Muslims in the United States have every reason to have concern for the future when men like Donald Trump are running for the presidency. When the idea of whether it might be a good idea to establish a national database of American Muslims – for the purposes of national security presumably – he leapt behind it without the least awareness of the fact that a similar plan was put into effect by the Nazis. That someone in support of such a project might one day be the US President must cause us some alarm, but what should cause the most worry is that Trump is merely playing to his supporters; a considerable number of Republican voters in the States are in favour of oppressive measures against their Muslim neighbours.

It might be safe to say that the fear of this outlandish proposal becoming a reality is remote in the extreme, but then history does offer a precedent in the Nazi’s treatment of their victims in occupied Europe. We would like to hope that the American people – infinitely more historically literate than Trump and his supporters – simply would not tolerate such a grotesque violation of liberty. We shall have to wait and see. In the immediacy of the campaign it is more shocking that this rhetoric is being bandied about when tensions are already running so high internationally.

Trump’s acceleration to the hard right of Islamophobic and xenophobic hate speech may just have more to do with other unfolding trends in US society and politics. However much as it is not being covered by the US and international media to any meaningful degree a new Leftist Spring is happening right across the country. Washington’s white oligarchic élite political status quo is being challenged and increasingly rejected by nationwide movements like Black Lives Matter and the new and growing Precariat; tired with the same old marginalisation and victimisation of African Americans, and with the aggressive economic processes which have shunted the youth of America to the side-lines to the benefit of huge capital interests.

Here is where the comparison of the US today with Weimar and Nazi Germany continues, and without sliding into Reductio ad Hitlerum. Globally Capitalism is in crisis (but this is nothing new – Capitalism is always in one crisis or another), and the forms of government which favour Capitalism tend to fall back on the same solutions that have worked in the past; the identification and isolation of scapegoats, along with media fearmongering of those identified and isolated, to garner support for the right wing. Trump is doing nothing new. He is quite simply playing to the lowest common denominator in order to consolidate and build upon his support against the growing threat from the left.

Jason Michael
Blog Author

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