In 1935, Sinclair Lewis wrote the best selling novel, "It can't Happen Here," as a warning to the United States that Hitler's rise in Germany could replicate itself in the United Staes. In 2004, Philip Roth's, "The Plot Against America," provided a fictional account of that very political event occurring in this country. Over the weekend, Trump, strongly implied that four Congresswomen of color "should go back to" the "totally broken country and crime infested country from which they came."

This blatant racist trope is so similar to Hitler's singling out the Jews for expulsion from Germany that it, along with the accompanying Republican silence and some support, should alarm all Americans of the real and present danger the occupant of the White House poses to all of us regardless of our race, religion or nationality. It is also historically relevant that powerful politicians, businessmen, land owners, religious figures and court justices believed that they could control Hitler until, to their horror, it was too late to do so.

Persuading disappointed, discontent, frustrated, irritated and/or economically marginalized citizens to resent, discriminate against, and mistreat "those others" for their own difficulties is an old, repeated and sad historical constant. With Trump's encouragement, as with Hitler's, this scapegoat reaction is becoming legitimized and therein lies the greatest danger to our Constitutional rights and, thus, to a positive future for ourselves and future generations of Americans. We must all, therefore, become involved in protecting the US from the enemy within.

Silence is approbation. Those Germans who remained silent in the face of the rope tightening around the necks of the Jews were the product of a sinister legitimization of abnormality. The absence of a concerted pushback against Trump's racist intolerance is precisely that, and though it is not dark yet, it is getting there."

Gordon Brown



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