The Dream of the Reich lives on, and Donald Trump is preaching it. Unrepentant Nazis, are any still alive, can be relieved to know that the lessons they taught did not go unlearned, and that they did not die – in war and at the gallows – for nothing.
Trump, appearing in Newton, Iowa, says he would “absolutely” require Muslims to register in a database; he “would certainly implement that – absolutely.” He told an NBC reporter that “They have to be” registered. “They have to be.”
How would he register them, you ask? “Different places. You sign up in different places. But it’s all about management. Our country has no management.”
“It would stop people from coming in illegally. We have to stop people from coming into our country illegally.”
But more than databases:
“There should be a lot of systems, beyond databases. We should have a lot of systems.”
Oh. Not just databases. Beyond databases.
Funny. That’s what the Nazis said too. They were all about efficiency.
The Nazis also made the Jews register so they would know who they are. To make that task easier and more effective, they required them to wear yellow stars on their clothing so they could be spotted in public.
What a coincidence! Thursday morning Trump told Yahoo News he wanted to do the same thing, that he could not rule out making Muslims wear special identification:
“We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule.”
And those synagogues…er, I mean mosques:
“We’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely. We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”
In fact, Trump was asked about the similarities, how what he wanted to do was different than having to register as a Jew in Nazi Germany, and the tycoon answered “You tell me.”
Obviously, there is no difference. And Trump’s notions ought to be disturbing to everyone. Does anyone seriously believe it will end with databases when Trump himself says we must go beyond that? The Holocaust Encyclopedia tells us,
During the first six years of Hitler’s dictatorship, from 1933 until the outbreak of war in 1939, Jews felt the effects of more than 400 decrees and regulations that restricted all aspects of their public and private lives.
The Nuremberg Laws in 1935 took away their citizenship and they lost the right to vote and could no longer hold public office. Already, it is easy to see this happening, given that these very same things are said by conservatives about atheists and others who aren’t “really” American.
Earlier, Trump had called Syrian refugees a “Trojan Horse” and therefore “suicide” for the United States – essentially the same language used by Nazi demagogues of Jews, though in those pre-computer days, it was “parasites.”
We have been accepting refugees since our Founding, and we are still here. The Statue of Liberty, not Donald Trump, epitomizes the American spirit. Perhaps she should be remodeled to replace her tablet with a database form. And at the base, instead of “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” it will say, “Muslims, don’t forget to register!”
In Germany in the 30s, you would see signs saying, “Juden sind hier unerwünscht!” – “Jews are unwanted here!” If Trump becomes president, we can expect those to change to “Muslims are unwanted here!”
This could easily be many parts of our rural south, or a scene in any Red State you care to name:
Yet having embraced the ideals of the Third Reich, Trump tweeted that he had “a great evening in Iowa!” and that he was “Heading now to Florida – tomorrow, South Carolina!” to spread his poison there.
That’s nice. Hitler always enjoyed the Nuremberg rallies too.
What makes Trump’s plan truly bizarre is an earlier appearance on Michael Savage’s radio show, where Savage asked Trump what he thought President Obama’s “real reason for flooding America with Muslims from Syria” might be, to which Trump answered that it was “hard to imagine.”
“Obviously some people think it’s evil intentions, I think it’s incompetence, regardless, a lot of people think it’s evil intentions.”
Evil intentions. Like registering Muslims like Nazis registered Jews?
Then again, the Nazis also said the Jews were the bag guys. They saw themselves – like Republicans today – as the saviors of Western Civilization.
Only the enemy was different, but then again, not: Semites.
Lt. Colonel Burton F. Ellis, who prosecuted Nazi war criminals after WWII, wrote of the Reich, “Humans lose their veneer of civilization very, very rapidly under certain conditions.”
People have always asked, could it happen here? The answer is, yes it can. It can happen anywhere. And this is how it starts.