“The cardinal error of the Germans who opposed Nazism was their failure to unite against it. At the crest of their popular strength, in July 1932, the National Socialists had attained but 37 per cent of the vote. But the 63 per cent of the German people who expressed their opposition to Hitler were much too divided and shortsighted to combine against a common danger which they must have known would overwhelm them unless they united, however temporarily, to stamp it out.”
― William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany
Next Tuesday, Americans will return to the polls for the 116th time in our nation’s history – to cast their votes in what would normally be considered a relatively inconsequential mid-term election. Only this time, perhaps more than at any other moment in our nation’s life, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
In addition to voting for people and policies capable of reviving our failing “American Dream,” this time around, we also may be deciding if the “Dream of America,” should continue. Our great nation, what President Ronald Reagan once called “a shining city on a hill,” has been under constant and intensifying attack during the first 21 months of the extreme, divisive, amoral, and dictatorial-leaning Trump administration.
From the start, Trump has waged war on cherished institutions and norms that have helped safeguard our national experiment in democracy, guiding its development in keeping with the legal principles and ideals enshrined in our Constitution. Trump has declared the press to be the “enemy of the people;” he has disparaged federal judges, the FBI, and the Department of Justice; he has normalized white supremacists, emboldened racial and religious hatred, and stoked anger and fear to the boiling point – culminating in the tragic events of Charlottesville, NC, and last week’s horrendous outbreaks of racial, religious, and politically-inspired violence.
Trump has disparaged our intelligence community, boasted about obstructing justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey, and he has led a non-stop campaign to discredit Special Counsel Mueller and his investigative team.
His daily lies, now numbering more than 5,000, and his constant deriding of factual reporting as “fake news,” have steadily helped undermine any sense of shared reality. Meanwhile, he encourages his most ardent followers to look to him as the sole arbiter of truth.
A fan of tyrants, he has repeatedly embraced Vladimir Putin, congratulated President Erdogan upon his seizure of power, in Turkey; expressed “love” for Kim Jong-un, the N. Korean dictator and vicious human-rights violator; and celebrated Xi Jinping’s decision, earlier this year, to appoint himself “President for Life” in China. In congratulating XI, Trump also publicly mused that perhaps that would be a title he should aspire to, in America.
Trump’s dictatorial, totalitarian aspirations, sadly, are no joke. With each passing month in office, this extreme narcissist – a man with no prior political experience, no moral compass, and a shocking lack of command of the facts – has grown increasingly bold and confident in his ability to single-handedly shape American domestic and foreign policy.
His reckless, amoral, transactional behavior has resulted in such horrific policies as separating children – as young as four months – from their asylum-seeking parents at the U.S.-Mexican border. Under his administration’s half-baked plan, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice dispersed these family members to dozens of shelters scattered across the country, without first creating any paper trail to keep track of them.
He is currently using Executive Orders, like fiats to single-handedly wage a global trade war that could wreck the U.S. economy and, in short order, end the Dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency. Most recently, he declared that he can use Executive Orders to amend the U.S. Constitution, ending “birthright citizenship” guarantees outlined in the 14th Amendment. When Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told Trump he lacked that power, the President scolded him publicly for not knowing what he was talking about.” He also criticized him for not staying focused on the mid-term elections.
If it isn’t yet obvious, Donald Trump has demonstrated the temperament, the inclination, and the conceit necessary to attempt to overthrow our political system and install himself as dictator. It only took 52 days for the Nazi party to end the rule of law and parliamentary government in Germany and to install Adolf Hitler as absolute leader.
The final act in the Nazi takeover of the Weimar Republic began on January 30th, 1933, when President Hindenberg named Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany. Exactly four weeks later – on February 27th – the Reichstag, Germany’s equivalent of the U.S. Capitol, burned to the ground. Hitler blamed the Communists, Germany’s second-largest political party and the Nazi’s leading competitor. He immediately outlawed the Communist Party and ordered that a new election be held on March 5th, at which time the Nazis secured a clear majority of the votes. Then, on March 23rd, just 52 days after Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor, the now Nazi-controlled parliament passed The Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the right to make laws without consulting Parliament -- for a period of four years. His power was absolute.
A month later, on April 26th, Hitler formed the gestapo and the Nazi party took control of all local governments in Germany. Six days after that, all trade unions were banned. And on May 10th the Nazi’s celebrated their seizure of power with the nation’s first public book burning. All told, 25,000 un-German books were set ablaze under the active encouragement of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s head of propaganda.
In recent days, Donald Trump, has been barnstorming the country, proclaiming himself to be an unabashed “nationalist” in order to inspire his base to turn out to vote in record numbers. He has begun framing the mid-term election as a vote of confidence for his administration. “When you vote next Tuesday,” he told a crowd in Missouri, “you’ll be voting for me.”
Do not be fooled. This is not merely the rhetoric of a desperate man determined to counter a predicted “blue wave” that some say could sweep the Democrats back into control of the House and, possibly, the Senate. Trump has raised the stakes far beyond that. If he succeeds in drowning the “blue wave,” Trump will feel further emboldened to tighten his grip on power in ways few of us may be prepared to consider.
This mid-term election is shaping up to be the most consequential vote of our lives. It’s time to regain control of the reins of power before it’s too late. If you care about your future and the future of this country, get to the polls and vote blue – and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
Jon Reisfeld is an Amazon.com best-selling author of historical fantasy and suspense-thriller novels. He's also a marketer, book coach and editor. For a FREE, 5-chapter digital sample of his new legal-suspense / spy thriller The Reform Artists, simply, click here.