Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

A Quiet Call for Peace

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

A Quiet Call for Peace

Article excerpt

As a general rule, I loathe both Holocaust and slavery comparisons.

Sadly, such comparisons have become more common in recent years even though, almost by definition, they trivialize two of the greatest crimes in human history. When GOP senatorial candidate John Raese declared that having to place "smoke-free environment" stickers on buildings he owned was the "same thing as Jews being forced to wear yellow Stars of David and when eventual GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson claimed the Affordable Care Act "in a way, is slavery, what was revealed was not some new insight on stop-smoking campaigns and healthcare reform, but, rather, the historical illiteracy, incapacity for reverence and utter imbecility of the two men and anyone dumb enough to believe them. So yes, ordinarily I loathe such comparisons. Yet I'm here to make one. Because, as more than one observer has noted, the parallels between the rise of Adolf Hitler and that of Donald Trump have become too neon to ignore.

Like Hitler, Trump has watched approvingly as his followers use violence to silence hecklers, dissenters and protesters.

Like Hitler, Trump offers few real plans or strategies for confronting the nation's challenges, giving voters instead the assurance that he, by force of personality alone, will defeat them.

Like Hitler, Trump has presented the electorate a scapegoat for its fears and vulnerabilities. Hitler gave his people the Jews. Trump has given his the Muslims.

Like Hitler, Trump proposes to register, surveil and restrict the scapegoat populace. Nor, like Hitler, is he overly concerned with the niceties of civil or human rights. "We're going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago," he has said.

It is in that context that Rose Hamid stood up last week in South Carolina.

Hamid, a 56-year-old Muslim flight attendant attending a Trump rally in Rock Hill, came to her feet and stood silently as Trump equated refugees from Syria with ISIS terrorists. …

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