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I am in my 90th year of life and remember well the end to the horrors of World War II. The revulsion at the malignant fascism that had swept over Europe was expressed by “never again.” I had hoped never to experience again such a threat to democracy.

As I listened to former President Donald Trump announce his decision to run again for the presidency, I spontaneously said, “Hitler!” It’s not that I morally equate Trump with the depravity of Adolf Hitler, but the components of Trump’s address were reminiscent to me of the themes Nazism thrived upon.

Among the many identifiable memes in Trump’s prolonged harangue were: The greatness of the nation is being destroyed by leftists; the corruption must be eradicated; and only a strong leader can save the nation.

Taken to extremes, these distortions lay the foundation for antidemocratic conspiracy theories and consequent violent reprisals.

Repression almost always dresses in uniforms of righteousness, striving for the return of glory. Ironically, under the garments of grandeur are to be found the devils of vindictiveness.

Hypocritically, the very evil that tyranny indulges in is projected upon the innocent as treason.

What passes for patriotism is twisted by the dictator into obedience to his need for power. The ribbons of valor for the compliant faithful gleam brighter than the blood of the victims.

At its most perverse, when held accountable, the victimizer claims to be the victim and pleads the Fifth Amendment.

All the more: “Never again.”

Eugene Clemens


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