Oozing sleaze from every pore, Donald Trump has taken political demagoguery to depths unplumbed since Hitler rose to power in Germany.
Will he be as successful as Der Fuhrer?
Blessedly, polling suggests not.
Frighteningly, the same polling suggests that at least 40 million adult United States citizens support him, many with the same crazed, racist zeal of the Nazi partisans who supported Hitler.
Even if, as it now appears, Trump fails to win the presidency, how will it feel to be one of the saner Americans living amidst the four in ten who are shouting “Kill the Bitch!” and “Fuck Your Feelings” and “Lock Her Up” and far, far worse at the 70-year-old adolescent’s campaign rallies?
My wife and I both know how it feels to be professed liberals in a right-wing zoo. Even registered Democrats and Democratic candidates in our part of New Mexico are ideologically far to the right of, say, Dwight Eisenhower. When we became open and unabashed critics of George W. Bush and the so-called Tea Party we heard muttered obscenities and thinly-veiled threats to our safety.
These reactions were mild compared to what’s going on now in Trumpland. The Trumpistas include virtually all of the gun-toters, all of those who advocate the killing of medical professionals who help women terminate unwanted pregnancies, all of those who call for physical harm to Colin Kaepernick and other athletes who advocate ending racial violence, all of those who want our borders sealed and immigrants incarcerated, all of those who think Trump’s sexual assaults on women were OK and Arizona Sheriff Arpaio is a hero . . . the most dangerous elements in our society.
What happens when they don’t get their way in November?
Will they vent their anger with violence against those of us who openly opposed Trumpista candidates? Will there be shooting and bloodshed? Will many streets and parks and public venues be unsafe?
That neighbor with the Trump/Pence sign in his yard. Would his frustration turn to anger? Would he shoot your dog? Would he shoot you?
Other elections in this country have been marked by nastiness, by anger, by ugly pushing and shoving. Most of the worst of it evaporated after election day.
There’s something different about the slime this time around. It looks like it will linger. It seems to have eaten into the core of a vast segment of our population. It has sickened them, blinded them to injustice, made them bloodthirsty, told them that assaulting women and threatening minorities is a perfectly acceptable way of objecting to those perceived evils, political correctness and respect for people of color.
It has taken this country to a new and abysmal place. Simply defeating Donald Trump in the presidential election won’t end it.
Someone must come forth to lead the country — even the Trumpistas — in another direction. Hitler’s Germany never produced such a someone. Can the United States of America do so in 2016?