The American president makes no effort to hide his admiration for dictators around the world. With murderous role models like Putin guiding the way Trump’s regime marches steadily toward fascism.
In his new book On Tyranny, renowned Yale historian Timothy Snyder posits that Trump will take a move out of Hitler’s playbook by carrying out his own version of the Reichstag fire. The Reichstag fire was an arson attack on the German parliament building which many experts believe was a false flag operation orchestrated by Hitler. He used the event as a pretext to seize more power and suspend civil liberties.
In an interview with Salon, Snyder confirmed his theory about the Trump administration:
“…I think it’s pretty much inevitable that they will try. The reason I think that is that the conventional ways of being popular are not working out for them. The conventional way to be popular or to be legitimate in this country is to have some policies, to grow your popularity ratings and to win some elections. I don’t think 2018 is looking very good for the Republicans along those conventional lines — not just because the president is historically unpopular. It’s also because neither the White House nor Congress have any policies which the majority of the public like.”
Snyder’s analysis expands to explain Trump’s perplexing ability to survive idiotic blunders that would bury any other politician:
“Mr. Trump is primarily a television personality. As such, he is judged by that standard. This means that a scandal does not call forth a response; it calls forth the desire for a bigger scandal.”
The historian concludes that the fate of the country rests firmly in the hands of the people. If Americans mobilize now, stay active and engaged, then Trump’s eventual authoritarian grab will fail. Snyder believes the country is running out of time and the resistance has to act immediately. Once Trump has solidified his power, it will be too late for the citizenry to affect meaningful change. The window is rapidly shrinking:
Nobody can be sure how long this particular regime change with Trump will take, but there is a clock, and the clock really is ticking. It’s three years on the outside, but in more likelihood something like a year.
Comparisons between Hitler and Trump are nothing new, but Snyder speaks with an expertise and authority that cannot be ignored. Failure to place Trump in his proper historical context could prove disastrous for the future of democracy.