This piece was originally published in the Community Voices section of the MinnPost.
The dangers are real. Timothy Snyder spelled them out in his short book, “About Tyranny.”
Germany at the dawn of Nazism, the USA today. Similarities? Differences? Many today ask such questions, for valid reasons.
The German Führer then sought to delegitimize core democratic institutions. The American president today does the same when institutions do not serve his political goals: the courts, the electoral process, democratic opposition, even branches of the administration that do not fall in line. He calls the mainstream news media, decried as “Lügenpresse” (press of lies) in 1930s Germany, “fake news.” He scapegoats minorities and stirs up of hostile emotions against adversaries, another parallel. Further, while Hitler affiliated SA- and SS-militias with his Nazi Party, President Trump encourages self-recruiting militias (“stand by!”). Hostilities toward democratic countries supplement these parallels.