Last time around the deplorables chanted, "Lock her up. Lock her up." Their target, the citizen they wanted put away, was, of course, Hillary Clinton. That was then. This is now.
At today's Fuhrer Rallye there's a different but even more odious chant stirring the mob. Now it's "Send her back. Send her back," a reference to representative Ilham Omar.
|No, Not Germany. Madison Square Garden.
Trump has whipped his mob into an Islamophobic frenzy after deliberately and falsely accusing Omar of supporting al Qaeda.
To be clear, I'm not saying that Trump supporters are Nazis. I'm not saying they aren't either. It's too soon to tell.
I'm working my way through a fascinating book, "Defying Hitler," based on the memoirs of Sebastien Haffner. Born into a solid, middle class family in Berlin in 1907, he became a lawyer and a junior court referee. In his diary Haffner gives a vivid account of how his society, his friends and colleagues, incrementally succumbed to Nazism. It's a telling account for those who say "it couldn't happen here." It sweeps aside the illusions we have about the security of our own democracy.
Haffner, his secular Jewish wife and their son, were able to escape to Britain in 1938. He worked for The Observer, returning to Germany in 1954 where he wrote for Die Welt and Stern. After his death in 1999, Haffner's son arranged his unpublished diaries into the book, "Defying Hitler." It's a powerfully insightful and equally disturbing book. Well worth the read.
If you're interested in the book, here's a review of Defying Hitler from the New York Times.