Instead of using policy issues to try and garner supporters, he has used people’s fears and cynicism…He’s appealing to people who have very dark opinions.”
A fundamental belief of Hitler’s world was the existence of a social hierarchy with god-like Aryans on top and Jews and Gypsies on the bottom. By characterizing the latter as little better than beasts of burden and vermin, their extermination became almost academic in the minds of his followers. Between the Nazi Party’s founding principles and the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, Jews were deprived of German citizenship and “excluded…from public and private employment…[including] journalism, radio, teaching, farming, the theater…stock exchanges…law and medicine.” In each new land the Nazis conquered, the same pattern repeated itself – Jews were ostracized, rounded up, shipped off to work farms and concentration camps, or executed outright. Much has been said and written already of Nazi atrocities, so they will not be belabored here. The reader is encouraged, however, to read chapter 27 of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, one small passage of which is presented below.
The [Nazi] Einsatz [soldiers]would enter a village…and call together all Jews for the purpose of “resettlement.” They were requested to hand over their valuables and…transported to the place of execution…At the execution pits at Dubno in the Ukraine…the town’s 5,000 Jews…had to undress…[and] put their clothes in fixed places…Without screaming or weeping these people…kissed each other, said farewells and waited…An old woman…was holding a one-year-old child…singing to it…[A] father was holding the hand of a boy about 10 years old…pointed to the sky…and seemed to explain something to him. At that moment the S.S. man at the pit shouted something to his comrade [who]…counted off about twenty persons and instructed them to go behind the earth mound…[where there was] a tremendous grave. People were wedged together and lying on top of each other. Nearly all had blood running over their heads and shoulders. Some of the people were still moving…An S.S. man…sat at the edge of the pit, his feet dangling…a tommy gun on his knees…smoking a cigarette.
- The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
Could such a thing happen in America? Are the Hispanics and Muslims the new Jews and Gypsies? Critics have charged Trump (and other Presidential candidates) of an undercurrent of racism in their appeals to voters. He’s called immigrants from Mexico drug dealers, addicts, criminals, and rapists. He’s promised to build a border wall to keep immigrants out and pay for it with the money Hispanics send home to their families in Latin America. He’s accused Muslims of being, “a danger to our Christian way of life in America.” The Muslims, “want us dead, we know that for a fact…and [they] are pouring into our country,” he’s warned. He’s promised to ban Muslim immigration, make Muslims here wear badges on their outer garments (harkening back to the yellow stars of David the Jews had to wear in Nazi Germany), and resettle them some place safe (akin to what the Roosevelt administration did to the Japanese during World War II). While some in the Republican establishment have pushed back – Mitt Romney tweeted that Trump was "coddling bigotry" and House Speaker Paul Ryan said his party does not tolerate prejudice – others on the Right have called for an end to dual citizenship in the United States, a denial of automatic citizenship to "anchor babies" born to illegal aliens, more whites to have babies, and restrictions on voter registration and polling stations to keep people of color from exercising their Constitutional fourteenth and fifteenth amendment rights.
Hitler said, “Marriage cannot be an end in itself but must serve the one higher goal: the increase and preservation of the species and the race.” During the Nazi reign, German women’s, “moral and patriotic duty [was] bearing children for Hitler’s Reich.” There were even schools to teach girls how to be good Nazi wives and mothers.
During his Presidential campaign, Donald Trump blamed a female reporter’s tough questioning on her menstruation and accused Hillary of playing the “woman card” to get where she is. “If she were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote,” he declared. He’s questioned her strength and stamina; mocked her looks and attire; and attacked her for enabling the former President’s abuse of women. He’s also said women should be punished for having abortions, as should doctors for performing them.
Many members of the GOP dismiss arguments over equal pay for women, attack Planned Parenthood, pass laws to limit women’s access to Abortion, and demonize Obamacare (which Congressional Republicans have unsuccessfully voted 55 times to repeal), in part over its coverage of birth control.
The Past and Future
History can and does repeat itself. We must forever be mindful of its lessons, keep an open mind, educate ourselves with objective sources of information, and come to our own conclusions. In the end, we must do what’s in everyone’s best interests, not just those closest to and most like us.
We would do well to remember that all great nations and empires come to an end, and America will be no exception if we fail to diligently uphold our Constitutional values, choosing instead to pursue destructive and dividing forces. But, if we seek to be constructive, unifying, compassionate individuals who elect leaders from our ranks, the worst of history can be held at bay indefinitely.