“An Elephant in a China Shop.”
The headline from an editorial in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo on Donald Trump’s visit to the U.K. was the best description anywhere of the so-called state visit by the U.S. president.
It also summed up for me the appearance of Donald Trump at the 75th anniversary of the commemoration of D-Day. Especially after watching an entire documentary on the rise of Adolph Hitler—who of course was the main reason D-Day even exists.
Like Hitler before him, who began targeting Jews, homosexuals and anyone he felt was weak and did not fit into his image of a white, blonde, blue-eyed German, Trump in the 21st century has made immigrants and minorities his target.
And just like Hitler, he is using propaganda messages, lies, rallies and media he can manipulate to brainwash and rile and rattle the ill-informed who support him. In so doing, Trump, like Hitler did in Nazi Germany, is peddling the fallacy that immigrants in America, like Jews in the German state, are the enemy and the people who are in the way of “Making America Great Again.”
The same strong-arm tactics and incitement used by Hitler that led to World War II and of course Day-Day, are in full force under the Donald Trump administration—targeting undocumented immigrants; threatening tariffs over immigrants seeking asylum; ripping children away from their parents and keeping them apart for months; leaving migrants without care and letting them die essentially; leaving them to sleep on concrete; rounding up immigrants and deporting them; asking for the social media handle of a visa applicant so they can be spied on and monitored; delaying immigrants benefits for months on end; and ending temporary immigration status of immigrants. The list continues to grow.
And like in Hitler’s Germany, there are the agents within who are plotting and strategizing daily on how to expand and escalate the campaign to not just keep immigrants out but suppress and dilute the power of those within.
A major case in point is the fact that a right-wing political operative has now been credited for pushing the agenda to ensure the addition of a citizenship question on U.S. Census forms. Why? To weaken and drive fear into the growing immigrant demographic and ensure the white, Republican strongholds maintain their power through redistricting.
Sadly, Trump’s message, like Hitler’s did, is also taking hold across the world. In places like Hungary, Brazil, India and in pockets across Europe, the anti-immigrant, anti-religious, anti-gay, anti-Jewish flames fanned by Trump-like rhetoric are growing.
It is why Brexit became a reality in the U.K. and now has landed the country in the mess it is in. The attack on the press, like it was in the period before D-Day, is also growing—not just in the U.S. with Trump’s “fake news” assault, but around the world according to Reporters Without Borders.
All the signs point to the emergence in the 21st century of The Fourth Reich, which Neo-Nazis have used to describe their envisioned revival of an ethnically pure state.
So, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and remember the tens of thousands who gave their lives for our freedom and the millions of victims of fascism in places like Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain, let us remember that democracy is being tested again in 2019 and history has a way of repeating itself.
U.S. lawmakers sitting idly by on the sidelines and letting this administration continue its xenophobic policies would do well to remember this and voters who felt the need to take a chance on the big bully must fix this at the ballot box come 2020.
The writer is publisher at NewsAmericaNow.