I’m not convinced Godwin’s Law applies when one is looking at a very clear, historically arguable example of Hitler type behaviour. I don’t just mean the kind of “Oh, Obummer is just like Hitler” types, but the actual identification of a minority as scapegoat, stirring the crowds through hateful and violent speeches, and an appeal to an imagined “golden age” of “true” patriotism. Trump’s emulation is easy to see by anyone who actually studied the Second World War in any detail. (I have a lovely set of <i>The Second World War</i> by Churchill that my grandfather left me. The present day is a bit scary when compared to Churchill’s observations during the pre-war period.)
You’re right though, things COULD fall apart very quickly. Russia/Georgia was a very complex situation that, similarly, could have been avoided. Had the EU, or UN, or NATO acknowledged South Otessia’s independence (which occurred c.1992) then Georgia wouldn’t have been in a position to fire on them to begin with. They wouldn’t have had to rely on Russian military to defend them, and they wouldn’t all be carrying Russian passports. Georgia was firing missiles at Russian citizens, Russia retaliated and pushed them back from the border, then RETREATED back into South Otessia. Yet in the USA the headlines were all about Russia invading Europe. That could very easily have blown up into something much larger. (Kudos to the BBC who was much better at examining the nuance of the situation than the American press.)
We’re almost at the point where anything Russia does is seen as a nightmare threat, and anything they ask for is considered to have some kind of ulterior motive. I’ve seen the photos of Ukraine military with Swastikas on their helmets, and I’m betting their not Hindus. Yet, if true, who is best suited to respond? Have the UN and NATO learned any lessons from Rwanda? If so, what, and how will it make change?
I’m not a Putin Apologist, by any means, but I often wonder how much the American Media conflates him with Khrushchev because it makes better copy. I don’t trust that media awareness amongst the voting public is sophisticated enough to examine any move by any government in context, or from alternative perspectives. Fear is a prime motivator and possibly the first emotion we evolved, because those who were afraid of the big kitty lived long enough to reproduce. When it comes to complex politics, though, it’s a very bad trait indeed. There’s a big difference between seeing the various alternatives and outcomes of something like leaving the EU and that of trying to avoid being eaten on the Savannah.