The Trump administration has been likened to the Nazi regime since its inception, but while the similarities are numerous and frightening, the Trump administration is not the Nazi party. There are only two reasons for this. The first is Congress, which in spite of all the complicity on the part of Republicans, there is still some pushback on the Executive branch. The second, most importantly, is our freedom of the press.
Neither of these things existed in Germany after Hitler took over, for very good reason. Nazis can’t win when there is government oversight because the only way they can win is through cheating. Nor can Nazis flourish with a free press. Without journalists on the front lines, we would know only what Trump tweets. Certainly, social media made the video of George Floyd’s murder go viral, but we know the facts of it through our press. Without those pesky journalists, Derek Chauvin could have just called the video a Deep Fake and gone on with his career.
As much as they are reviled by the right, our press is still at work, digging out the facts and putting themselves on the front lines in order to get the story. They do their job. But it is our job to read enough of their stories to be able to assess what is likely true. And this is why the right reviles the press so much, because they’re like children who don’t want to take responsibility for reading their Little Golden Book. Instead, they want everything spelled out for them ahead of time so they can skip the hard, personal responsibility part. So, when they feel they’ve been given false facts, they are truly outraged, because they refuse to acknowledge it’s their job to read widely and form an opinion of what those facts are on their own.
The Trump administration is not at all like the Nazi party, but not because they have empathy, simple human decency or a conscience. They have none of these things and are proud of that fact. What keeps them from being Nazis is us. We’re in the bunker stage now, and though we feel imprisoned by Trump, the silver lining is that the Bureau of Prisons is too busy sending its guards to “protect” the Lincoln Memorial to foil our brilliant escape planned for November.