Donald Trump’s followers roared Thursday night when he claimed he had to defend himself when he was slighted. (Fox News refused to replace Megan Kelley, by whom the Republican front runner felt offended, as moderator of a Republican debate.)
Most observers noted that behavior showed a level of susceptibility that jibed poorly with the image of a fearless leader. Following upon Donald’s claim that he could shoot someone in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue without losing any followers, his continued success is more than slightly disturbing.
One of my children’s favorite recordings was The Pied Piper, that fourteenth century German legend of an itinerant musician who led a village’s children away, never to be seen again. One version has it that only three children remained behind: one who couldn’t hear the music, another who couldn’t see the piper and a third who was lame. Replace the piper with Donald Trump and many white workers with a high school education turn out to be deaf, dumb and blind to the perils of his tune, ready to follow him anywhere.
Now replace the pipe with a book, Mein Kampf and you have a prospect at least as terrifying as that of a village’s children led into the local river to drown: walls going to up protect a country whose drones rain bombs down on other nations.
Hitler’s ‘Kampf’ - or struggle - was to secure enough ‘room for life’ (Lebensraum) for the German people. Trumps’ struggle is to ‘make America great again’. Both involve seducing gullible masses and telling them to take what does not belong to them. The roar of approval at Trump’s Thursday night event are chillingly reminiscent of those recorded at Hitler’s torchlight parades, as Oregon’s, among hundreds of militias, await a national leader.