GOP nominated a dangerous demagogue
In 1935, as fascist dictators rose to power in Italy, Germany and Spain, Sinclair Lewis published “It Can’t happen Here.”
The novel is about “Buzz” Windrip, a demagogue who is elected president after promising to return America to greatness and prosperity.
Once in power, Windrip outlaws dissent, curtails women’s and minorities’ rights, and establishes concentration camps.
Lewis was trying to make the point that America needed to remain vigilant in order to avoid succumbing to authoritarian demagogues during the Great Depression.
His book has special relevance, given that the Republican Party has nominated a candidate for president who is a clear threat to our nation’s future.
Here are seven basic criteria of authoritarian regimes:
• Create a cult of personality. Donald Trump offers no solutions, no policy proposals. He only offers himself. He says he can do it alone.
• Control the media. At Trump rallies the media is cordoned off with no access to him. The media is regarded as the enemy. He has banned newspapers such as the Washington Post from covering his campaign events.
• Intimidate perceived enemies, a standard found in all Trump speeches and rallies.
• Condone violence, such as encouraging supporters to harm protesters, especially blacks.
• Scapegoat the weakest, most vulnerable members of society. Trump blames inequities in the American economy on Mexican immigrants, Muslims and African-Americans.
• Advocate jingoism. Trump’s whole foreign policy is based on threats of retaliation and creating hatred toward other nations.
• Ignore international law. Trump has advocated the use of torture, no due process and retaliation against families of perceived enemies.
Is this the future we want for our country? Can it really happen here?