In the 1930s, Germany turned to fascism in a desperate effort to solve its problems of inflation and wounded pride after its defeat in WWI. Despite their misgivings, Germans elected an anti-Semitic demagogue who had attempted a failed violent insurrection against the government, believing his empty promises to make Germany great again by eliminating Jews, democracy and foreign influences from the land.
As history tends to repeat itself, once again inflation looms as a major issue in the upcoming election, and many Americans seek an authoritarian solution. While the price of eggs is important, the “eggs”istential threat to Democracy is worse; while the cost of gas is serious, the gaslighting by Trump and his big lie of a stolen election is more worrisome. While the cost of a new home and mortgage are troubling, the non-existence of a new home planet as we mortgage our children’s future is catastrophic. While rising prices is a burning issue, the rising seas and burning forests are even more alarming. The cost of chicken may be high, but not as high as the cost to our democracy when politicians are chicken before a wannabe dictator. And while we should all be concerned with inflation, the inflated ego of an egomaniac is a bigger problem.
As in Nazi Germany, Trump has united with Christian nationalists to strip Jews and others of their religious freedom by stacking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. To protect freedom, our founding fathers erected a wall of separation between church and state, which DeSantis, also known as the anti-Crist, demolished when he appeared as the head of state in a church, to announce his criminalization of Jewish law on abortion. Jews, Muslims, Haitians, Mexicans and countless others who Trump views as “foreigners” are targets of the new “Republicult” Party.
Hitler’s slogan for his party was “Deutschland Uber Alles” which means “Germany First” and thus, Hitler’s allies in America such as Charles Lindbergh rallied behind its American equivalent, “America First”. Naturally, Trump adopted this pro-Nazi slogan, as well as the “Make America Great Again” rallying cry, which he plagiarized from Mussolini.
Trump praises those who scream “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville, conspires with anti-Semitic hate groups such as QANON, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, accuses Jews of being disloyal, suggests that Jews are as obsessed with money as he is, tells Jews they must “get their act together…before it is too late” and sends out tweets which hail him as the King of the Jews and the second coming of God. The Jews have no need for a king and if we did, the Torah tells us not to choose someone with many houses and wives, but instead to choose someone who seeks wisdom, not money. (Deuteronomy 17:17). As Trump holds a Bible upside down and turns the words of Jesus on their head, he receives the support of millions of mindless minions whose minds have already been subverted by religion and are thus easy prey for a demagogue whose favorite words, like most hucksters, is “believe me”.
Written off as a clown, many Germans failed to take Hitler seriously and gullible masses flocked to his promise to end inflation and make Germany great again. Trump’s bombastic, boorish braggadocio emulates Hitler, and both claimed to be doing God’s work as they conspired with right-wing Christians of their day and scorned democracy. Hitler had inscribed “Gott mit us” on the belt buckle of Nazi soldiers and in Florida, every school in the State is required to display the words “In God We Trust”. Rather than teaching our children to trust in education, wisdom, democracy, hard work and each other, we teach them to place blind faith in non-existent beings.
During the Holocaust, the last words that many Jews heard was the false accusation that they were being punished for killing Jesus. This mother of all conspiracy theories blames the Jews for conspiring with the devil and the global forces of evil, symbolized by Rome, to commit the most heinous crime in history, deicide. How cunning and devious must the Jews be to cajole the Romans to crucify a person who exemplified love incarnate and in whom Pontius Pilate could find no fault if we are to believe this fable. The Gospel’s cruci”fiction” has the cruel and vicious Pilate literally wash his hands of the matter, while the vicious Jews cry out for the crucifixion of Jesus shouting “May his blood be upon us and upon our children”. This original blood libel is as likely as the Nazis having a custom to release a Jewish prisoner from Auschwitz on Passover, and Hitler calling for the release of Anne Frank, while “the Jews” insist upon her torture and death. In short, it never happened.
Like Hitler and other tyrants, Trump uses such blood libels for political gain. Sadly, many religious and political “leaders” are silent or complicit in this ancient hatred, and thus this perennial plague continues to flourish into the 21st century. Never again should a nation commit the sin of silence in response to fascism, anti-Semitism and hate. Let us learn from history so that we are not doomed to repeat it and rise up in defense of truth, our precious planet and all its inhabitants.
Written by Rabbi Barry Silver, founder of the Temple of Understanding Palm Beach County Chapter, founder of Cosmic Judaism, civil rights attorney, former State Legislator and Rabbi of Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor. He welcomes your feedback, both pro and con at firstname.lastname@example.org.