Today is inauguration day. We now have a new President, President Trump. His inauguration address featured prominently the expression “America first.” The similarity to Hitler’s use of “Deutschland uber alles” could hardly be missed.
The future is very hard to predict. Looking backwards is much easier. Looking back, it is pretty easy to say that the only reason Hitler is not currently viewed as the greatest leader Germany ever had, rather than the craziest, most monstrous leader any country in the modern world has ever seen, is that he lost World War II. A near miss, when you know what there is to know about the war.
Whether Trump will be the greatest or most infamous of American Presidents remains to be seen. I’m leaning to the latter, but I suspect it’ll be one or the other.
The fact America now faces a radically different future seems quite clear. That so many people oppose his Presidency is the only hope that those people have. Too bad they didn’t understand their opportunity to oppose him was before the election, not after. But the American support, or lack thereof, can easily change. If we go to war, or if someone assassinates him before he takes an outrageously despotic action–which he may, in fact, never do–American sentiments will quickly line up behind his current, vociferous, ideas.
By way of preparation for what may be an overly pessimistic view of what our future is likely to be, I intend to keep my passport current and to think about possible worst-case scenarios before they come true. After he has done any of these things (except number seven, which is little more than sarcasm) would be too late. I don’t expect Trump to take these actions, but we should be aware that he now has this kind of power. I urge you to do likewise.
Things Trump might do which I think would force me to leave America as a country I could no longer support with my presence:
1) Kill his opposition
2) Build concentration camps
3) Close the borders in any direction on the basis of religion
4) Start a war
5) Use nuclear weapons before his opponents
6) Invalidate or postpone or cancel an election
7) Tweet that his favorite movie of all time featured Jar Jar Binks.
8) Reinstating tortue in interrogation techniques
9) Take any action whose effect would be to diminish the right of the freedom of speech in the press. (this may be at the heart of what is going on when Trump attempts to make the press out to be blatant lies)
10) Burn books or other written literature.
All of these things (except seven and five, which was not an option then, and eight, where “reinstate” was not an issue) were actions of Hitler, as he rose. Who would have predicted, then, the monster he would be remembered as?
I, personally, think Trump’s own words make him deserving of being remembered as our worst President ever.