Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
The violence this past Friday night in Chicago underscores how nasty this political cycle has become. It also shows, pretty blatantly, I think, how out of control things are.
This morning, Donald Trump accused Bernie Sanders of being responsible for the protesters starting trouble at the site where the debate was to be held. Frankly, I thought that was pretty absurd; like much of what Trump says, his words are not based on anything factual. Rather, as usual, he says things that are intended to cause people to not think, but to act in ways that are contrary to any logic.
I can’t help but compare what is happening now to what happened in Germany in the late 1920’s and 1930’s. And I hate to make this comparison, but instinctively it is the only one that makes any sense.
Adolf Hitler had the ability to generate a similar sort of feeling among people. He had a sort of cult of personality that grew rapidly. His ability to get others to buy into his vision of what turned into barbarism at its worst, which led to the deaths of so many innocent victims of that most heinous type of brutality.
It’s not to say that Trump and Hitler are similar people; I can’t make that comparison. But the feelings that his rhetoric generates among people is staggering. And the way his supporters act looks suspiciously similar to how Hitler’s followers acted nearly ninety years ago.
Just the same, I’m not scared yet. That won’t happen unless his followers start to wear brown shirts and sing rowdy songs.