Thursday, February 13, 2020

What Were They Thinking?

2020, USA, is not unlike 1932 Germany. Hitler’s National Socialist (Nazi) Party held a minority in parliament. The combined numbers for the centrist Social Democrats plus the Communists on the left could have defeated the fascists. That the extreme left stubbornly chose to remain pure in their ideals and did not join in a United Front is the tragedy of the 20th century.

In the past twenty-five years from Lewinsky to Zelensky our political landscape has drifted far to the right. Arguably it set the conditions for a proto fascist like Donald Trump to rise to power and trash the Constitution.

Opposition to his second term now has echoes of Germany’s bungled defense against Nazism. The election in Nov. 1932 made it clear that a distinct majority opposed the fascists. The two major parties who stood in Hitler’s way reached 47% in parliament compared to 31% for the Nazis. If the minority far left party would have joined forces with the centrist Social Democrats the Holocaust may have been avoided. But they did not. They chose to remain pure in their agenda and not contaminate their minds with compromising ideas. They defined the moderate Social Democrats as the enemy and spent their political capital against them. When the Fuhrer took over as Chancellor he immediately banned the Communist Party, and murdered the leaders. So much for unyielding purity.

My reading of the Iowa and New Hampshire results shows the aggregate vote for the three Centrists at 54% compared to the combined Progressives at 44%. Much as my heart leans toward Bernie and Elizabeth my head demands joining the Centrist candidate whomever that may be. And I hope it isn’t Joe Biden.

Taking the pulse of the body politic is a high art. It is particularly difficult when much of the electorate is moribund. However it strikes me that the sum of Never-Trumper Republicans, plus Independents plus traditional Democrats plus low-information disengaged voters is significantly greater than the Progressives. As Bernie Sanders’ support drops precipitously among the elderly and people of color this broad coalition of Centrists is our best hope. Ousting Trump is the only issue; not healthcare, not immigration, not gun control, not climate control…and yet all of them would be addressed by any of the candidates in one form or another.

By the time a United Front was organized against Hitler it  
was too late. The Democrats must come together very soon to 
nominate the candidate with the broadest base. Egos will be bruised. Supporters bitterly disappointed. Get over it. It’s called politics. To the millennials I say, learn how the game is played. 

Compromise is the operative word. And money is required 
to offset the Koch Bros., fossil fuel industries and Big Pharma. 
Being sanctimonious about not accepting corporate funding impresses me not at all. First we must win the White House and Senate. Then we can pass campaign finance reform.   

The consequences of another term for Trump are of a magnitude never imagined before in our history or the planet’s survival. The usurpation of executive power will continue as Trump lives his out his pathology. Our grandchildren will ask, as we asked of the Germans, What were they thinking.


  1. Your analysis, scary but I’m afraid accurate

  2. I can't ever recall being this undecided about my choice. I may end up going with the candidate I'm least aligned with just to get the rascal out.

  3. Well stated! Democracy is an experiment that is up for the test. Whether it fails or succeeds is up to us.