Congratulations America – you just elected your first Hitler. No, seriously: I don’t think comparisons with Hitler are exaggerated. OK so Mr T doesn’t have the paramilitary chic that Adolf and his pals had – in fact he has no chic at all – but he doesn’t need it. Because it’s not surprising, given our current reverence for money, that the next fascist dictator should be some kind of uber-businessman.
OK so he’s not a dictator – yet: but then, neither was Hitler when he was elected. Just like Mr T, Hitler promised to make the country great again; just like Mr T he blamed blacks and gays and Jews (for Jews read Muslims) for the country’s ills. Fascism doesn’t come with a gas chamber; it comes as your friend, promising jobs and money and pride and ‘greatness’ (whatever that means.) In Britain it came as Brexit, guaranteeing to ‘take back control’ (whatever that means) and more money for ‘us’ instead of ‘them’. I suspect that in many people’s minds what ‘control’ meant was ‘control of our borders’ and what that meant was immigration. We don’t want them here. It’s as simple as that.
No, fascism comes as your friend, separating you from ‘the other’, the one who wants to do you down, the foreigner, the immigrant. We’re going to build a wall between us and them (and in this respect totalitarian communism is exactly the same as fascism) to keep them out: we’re going to round them up and tag them and keep tabs on them and if they step out of line we’re going to throw them in jail or deport them.
This is no different from what Hitler did – or Stalin, come to that. First you separate ‘us’, the good guys, from ‘them’. On our side are the white males, their females who fall into line, all of whom are obviously straight. On the other side are Muslims (public enemy no. 1 and this century’s Jews) gays and all the rest of the quiltbag rag-tag; black people (obviously) and white women who step out of line.
Sure, Mr T doesn’t have the power to do what Hitler did – yet. But neither did Hitler when he was elected.
Of course it’s easy to be smug, to look at the Americans and say, here’s a bunch of people who went over there and took the place from the indigenous population – and now they hate immigrants? What a short memory they have!
But our memories are even shorter. Why do we have so many refugees from Syria? Could it be something to do with the fact that we are bombing the hell out of their country? But god help anyone who shows these people compassion. Maybe if we want a picture of the future, rather than a boot stamping on a human face as Orwell so cheerily prophesied, we should picture a man stabbing Jo Cox and shouting ‘Britain First!’ Because it’s Us that matter – and They are taking over – and anyone who helps Them deserves to die.
I’m ashamed of my country. I’m ashamed of Brexit and I’m ashamed of the so-called special relationship. I don’t want to live here any more.