My first real job as a young teenager about 50 years ago was with the British Foreign Office / Foreign Service and involved helping, albeit in a very menial / junior capacity process the claims for Nazi persecution of concentration camp victims who were or had become since the War British subjects. Each claimant was required to submit statements and evidence relating to their experiences at the hands of the Nazis and reading all these left a very deep impression. Later in life, I have visited Buchenwald concentration camp many times, along with Auschwitz in Poland.
What has this to do with Donald Trump?
I think a very great deal: the rise of Hitler in Germany and the rise of Trump in America to me seem very similar phenomena: a repeat of history unfolding: a nightmare that's not just a bad dream.
Of course the parallels aren't exact: the economic turmoil in 1 920s and 1930s Germany was far more extreme, for example. But the Germans were one of the most civilised nations of the developed world; they were not at all evil people, yet they were duped by someone very evil and mentally twisted telling them what they wanted to hear as opposed to the difficult and uncomfortable truth and who could rabble-rouse and appeal to their baser instincts and scapegoat and persecute in their case Jews or the handicapped or Roma people etc etc
I see similar sinister, sickening parallels in the present-day antics in the UK of such as the UK Independence Party and their fellow-travellers and in their leader Nigel Farage, appropriately so beloved of Donald Trump. Hopefully there are far too many checks and balances in modern British Society ever to permit such people to get political power. But we've had our Brexit and America has had their Trump, so vigilance has to be the watchword.
What has this to do with T.S. Eliot? - possibly quite a lot. I'm thinking in particular of his 1938 'Idea of a Christian Society' lectures and his alarm and foreboding about events then in and around Germany and his reflections (albeit tentative and rambling in places) about a better way forward for civilised humanity.
I do fervently hope and pray that the USA comes to its senses soon and without too much further strife and unpleasantness or much worse.
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Please don't fret too long Kate, our nation is stronger than that. The underlying principles of liberty and individual freedom will outlast this episode. Perhaps as the pendulum swings back and forth, even the most callous among us will realize this continent is blessed.
From one in New York to another in Florida
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The last few days, I've not watched TV, not thought about it, but after listening to this earlier from Saturday Night Live last night, I started to cry. I'm positively sick knowing that Obama isn't our Present and that an ignorant, childish, vulgar man is . . .
Karen "Kate" Nichols
Premier Florida Realty of SWFL