By Richard Coleman, Stafford County Democratic Committee Member
Someone told me that they voted for Trump in 2016. They felt that Trump’s economic policies were a good reason to support him. That made me think about a comment my eighth grade history teacher made back in 1963. She said that if Hitler’s path through history had ended in 1935, history books would reflect a very different view of him. He would be revered and remembered as the leader who restored the economic prosperity of Germany from the ashes of World War I. In Hitler’s rise to power, his promise of economic prosperity was based on demonetizing a minority group, unconstrained state control and the employment of authoritarian methods to intimidate opponents. The citizens of 1935 Germany were not planning to inflict horror on the world, but they closed their eyes to the horror being created along on the path they were walking. The horror along that path was Hitler’s establishment of a governmental structure that was intolerant of those who were different and invested with unchecked power. He staffed that structure with those willing to incorporate authoritarian methods into the defined legal framework of government. Germany achieved the economic prosperity that was sought, but the path allowed for the creation of an authoritarian monster that led to World War II. If Hitler’s path had ended in 1935, that monster may not have come to fruition and would not have been unleashed on the world.
Trump has always expressed his intolerance for minority groups. His ongoing actions to dismantle the impartiality in the structure of the federal Inspectors General is demonstrative of his quest for unchecked control. And now, his use of the Department of Homeland Security as a para-military force to intimidate opposition completes the trifecta. The question is not do we want economic prosperity for this country. The question for 2020 is whether we are going to close our eyes and walk the path that Germany walked in search of economic prosperity. Are we going to close our eyes and walk with Trump on a path that creates an authoritarian monster which endangers the world, or will we choose a different path?
This is a post by a member of the Stafford County Democratic Committee. This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Stafford County Democratic Committee, the Democratic Party of Virginia, or the Democratic Party of America.