In a piece for The Daily Beast this Monday, Joel Kotkin argues that although America has more safeguards in place, the nation has many similarities to Germany right before it fell to Hitler in 1933.
"A polarizing would-be despot as national leader, rising anti-Semitism, an out-of-control upper bureaucracy, a politicized media and education systems, an economically stressed middle class, widespread dalliance with extremist ideologies and the rise of armed militant groups," Kotkin writes. "America’s descent to authoritarianism is far from pre-ordained, but the reality remains that it could happen here, and perhaps already is."
Like Germany in the run up to Hitler's takeover, America is seeing "the collapse of any set of common beliefs," Kotkin continues, adding that like Hitler's enablers, American politicians are treating "treason against the republic as a minor offense."
Kotkin also criticizes the left, writing that many progressives can be "nauseating and dangerous" in "their contempt for constitutional norms by calling for 'packing' the Supreme Court, eliminating the electoral college and even overhauling the Senate to favor more populous urban states."
Kotkin goes on to describe today's "racial obsessiveness" as "a dagger aimed at the central premise of democracy."
"America’s history is largely defined by the continual struggle to expand basic rights to outsider groups, starting in the 19th Century with Irish, Jews, Germans, Poles, Italians and hosts of other Europeans and later to African-Americans as well as non-whites from Asia and Latin America."
Kotkin is careful to point out that President Trump is no Hitler, "but his sometimes vicious comments about Muslims and Hispanics have been seized upon by white nationalists as justifying their racist point of view."
Read his full piece over at The Daily Beast.