An Undeniable Historical Déjà vu

I was watching the documentary “Third Reich: The Rise and Fall” this past weekend, and couldn’t help but notice the striking similarities between the rise of Hitler and the current state of America. You easily could have replaced “Hitler” with “Trump” and “Germany” with “America”. The stories are nearly identical. In some ways, it didn’t shock me because I have been comparing him to Hitler since he started revealing his true character. What shocked me was just how far the parallels between the two went. We are truly experiencing a historical déjà vu.

I have a passion for history, and even did a paper on the rise of fascism in college. Hitler has always intrigued me because I couldn’t wrap my head around how one man could so easily convince an entire nation to follow his dark ideology. Then I started witnessing it first hand during Trump’s rise to the presidency.

Now I am watching him surround himself by the same type of corrupt and evil men that Hitler chose as leaders of the Nazi party. I was amused at first, because everyone chanted “drain the swamp” during the campaign, and I couldn’t help but wonder how gullible people could be. At that time, I didn’t expect him to have a chance of winning, but I also wasn’t prepared for Putin to deliver the American throne to Trump either. Trump cheated to win, much like Hitler.

The whole thing both appalls and scares me as I watch an American horror story unfold before my eyes. We are truly in the throes of a time of great darkness in this country. The only thing I can hope for, is that the majority of Americans have learned from history and we will stage a revolution before our country finds itself the target of World War 3.

I think the part that troubles me the most is that I now see many people I once respected in a new light. It is hard to go back to the days of innocence where I considered them genuinely good people. They have revealed their racism, bigotry and misogyny. They have revealed their ignorance, hate and hypocrisy. They have revealed the darkness of their soul, and it took me a while to accept that. Some of them are simply disillusioned and angry. Those are his followers that I have sympathy for, because they will feel betrayed when they realize it was all a con. They were played, and became unwitting pawns in a very dark game. Many of them will suffer like never before. The country will turn against them when the darkness envelopes us all, and the world will point the finger of contempt. Trump’s Deplorables will have the same dark stigma as Hitler’s Nazis.

The worst part, is that history showed us what happens when you let a man like Trump have power. In the documentary, a few Germans were interviewed, and they spoke of how the world hated them. How the entire world saw them as evil monsters. The German people were promised a better life, they were going to go back to the days when Germany was great. Sound familiar? They were suffering, and Hitler offered them hope during a time of despair. They believed him, only to learn it was all a lie. He used their pain to rise to power. This was the exact same ploy that Trump used. Hitler provided the blueprint, and Trump gleefully followed it. But we are not as innocent and naïve as Germany, because we have seen this story before. For that reason, history will not be as forgiving with us, as it was with them.

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