History is the past and the present. We can learn a lot from it. From when “with increasing frequency they were taking to the streets to molest and murder their political opponents. No election ... took place without savage battles in the gutters.”
Or how “auxiliary police” raised their flag “on office buildings everywhere” a symbolic gesture “tolerated or approved by the majority of state government ministers, who were intimidated by simultaneous demonstrations of massed columns in front of government buildings.”
The first quote was from Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” 1990 ed., p. 147. The second is from Evan, “The Coming of the Third Reich,” 2003 ed., pp. 242-43. They described the “brown shirts” - thugs who did “dirty work” for Hitler.
I’ve written about the differences between Hitler and the now-former occupant of The Oval Office. Hitler actually: wrote the best seller that bore his name as “author” and was wealthy. He also failed at what Germans called a putsch - what others call a coup d’etat.
The use of thugs is not a new concept. Hitler employed them in the street. Putin told trump how to move them into The Capitol. The language of the brown shirts was German and uniforms were more prevalent. Otherwise, there are few qualitative differences.
The brown shirts knew only Nazi propaganda. Thugs for trump are fed propaganda on-line. (Goebbels would have loved the internet.) I hope we stop this iteration of authoritarianism. Hitler’s first “run” at taking over the government, in a Munich beer hall, failed.
On January 6, trump’s thugs failed, too. Hitler was bright enough, though, to learn from his mistakes. Tens of millions died as a result. Let’s hope trump remains a slow learner. Remember you can call in to Civil Discourse Now at 4 p.m. each day: 317.517.2037.