Former President Barack Obama was right to speak out
Obama raised eyebrows for referencing the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany in calling attention to how “things could fall apart quickly” in our country when a divided population falls prey to those offering “simple answers.” The right-wing press rejected the implicit parallel Obama made between President Donald Trump and history’s most famous Jew-hater, especially given the giant Hanukkah gift Trump just gave Israeli hard-liners by declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital. And it’s true that Trump is not going to declare an old-fashioned dictatorship: Today’s authoritarians (such as Putin) exercise repression differently.
Yet Obama likely did not make the comparison casually. He’s a practiced politician and prudent speaker who not only says very little “off the cuff” in public but who also knows better than anyone else the gravity of the current threats to the integrity of our democracy — and what it will take to wake Americans up to the dangers of being “complacent,” as he puts it.
It’s no secret that Trump has sought to weaken our democratic norms and discredit the very societal institutions that can act to expose the wrongdoing of him and his allies. His attacks on the press, judiciary
Still, leaders need allies to destroy