Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Trump, Hitler parallel that applies

A recent history '1932', by David Pietrusza, chronicles the rise to power of Adolph Hitler and FDR in Germany and the US, respectively. Throughout this fascinating tome the scary 2016 Republican presidential campaign featuring neo-Fascist Donald Trump was never far from mind. 
Trump rallys, punctuated with violence and chaos, culminating in cancellation of his Chicago rally, mirror the path to power trod by Hitler in 1932 Germany. Hitler was a spellbinding rabblerouser, who offered virtually nothing of substance or specifics besides 'making Germany great again.' He offered his legion of followers meat issues of racial hatred, extreme nationalism, and demonizing the 'others' including Jewish bankers and communists. His followers engaged in endless violence against communists and other radicals which became useful to the military, the industrialists, the monarchists and the rulers who wanted those elements confronted. They used Hitler and the Nazis, never imagining Hitler would ever succeed in taking power. They felt they could control Hitler's more extreme tendencies and believed his inability to garner more than a third of the electorate in election after election meant he could never become Chancellor. When the government teetered near collapse, aging and out of touch President Hindenburg finally appointed Hitler Chancellor, fully expecting he could damp down and control his extreme rhetoric and conduct.
In failed candidate Ben Carson's endorsement of Trump today, he said Trump the extreme campaigner would moderate as Trump the nominee.
"There’s two Donald Trumps. There’s the Donald Trump that you see on television and who gets out in front of big audiences, and there’s the Donald Trump behind the scenes. They’re not the same person. One’s very much an entertainer, and one is actually a thinking individual.”
Carson may know brain surgery, but he doesn't know history. The parallel between Trump and Hitler is not the level of their racist and violent rhetoric, it's that they both used such rhetoric to mobilize their followers and gain new adherents.
2016 America is not 1932 Germany. But if one candidate in 2016 learned how to take over a party's base by appealing to the lowest fears and hatreds of the electorate, it's Donald Trump. That is a valid parallel to the rise to power of Adolf Hitler 84 years ago. We ignore that parallel at our peril.
Walt Zlotow

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bernie's Grand Slam earned my vote

I early voted for Bernie Sanders cause he crushed a Grand Slam on the 4 issues most dear to me. 

First, he's the most vocal candidate on the colossal failure and waste of our Middle East wars and the need to reduce rather than expand our military footprint in the Middle East and Africa. 

Second, he's the strongest and most eloquent spokesman for addressing climate change which threatens our very existence. 

Third, he's the only candidate calling for universal health insurance...Medicare For All. 

Fourth, he's called for slowing, even reversing the massive income inequality which threatens the economic well being of all but the very wealthy. 

After crossing home plate after his Slam, I'm hopeful Berrnie can cross into the Oval Office and begin the work to address and implement progress on these four crucial issues. 

Walt Zlotow
Glen Ellyn

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Lovie's news conference displays America's distorted priorities

Turned on the hopeless little screen yesterday to see former Bears coach Lovie Smith being introduced as the new University of Illinois football coach in a special live news event. The thought occurred to me if we’d see a live news event of the fabled Land of Lincoln flagship school introducing a great scholar or researcher. Nah. The United States doesn’t value scholarship or research. That’s why Lovie gets a $21 million deal (before incentives) while the professors who do the real work of the institution and society get the scraps. Maybe we should change Lovie’s job title to “Professor of Future Concussions.”

Big Ugly Fat Fellow readied to kill again

Next month marks the 64th anniversary of the maiden flight of Big Ugly Fat Fellow (BUFF). . Deployed in February, 1955, BUFF, better known as the gigantic B-52 bomber, slaughtered untold thousands in America's criminal Vietnam War. It was resurrected to slaughter again in Persian Gulf War, the NATO war on Serbia and Operation Iraqi Freedom. BUFF will be deployed next month for the first time in our made up, unnecessary war against Sunni extremists redrawing the artificial WWI boundaries in the Middle East. BUFF can carry 70,000 lbs of death dealing ordinance including gravity bombs, precision guided cruise missiles, joint direct attack munitions and the war criminal's favorite: cluster bombs. That's America's Big Ugly Fat Fellow; 64 years of dealing death to the folks Uncle Sam don't like.