I want to start out by saying it is not my intent to compare any politician to Hitler. I do not believe that is appropriate. I do not believe any candidate is suggesting mass murder. Yet, the similarities between Hitler’s policies and some of the suggested policies in the presidential contest are worth noting. The real question is under the right circumstances could the Holocaust happen here?
It is easy to say that the Germans were evil or easily led. The same evil nature would also have to include the Italians, the Japanese and the remaining Axis Powers. I do not believe such large groups of people are inherently evil.
America is not exempt from all responsibility for Hitler’s Germany. America turned away boat loads of Jewish refugees knowing that they would be returned to Germany to die. America knew about the murder of innocents but failed to act. America could have bombed the train tracks leading to the concentration camps but did nothing. America created interment camps for American citizens of Japanese dissent.
After WWI Germany was in shambles. On top of having to rebuild the infrastructure of their country the Germans had to care for their returning soldiers, their wives and widows. To make matters worse they had to pay reparations to England and France. The result was hyperinflation and an economic depression. The depression was not limited to the Germany as the depression spread throughout the world from 1929 for the next ten years.
Middle class Germans could see their futures and that of their children slipping away. That desperation paved the way for the Third Reich. This desperation allowed Adolph Hitler to rise to power.
Hitler was able to convince the German people that their country was on the brink of disaster. He convinced the people that if extreme actions were not taken than there was no hope for the future. In addition he was able to convince the voters that he alone could make Germany great again.
Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s misfortune. This was despite the fact that Jews made up less than 1% of the German population. There was no evidence to support any claim that Jews had a negative impact on the German economy.
Jews had nothing to do with Germany’s negative economic Hitler’s final solution did have a negative economic impact. Hitler wasted the resources of Germany, when Germany needed them the most. Mass murder took man power, fuel, weapons and other resources from the German people.
In addition Germany had laws that barred Jewish scientists from working. Germany at the time was the envy of the scientific world. This policy adversely effected the German economy by excluding contributors to the economy.
On a side note The Manhattan Project that created the nuclear bomb was made up of a large number of European Jews. The vast majority of the leadership of the Manhattan Project was Jewish. If Hitler had not made the decision to destroy the Jewish population Germany might have been the first to create the nuclear bomb.
I would like to turn my analysis to today and our current election. I do see some similarities in proposed policies that cause me concern. Again I am not attacking parties or candidates only bringing up suggested policies that cause me concern.
Illegal immigration is a problem in this country but in the scheme of things it is not a big problem. The population of illegal immigrants is approximately 3.5% of the overall population. (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/20/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/) Illegal Immigrants are not entitled to welfare. They do pay taxes through property taxes and sales tax. In addition many pay other payroll taxes through their employment using fake social security cards but don’t get social security in return.
There is some cost to tax payers relating to illegal immigration in terms of medical care and education. Also, some people may commit fraud to obtain government assistance. Yet, all in all it would be hard to argue that there is a net economic loss to America caused by illegal immigration.
Illegal immigration may be a problem but it has no real negative impact on America’s economy. As a political and economic issue it is a smoke screen. It is like blaming the Jews for Germany’s economy.
The issues related to Muslims with in our country also has limited impact on our countries economy but is being used politically. Even though a large number of terrorists are Muslim that does not mean a large number of Muslims are terrorists. It does bring some disturbing parallels to WW2 to argue that America should refuse to admit refugees. It is even more bothersome if we were to base or decisions on religion. Obviously, we need to make sure refugees are not terrorists and that we limit the number of refugees to an amount we can provide for.
I believe America is great. There may be some argument that white, male, Americans felt they had a greater potential to succeed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. After WW2 America was competing with a Europe that was devastated by war. Europe’s manufacturing base was in turmoil. China, Mexico and India were underdeveloped as was their manufacturing base. America was the worlds first superpower. We could use a disproportional amount of the worlds resources and dominate world trade. I don’t know how any political person or body can recreate those circumstances.
America is in need of money. To solve the problem we need to look for solutions where the money is. When the bank robber, Willie Sutton, was asked why he robbed banks, he allegedly said, “That’s were the money is”. Today the money is in the hands of multinational corporations and the top 1% of the population. If we need to make major changes related to our economy that is the first place to look. Making efforts to stamp out fraud in social services is important but will have little impact on the overall economy.
Issues like gay marriage, abortion and guns may be important but have little to do with the economy. The economy is the real issue for voters. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/158267/economy-dominant-issue-americans-election-nears.aspx)
I am not trying to attack specific politicians. Both of our presidential candidates may have the best of intentions. Yet, some similarities between suggested policies and the policies of Germany in the 1930’s should cause Americans concern.
- The effort to convince people that America is going down the drain and if a certain candidate is not elected there will be dire consequences that can never be recovered from.
- The effort to convince people that the reason their country is going down the drain is the actions of some group of minorities who have no negative impact on the economy.
- The efforts to convince the people that they do not need to work with other countries or uphold contracts, international laws or other agreements (trade agreements, NATO, The Treaty of Versailles).
- Arguing for an increase in police powers and police presence. The support for “stop and frisk” and the suggestion that additional police authorities are needed to hunt down and remove millions of people.
- If a candidate appears to have the support of White Supremacist groups.