Friday, December 23, 2016

How much is Trump like Hitler?

So rarely do I read something online that stops me in my tracks and immediately demands I take action as a result. But two friends, both of whom I know in real life, posted this link and it arrived on my Facebook feed literally moments ago. It’s from Tablet, and the title is “What to Do about Trump? The Same Thing My Grandfather Did in 1930s Vienna.” It is a must-read, especially for those of Jewish, Muslim and non-Christian backgrounds and their friends and families.

About two weeks after the election, I wrote about me and my family’s Austrian Jewish background. In short, despite being a baptized and confirmed Episcopalian, I am ethnically and by Jewish law, a Jew. Like Liel Leibovitz’s grandfather, my parents and some of the other family saw the Nazi genocide against the Jews — and others — coming and they fled Europe. The family members who stayed behind joined those as the cinders and smoke of Hitler’s ethnic cleansing.

Those in public discourse comparing and paralleling Donald Trump’s rise to the United States presidency with the rise of the Third Reich are correct. The fact is that people will discount Leibovitz and me and even assert Godwin’s Law. But the danger to the world is clear and present. I implore my readers to do two things RIGHT NOW.

First, go to this link and read Leibovitz again. Second, I beg you, circulate this blog post as widely as you can — not to aggrandize me, but to help people understand what we’re facing.

Leibovitz, directly tells us what we must do:

· “The first, and most obvious, is this: Treat every poisoned word as a promise.”

· “Do that, and a second principle follows closely: You should treat people like adults, which means respecting them enough to demand that they understand the consequences of their actions. Explaining away or excusing the actions of others isn’t your job.”

· “Which leads me to the third principle, the one hardest to grasp: Refuse to accept what’s going on as the new normal. Not now, not ever.”

Remember what we — the civilized world — said after World War II, “Never again.” Have we forgotten the Holocaust so quickly?

One final point and one final plea from me:

First, after much prayer, thought and consideration it deeply pains me to have to tell my real and virtual friends who voted for Trump for whatever reason or self-justification that you have endorsed an atrocity that transcends my friendship. I love to celebrate differences and, as many of you know, like civil discourse even though I sometimes get angry enough to be a bit crude. But, there is literally no discourse of any kind that can justify a vote for someone who borders on the anti-Christ. Whatever follows from that for us, so be it.

Second, for those of you of a like mind, please join me a fighting back in any way we can legally. While I don’t like the word “fighting” in the political context, in this case it applies because that’s what we must do. I also don’t like the notion of lumping all Republicans into this basket and I am saddened that I have to. So, my TRM — Trump Resistance Movement, which already exists on Facebook — includes Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas; Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor; Ken Paxton, the crooked attorney general; and, other Republican elected officials who have stayed quiet about Trump.

In a little more than 24 hours, Jews and Christians will celebrate some of the most cherished and sacred days of their faith. And yet, we face something horribly antithetical to all of mankind’s faiths. Think about that.

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