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An Eloquent Warning From a Small Town History Teacher

2016-11-04

This letter from the local high school history teacher was printed in the Jacksonville Journal Courier recently.  It warns of what could happen if Trump wins the next election: a Hitler-like, Third Reich degeneration of the American government.

Mr. Richard Nelson points out that Adolf Hitler ran for election as president in a relatively free, democratic election in Germany in March 1932 and in a second round on April 10; he won less than a majority, 36.8 percent of the vote.   Paul von Hindenburg, the aging president, was re-elected by an absolute majority of  53% (he failed to gain a majority in the first round, only getting 49%.)   Hitler was appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933 by the aging Hindenburg when the Nazis gained a plurality in the Reichstag (analogous to our Congress.)  The Communist Party of Germany’s candidate for president won 10.2% of the vote.

Shortly after Hitler was appointed chancellor, on February 27, 1933, the Reichstag building burned down in a mysterious arson.  The fire was pinned on a mentally defective man who said he was a Communist;  the Nazis quickly capitalized on the incident to frighten the citizens and make them think that the Communists were trying to start a revolution.

Immediately after the fire, a decree was passed which abrogated civil liberties and suspended democratic government.  The many Nazis already in the government used this decree to imprison anyone suspected of disloyalty and to stop the printing of any publication that was not considered sufficiently friendly to the Nazis.

All the communist deputies to the Reichstag were immediately imprisoned as well as the rest of the Communist Party officials.  With their seats in the Reichstag empty, the Nazis went from a plurality to a majority (with their allied right wing party) and after the next election, held in March, were able to get a two-thirds majority to pass a law that gave Hitler the right to govern by decree.

The fire and Nazi propaganda induced a panic that justified the imprisonment of all members of the German Communist Party as well as many members of the Social Democratic Party and any others who spoke out against the Nazis.  In addition, the federal government was authorized to take over all the state governments.

By a process of intimidation, infiltration of government posts, assassination, brazen lies published in mass circulation newspapers and on radio programs, street violence in pitched battles with Socialist, anarchist, and Communist demonstrators, and finally Nazi-sympathetic Reichstag (Congress) representatives, the Nazis were able to gradually take over the government and set the stage for Hitler’s installation as dictator.

The same process could take place here.  It has already begun with Republican influence over the news media and the promulgation of shameless lies and conspiracy theories about Democratic representatives.  The Republicans have also taken over many state governments and established gerrymandering that allows them to control state Legislatures.  They have been able to elect Republican Congressmen to a majority of federal seats by gerrymandering and targeted campaigns of lies and intimidation of Democrats.

So be warned: a Trump victory on November 8 would set the stage for Republican control of the federal government and destruction of our civil liberties and basic human rights.  Speak to everyone you know and make sure they vote for someone other than Trump; if they can’t vote for Hillary, there is a third candidate on the ballot in all fifty states.

(Historical information taken from Wikipedia.)

 

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