We Will Not Be “Ordinary Germans”

I really believe that in Germany in the 1930s there were a lot of “ordinary Germans” who said, “Give Hitler a chance. Wait and see before you criticize. Your fears are overblown.” The signs were there — the attacks on Jews and others, shutting down newspapers — but they liked the idea of a strong authoritarian leader, and who cares if a few Jews get beat up and Hitler didn’t rein in the thugs roaming the streets? By the time the full extent of Hitler’s horror show was apparent, taking action was too dangerous.

This is why I get so angry with people who say now, “Give Trump a chance.” A chance to get worse? A chance to put measures in place that will make it dangerous to oppose him? The signs are already there. His embrace of neo-Nazi white supremacists (they are literally in his government). His blatant authoritarianism including his expressed admiration for not just Putin, but for Duterte in the Philippines and even Kim Jong Un, because they “get things done.”

I have no doubt at all that there are plenty of “ordinary Americans” who would feel no shame or responsibility for their role in totalitarian takeover of our government. But I also know that there are more Americans who oppose Trump now and will do whatever is necessary to stop him and the far-right GOP from taking away our democracy.