Progressives and other leftward-leaning voters have been criticized by Republicans and right-wing media for bandying about accusations of fascism too loosely and easily since the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Despite all evidence to the contrary — the implementation of immigrant detention centers that fit the textbook definition of concentration camps, the creeping authoritarianism and pervasive racism of the administration, the propaganda campaigns and derision of the free press as “fake news,” and so many other signs of totalitarian tendencies — Trump’s supporters have accused his opponents of overblown exaggeration when comparisons to the Nazi Reich are made by citizens concerned about the destruction of political and moral norms in this country.
Now the frightening parallels between President Trump and the leaders of the Nazi party in World War II Germany made by American progressives have been confirmed by the people who have the most direct expertise on the subject — the Germans themselves.
While the comparison of President Trump to their former fascist leaders is not a new phenomenon in Germany — with that nation’s leading newsweekly having published a cover story making a very explicit statement to that effect nearly two years ago — the criticism of Trump’s recent “go back to where you came from” tweets targeting four Democratic female representatives by German Chancellor Angela Merkel demonstrates just how low the estimation of the president has sunk in the eyes of one of former staunchest post-war allies.
Germans know fascism when they see it.
Today the nation's top magazine, Stern, declares @POTUS @realDonaldTrump a Nazi.
Yesterday Chancellor Angela Merkel came to the defense of US Congress "Squad."https://t.co/JtAvSpZeDN pic.twitter.com/fD7VULGxxY
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) July 20, 2019
During an annual news conference in Berlin, Chancellor Merkel had this to say about Trump’s shockingly bigoted tweets.
“People of very different nationalities have contributed to the strength of the American people, so these are … comments that very much run counter to this firm impression that I have,” Merkel said. “This is something that contradicts the strength of America.”
“I distance myself firmly from this and feel solidarity with the women who were attacked,” she continued.
As the leader of the country that Donald Trump’s paternal grandfather left to seek his fortune in America, it’s ironic that Merkel implies that the president would not be particularly welcome if he were to follow his own advice and return to where he came from, since he seems so unhappy living in the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic nation that America has become in the 21st century.
If the people who lived through the reign of the original Nazis can recognize the danger posed to America by Donald Trump’s promotion of fascist ideologies, why does the president still have the support of the vast majority of Republicans?
The only answer is that they value power and victory over any moral principles. Hopefully, they will suffer the same fate as the German fascists they are dead set on emulating, a tota and ignoble defeat at the hands of America patriots who understand the true values guaranteed by our Constitution.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.
Original reporting by Rebecca Morin at USA Today.