Twenty Lessons of the Twentieth Century for Trump’s America
Timothy Snyder

I would like to provide a few thoughts to this author that might help him sleep better at night. If I understand the argument correctly, Trump is Hitler and America is Germany in the 1930’s. For the sake of my response, I will assume the first thing is true. The second is not, and that should comfort you.

We have sovereign states with separately administered paramilitary forces. This includes State Police, local police, and the National Guard, which is under the dual control of the State and Federal Governments.

If Trump were to attempt to replace the police with a loyal goon squad, he would have to address approximately 800,000 full-time police officers who answer to the 50 States and territories, not the federal government. I am unclear at how such a task would even begin to be accomplished. Certainly the groundwork would take more than a four- or eight-year presidential term and would more likely require a generation and a fundamental reorganization of the Union. And that’s just for starters.

For an example of how difficult this would be, just look at the current open defiance of sanctuary cities refusing to enforce federal immigration laws. See also the various states that have legalized marijuana despite it remaining a controlled substance under federal law. I doubt totalitarian “reforms” are going to be on the ballot at the State level.

Now let’s say that Trump decided he wanted to use our national armed forces to replace or overcome our police force and administer them centrally. Aside from having absolutely no constitutional authority to do so, and aside from being manifestly illegal, and aside from it being exceedingly unlikely you could ever get your troops to do this, it would be prohibitively expensive.

The thing that makes it so expensive is the Second Amendment. Yes, that supreme right of the people to bear arms — reviled, I am sure, by the Yale elite. Fifty-five million gun owners. Almost 300 million guns. Oppressing an armed populace is not impossible, but killing your citizens is costly. Just think of how much trouble we’ve had with a bunch of impoverished and illiterate goat herders wielding AK-47’s in a few shanty-towns in the mid-east. Now expand that problem to one the size of a continent.

The feds could barely handle 15 yahoos led by that Bundy character, who decided to take up arms over grazing rights for cattle. Do you really think totalitarian moves by Washington D.C. would not cause a slightly greater stir?

If you want to stop the encroaching power of the federal government, stop voting to give it more of your money so it can make you a slave through ever-expanding entitlement programs. Stop pushing for checks on free speech or free thought, even if you are offended. Stop trying to take guns away from law abiding citizens. Embrace the ups and downs of freedom, trusting as we always have that freedom is a net positive.

If we are lucky, Trump might not even be Hitler.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.