As I write this, Donald Trump appears to be the presumptive Republican nominee for President. Problem is, he’s not really a Republican.
I’ve written about this before, but the Republican party has undergone many changes. The GOP (Grand Old Party) rose from the ashes of the Whig Party when it split over the issue of slavery. Southern Whigs joined the pro slavery Democratic party while Northern Whigs formed the Republican Party. Both parties have undergone tremendous changes, but the last 40 years of the GOP centered on certain core values: lower taxes, smaller government, and Christian values.
But it also stood for a belief that government works best when all three branches (legislative, executive, and judicial) work together. Famously in the 1980s President Reagan, a Republican, and House Speaker Tip O’Neill, a Democrat, opposed each other on most issues, but at the end of the day they met and hammered out agreements that made us a better nation.
The days of Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill are gone. Now a Republican victory is recognized only if accompanied by a Democrat defeat: a “win-win” is no longer seen as a win.
And the desire of Republicans to destroy the Democratic party has, ironically, turned on them. Donald Trump came into the campaign carrying the banner of hate better than any of his opponents, and now he is the presumptive nominee.
Last July he described Mexicans as “rapists.” Later that month he told us that Senator John McCain was not a war hero because he got captured by the North Vietnamese while fighting for our country. (Don stated: “I like people who weren’t captured”).
When asked by Fox News correspondent Megan Kelly about his treatment of women he chose to attack her.
In November he spoke nostalgically of “Operation Wetback,” the mass deportation of Mexicans in the 1950s.
And as much as he’s trying to distance himself from his remarks it’s not working.
Simply put, I (as a Democrat) need to call out Donald Trump. He is not a Republican: He’s a Fascist. I know this word incites people, but hear me out. A fascist (even one who is elected) convinces people that democracy simply doesn’t work and they need a leader with unlimited power to govern. Only that leader will make his followers “great again.”
But he won’t. In the 1922 Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was named Prime Minister of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III. Mussolini then consolidated his power and was the sole ruler of Italy by 1925.
Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) was appointed chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg. Hitler then used his power to gain more authority, and when von Hindenburg died in 1934, Hitler proclaimed himself ruler of Germany.
I know this sounds far fetched in the United States in 2016 but few saw it coming in Italy in 1922 or Germany in 1933. Let’s look at some facts:
- Donald almost never talks about working with Congress. He speaks often of how “I will build a wall” but I’ve never heard him talk about signing legislation from Congress to build the wall.
- He insists he can do things that are not currently possible. He has often called for a ban on allowing Muslims to enter our country but he hasn’t given any indication of how he will do this. Passports don’t list our religion.
So what is President Trump to do? If elected he’s already proven he doesn’t play well with others. How long do you think it will take him to decide that Congress is getting in his way and acting as Commander in Chief of the military gives him the right to dissolve the legislative branch?
When told that we can’t ban Muslims because we can’t know their religion from their passports, how long will it take him to decide that passports should list religion? Or perhaps he will demand that Muslims wear a badge (like a crescent moon) on their clothing.
Ordinary citizens in Italy and Germany in the 1930s were horrified that leaders of their choosing became the monsters we now recognize. It’s easy for us, 80 years later, to criticize their blindness. But we can’t criticize them with any integrity if we vote for Donald Trump today.
A year from now if you’re horrified by President Trump, don’t tell me. I warned you.