It Has Often Been Noted In The Media That Conditions Are Ripe For A Trump Takeover

Current social and political conditions are not exactly 1933 Germany. Then the Germans were still smoldering from that nation’s humiliating defeat in World War One, this during a period when the world was at once in the midst of a devastating depression. In city streets left wing communists battled right wing fascists. It was a volatile mix of poverty and viciousness. Ordinary folks were desperate for someone who would bring order, stability and jobs to the nation — a strongman. Does this bring anyone to mind today? (I will build a great wall.) Okay, that was too much of a hint.

America is nowhere near being in that unstable of a condition but the 24-hour news cycle gives the perception (and in politics perception is everything) that bad times are upon us. Ever since 9/11 whenever there is anything resembling a terrorist attack in Western Europe or the US, the news networks don’t just say with the story line for a few hours, it becomes and endless loop of mostly repeated facts for at least 48 hours, as if the rest of the world’s events had evaporated.

Moreover the right wing media lead by Fox News and conservative talk radio have spent 20 years unleashing a constant stream of poisonous lies and conspiracy theories upon the gullible and desperate that have undermined vast segments of society’s faith in government and other vital institutions — much of the disinformation covertly buttressed by the super wealthy, those, as Bernie Sanders points out, who have sucked up most of the nation’s wealth.

It is this radical wealth inequality that has mostly created a sense of unease. A badly eroded middle class due to both greedy outsourcing of jobs and fast changing technology has incubated a vast sea of what might be termed the new poor. These folks feel that their standard of living might never match or exceed that of their parents generation nor will their children. They want the American dream fixed and they want to know who is to blame for what they see as American’s decline. What they really mean is their decline. America’s still the most powerful and well-off nation on earth. It is just that the goodies are a lot more concentrated than in bygone times.

So into this malaise of spirit walks America’s number one opportunist, Donald J. Trump, ready and eager to offer himself up to the newly dispossessed as their savior in chief. Playing to the hateful, the desperate and the naïve, Trump is as happy to fleece the entire nation as he did those poor soles that enrolled in his “Trump University” scam.

It is not an impossibility that if elected president, Trump might actually do some good. After all Mussolini made the trains run on time and Hitler did put his people to work building Germany’s modern road system (the autobahn) along with the production of lots of ships, planes, tanks and bombs. For most Germans the late 1930s were a prosperous and exciting time. Of course if one were on Hitler’s black list — the mentally disabled, certain intellectuals, Jews and political free thinkers — you were quite likely treated to the charms of a concentration camp and later the gas chamber and or some oven roasting.

You see with megalomaniacs like Mussolini, Hitler and Trump, enough is never enough. They want it all until they have gone so far as to destroy it all. So now Trump looms on the world stage as if he were a man playing with matches among a string of world ending nuclear firecrackers. Apparently he can’t wait to engage Vladimir Putin in a game of chicken to see which one of them is really the alpha dog.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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