There were people who saw the authoritarian in Trump from day one, and they sounded the alarm. But at that point, we had been crying “Nazi” on the internet for so long, it had become a trope. This inspired attorney Michael Godwin to create Godwin’s Law, essentially saying that the first person to invoke a comparison to Hitler in an argument automatically lost.
Because Hitler can’t happen again, especially not in America.
So when the president banned people from largely Muslim countries from coming into the US, we said, “That’s wrong, but this is America, so ultimately, it can’t happen here.”
He called journalists “the enemy of the people,” and we said, “That’s concerning, but it can’t happen here.”
He had ICE set up checkpoints on random roads more than 100 miles from any US border, and we said, “That sounds familiar, but it can’t happen here.”
He referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries,” and said that immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS,” and we said, “Well, that sounds kinda racist—but it can’t happen here.”
He held events with victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants and created VOICE, a segment of the Department of Homeland Security that would “study the effects of the victimization by criminal aliens present in the United States,” and we said, “But... aliens commit LESS crime than the general population, so that seems like some serious racist bullshit—but again, it can’t happen here.”
He called White Nationalists “very fine people” and amplified their voices on Twitter, and we said, “Well, that seems SUPER INSANELY RACIST, but it can’t happen here.”
He put brown kids in cages to discourage immigrants from coming to the US, and we said, “That’s appalling, but I’m still reasonably sure it can’t happen here.”
He said he wished “his people” treated him like Kim Jong Un’s people, and we said, “Well, that sounds very dictator-y, sure... but it can’t happen here.”
On foreign soil, he stood next to Vladimir Putin (the “world’s favorite dictator,” according to WaPo), a man he constantly praises, and defended Russia against the entirety of the United States’ Intelligence Community, and we said, “OKAY I AM DEEPLY CONCERNED, but it probably can’t happen here?”
Here’s the thing. It is happening here. Now. In front of our eyes, it’s been happening here. Since January 20, 2017, it’s been happening here. Forty-four percent of Americans are currently okay with it happening here. The Supreme Court is about to allow it to happen here.
It’s no longer about being on the right or wrong side of history. It’s about being on the right or wrong side of a door that someone’s pounding on, asking for papers.
This isn’t alarmist.
Are we going to be okay with all of it as long as genocide isn’t the end game? Is genocide our deal-breaker?
Even Godwin has said it: It’s okay to compare someone who’s seriously Nazi-esque to a Nazi, and if you don’t think Trump wants to be a dictator, you haven’t been paying attention. So pay attention. It’s happening here.
What side of the door are you on?