From Jacobin magazine, "The Weimar Analogy" by Daniel Bessner & Udi Greenberg:
Comparing the recent American election to the doomed Weimar Republic has become pundits’ favorite pastime. In newspapers and on talk shows, commentators are quick to warn that the United States is going the way of 1930s German democracy. Donald Trump’s arrival on the political stage — not to mention his presidential win — has heightened fears that economic anxiety, right-wing nationalism, and paramilitary violence will once again mix into a gruesome cocktail.
A surge of op-eds and essays — in the LA Review of Books, the Huffington Post, and Der Spiegel, among others — warn that we live in “Weimar America.” Conservative politics, they claim, have become fascist and threaten to destroy democracy’s most basic institutions.
No one has taken the genre of reductio ad Hitlerum as far as Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who described Trump’s rise as explicitly following in the Nazi dictator’s footsteps. American liberals, he implied, should learn from the German leftists who failed to organize large-scale resistance to Hitler.
Like all historical comparisons, the one between a Twitter-obsessed reality-TV star and a genocidal dictator comes with its distortions, and some commentators have smartly questioned the Weimar analogy.
Op Ed- "The Weimar Analogy" by Daniel Bessner & Udi Greenberg
Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 12:45pm