Göring said the following while being interviewed in his jail cell by Gustave Gilbert during the Nuremberg trials. The conversation provides an interesting perspective. I repeat it here with an added comment because it strikes me as very much a moment of reflection:
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
I have said before that the Trumpet is not a fascist, strictly speaking. But, given his thin skin and paranoia, he has fascist tendencies; his presidency might well lead to the kind of suppression of dissent that was common in Hitler’s Germany. This point was driven home to me recently as I was watching a show on television that recounted Hitler’s fatal attraction to the German people. That, together with Elizabeth Warren’s reminder that we should not remain silent at a time like this, led me to post this again.
The parallels between the two men are chilling. Both men are megalomaniacs, both have thin skin and cannot accept criticism, and they both are chronic liars who insist on finding others responsible for their own shortcomings — Hitler blaming the German people at the end of the war for “letting him down.” Please note Göring’s comment about the relative ineffectiveness of any sort of checks on this man’s success — even in a system such as ours. People are easily duped, especially when the promise of a brighter day is held out. Hitler’s goal was a New Germany after the defeat in World War I, Trump’s is “Making America Great Again.” As I say: chilling.