But the collective hysteria that followed shows what happens when Nazi Germany crowds out all other history. The poverty of peoples’ collective memory and imagination is such that the first minute any politician strays from the path of universalism, commentators reach for the most shocking (and only) historical comparison they can think of.
It is tediously predictable that every progressive political setback is treated as a harbinger of incipient fascism. I have become so jaded by this that I was almost delighted to see the term “Stalin-esque purge” being used in reference to routine personnel shuffling among Trump’s advisers. Finally, a new twist on the tired old theme! You mean he’s already had tens of thousands of underlings executed or sent south to work on constructing the Mexican border wall with their bare hands on starvation rations? No? You mean this is just more absurd hyperbole from people already lacking in all credibility? At this rate, will they even have anything left by January when he’s actually sworn in?