. . . not least because our economy is in no 1933-style German depression.

(Though it was sure headed that way when the Republicans — who inherited eight great Clinton economic years and a surplus — in 2009 handed us back a $1.5 trillion deficit, soaring bankruptcies, a plunging stock market, and job losses of 800,000 a month.)

Yet web sites like this one — “first they came for the Jews” — seem topical, given the Donald’s latest pronouncements. And given his having kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed.  (He was free to do so!  That hardly “proves” anything!  But it’s still a valid data point as we assess the field of talent vying to lead us and the world forward.)

Writes one worried commenter, Ruth Mays, on that web site:

Yes, some were seduced by charisma. My mother heard the crowds in the street chanting as Hitler marched by, and wondered how anybody could fall for him. Many people were out of work . . . and he promised them all jobs with good wages. He promised that the trains would run on time, there would be safety for all. He promised that Germany would again be at the top [“made great again?” — A.T.], no longer humiliated by the French [“the Mexicans and Chinese, whose leaders are so much smarter than our stupid, stupid leaders?” — A.T.]. He had such a command of rhetoric that many people believed him. . . . My grandfather almost ended up in a camp because he refused to stop treating his Jewish patients. . . . Hitler started out as a buffoon like Trump, but he managed to attract enough people to protect him. I sincerely hope I am wrong about us, but fear and propaganda are powerful forces. Too many people watch nothing but Fox news.

It won’t be Trump — yet he is doing real harm to the country even so, bringing out the worst instincts in a lot of frightened, angry people.

If it’s Cruz, it will be almost as bad.  In some ways perhaps even worse.

If it’s one of the others, let’s not forget that:

> They all favor shifting yet more wealth and power to the top tenth of one-percent (cutting their income tax and eliminating the estate tax on their billionheirs) . . . at the expense of everyone else.

Even “moderate” Jeb, when he was my governor in Florida, first halved, then eliminated the only tax that applied just to the best-off while drastically cutting drug treatment programs and fighting efforts to reduce classroom size.  To today’s Republicans, those are sound governing priorities.  To most thinking people, they are not.

> They all would get to replace three or four octogenarian Justices with 48-year-old conservatives in the mold of Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Sam Alito, just as Bush 41 and 43 did.  All good people, sincere in their beliefs; but I prefer progressives.

 

 

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