Hitler promised to make Germany great again and the tool he used to manipulate a large segment of the German citizenry was hate and fear. Hatred toward Jews, Poles, and those who supported a free press and democracy itself. In exchange for Hitler's promises, Germans gave up their freedoms and ultimately millions died as Hitler feed his narcissism and ego. Fast forward more than three quarters of a century to Cleveland and we just saw a similar promise made to angry whites livid over their lost white privilege and Christian fanatics who will go to any lengths to force their mythical beliefs on all citizens. A column in the New York Times looks at how fear and hatred are being used by Trump and his boot licking sycophants in the Republican to steer the nation on a potentially terrifying course. Here are highlights:
They didn’t riot in the streets of Cleveland, as Donald Trump said his supporters would do had things not gone his way. But you saw the raw essence of a riot, the madness and loss of reason, on display in four days of chaos at the Republican National Convention.
For a campaign now devoted to “law and order,” the launch was mob rule: in spirit, in tone, in words. Long after we’ve forgotten Trump’s closing speech — that paean to self, that nightmare portrait of an America where the lights have gone out — we will remember the savagery just below the surface.
Starting on night one, when Republicans chose to manipulate the grief-deranged mother of a terrorist victim, the build-up to the hanging of Hillary Clinton was never subtle. Imagine if one party had exploited a widow of one of the 241 service members killed in the 1983 suicide bombing of Americans in Beirut — the deadliest single attack on marines since World War II — as a stick against Ronald Reagan, whose administrative negligence was much to blame.
You can’t imagine. Because nothing about this Republican Party, whose leader now stands ready to repudiate nearly 70 years of security for our European allies under an “America First” banner, even remotely resembles the Grand Old Party of before.
The man who couldn’t manage his own convention, the creator of a “university” built on fraud, bet his shot at the top job in the world on a panicked public and collective amnesia of his serial misdeeds. “I will restore law and order to our country, believe me, believe me,” he said.
And the instigator of four corporate bankruptcies, the man who stiffed plumbers and carpenters, the failed casino owner, promised to use his dark arts to “make our country rich again.”
There’s usually a pastor around whenever vigilantes gather for an execution. For moral justification this week, the pious Dr. Ben Carson linked Clinton to Lucifer — the devil himself. So, little wonder that it produced barely a shrug when another delegate, and Trump’s adviser on veterans, Al Baldasaro, said Clinton should be “shot for treason.” The Salem witch trials had more respect for due process.
Inside the convention, the hatred was also directed at one who dared members to vote their conscience, Ted Cruz. True, he may be the most disliked politician in the United States. But somehow, it was expected that Cruz would bow to a man who had defamed his father and insulted his wife.
Individually, many of these Trump delegates are nice people. . . . But in a group, the emotions of the Trumpites pool to hatred and mob single-mindedness — all Mexicans are rapists, all Muslims are terrorists, all crime is rising, Hillary Clinton is the devil and should be shot.
When the convention closed, fear had won the hall. And we should fear — for the republic, for a democracy facing its gravest peril since the Civil War.
I would differ with the author on one point. He is wrong when he says "individually many of these Trump delegates are nice people." In actuality, they are not nice or decent. Anyone so willing to embrace hate and ignorance is seriously morally flawed. Outside of the Nazi death camps many of the guards were "nice people" - even Hitler could be gracious and charming when he wanted to be - but their embrace of hatred and brutality toward others showed the real truth about them. Sadly, I can readily see many of the Trump delegates condoning if not participating in horrors and crimes against humanity. I don't know if I have ever been so afraid about the future of this country.