Donald Trump said Tuesday during a campaign stop in South Carolina that Americans should inform on each other and denounce their neighbors to the authorities:
“People move into a house a block down the road, you know who’s going in. You can see and you report them to the local police.
“You’re pretty smart, right? We know if there’s something going on, report them. Most likely you’ll be wrong, but that’s OK.
“That’s the best way. Everybody’s their own cop in a way. You’ve got to do it. You’ve got to do it.”
You’ve got to do it. Most likely you’ll be wrong, but that’s OK.
Does Trump know that as a recent book about Nazi Germany’ Gestapo (Secret State Police) tells us, “The Gestapo was not bound by any legal or administrative accountability or burden of proof.”
You’ll probably be wrong when you denounce your neighbors but that’s okay. Proof is for losers.
The authors, Carsten Dams and Michael Stolle, relate that while denunciations can occur even in democratic states (obviously Trump is proof of that) and “represent to a certain extent the normal condition of any political intervention,” they point ominously to the fact that in the Third Reich it was “men from the lower and middle classes who make up a disproportionately large percentage of the denouncers.”
And from where do all Trump’s supporters come from today? He’s speaking to the right crowd.
How effective is denouncing? Dams and Stolle tell us that, “Most people denounced others because of private interests and base motives such as envy, revenge, anger, hatred, or malevolence.”
In other words, for the same reasons people were accused of being witches.
They also tell us that the typical denouncer remained anonymous “out of cowardice or fear” and that “anything out of line with the supposedly healthy national feeling was denounced.”
That’s a rather broad definition of sin, to say the least. Denunciations in the Third Reich were extensive and historians have spoken of a society “under its own surveillance” – which is exactly what Trump is proposing here by telling people they are “their own cop in a way.”
There was even an attempt in the Third Reich to make informing on your neighbor a legal obligation. In fascist societies, you don’t help your neighbor. You rat him out. And then giggle in glee as you watch him hauled away.
Trump, fully in keeping with the spirit of ratting out your neighbor and what might be happening behind closed doors, went after the synagogues, er, um…I mean the mosques again, saying “There’s something going on in the mosques and other places. There’s some nastiness, there’s some meanness there.”
But not in the churches where gays and lesbians and Muslims and Pagans and others are regularly slandered, apparently. It’s all good if you’re white and “Christian.”
He told the crowd how he felt about Obama: “I call him the great divider. I am going to be a unifier. I’m going to be the best protector. I’m going to fight like hell for this country.”
Right. By turning Americans against each other. Denunciations right and left. What a great way to unify a country.
Trump is a fascist. He regularly espouses fascist ideals and proposes to employ fascist methods in his governance of America. He wants everyone to join him in fascism so America can become the Fourth Reich and finish the work of the Third on behalf of white folks feeling oppressed by the equality of everyone else.
Trump asked the crowd, “[Why is President Obama] so empathetic on not solving the problem?” The real question is, “Why is Donald Trump so eager to demonize entire groups for the actions of a few if they don’t happen to be white?”
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.