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Midnight in America


Norman Buskepelheit

During World War II there was a nightly radio news broadcast from London, aimed at Germany, that began, "Deutschen Soldaten am Rein, es ist fünf minuten vor zwölf!"  (German Soldiers in the Reinland, it is five minutes to twelve!)  'Five minutes to midnight' is a German idiom meaning, "Doom is at hand!"  It happened to be true, and it scared the shit out of Germans.

Germany was led to doom beginning in the 1930s by a madman who won over voters with his populist raving and shouting about scapegoats who were supposedly responsible for Germany's economic problems at the height of the worldwide Great Depression.  He talked about 'Making Germany Great Again' with the superior strength of full blooded blond Aryan Germans and the exclusion of 'Jews and foreigners.'  By the time that Germany had occupied all of Europe and the Holocaust genocide was killing millions, it was too late for those who realized that he was a monster madman.  Those who spoke up in Germany were rounded up and killed themselves.  It took the total destruction of Germany by Allied Forces to bring an end to the horror of his madness that had consumed his nation.

While Hitler's power was growing in the 30s, Sinclair Lewis wrote a great American novel called, "It Can't Happen Here" about how it could happen here.  In case you hadn't noticed, its happening here now.  Its near midnight in America as a madman is rallying millions of angry idiots to cheer on his hate speeches and beat up minorities on camera right at his rallies.

"Oh don't be ridiculous," people in Germany said at the time, "he's not going to do anything bad, he's just going to build up our country again..."  That's how it all started.  The rest is history.

And now, that history is repeating itself, this time in English rather than German, as a madman angrily shouts and raves about scapegoat minorities who are supposedly to blame for economic and other troubles.  Just as Hitler's Germans were rallied to shout, "Auslander Raus!" (foreigners OUT!) this monster rants about banning and discriminating against minorities, including us.

He actually has a good chance of winning, what with minority voting rights newly restricted, and gerrymandered districts across the nation, and millions of middle class middle aged dopes who like the stench of  bigotry.  Don't tell me, "Don't be ridiculous."  Its five minutes to midnight in America.  Its happening all over again, this time in America.  Ironically, many places in Germany where Jews had lived in the early 1930s are now filled with Syrian Muslim refugees, much to the disgruntled consternation of modern day German bigots.  History has a way of coming back and biting perpetrators in the ass.

At the convention to install this madman monster into official running for the Presidency, there were squeaky scrubbed speakers talking about the "future belonging to those voting for him, to the specific exclusion of foreigners and minorities."  Their words and fanatical fascist tone of voice immediately brought to mind the Nazi youth song portrayed in the film Cabaret, "Tomorrow belongs to me!" 

Here in America today, history is not being forgotten; there is a total ignorance of history, an ignorance of fascism, an ignorance of totalitarian dictatorship.  It all happens very fast, and suddenly its too late.  Right wing thugs now patrolling the madman's rallies and beating up anyone who looks like a minority opponent do not currently wear brown shirts or uniforms, yet.  His movement has not yet designed a Hakenkreuz new national logo or silver double lighting bolt black uniform collar insignia.  He already has helicopters emblazoned with his name.  It would not take much to paint them black with red Fraktur lettering.  Its only a matter of months till January 2017.

For months, now, newspaper columnists have been calling the 'presumptive nominee' a fascist and even a Nazi.  On Memorial Day weekend, there was a major editorial about some of his loudest bloggers spouting anti-Semetic death threats!  Some people seem outraged with surprise about that.  Imagine, a hatemonger who began his campaign by calling Hispanic immigrants rapists, Muslims as people who should be banned, assertive women as "bleeding" from their "whatever," and pretended to be baffled by what the KKK might represent.  And after all that you'd be surprised that his supporters are anti-Semetic and homophobic?

As of this writing, he has an even chance of becoming President.  When he does, where will the witch hunts begin?  Who will be the first that his official uniformed Heimat Schultz (Homeland Security) minions come for?  Mexicans? Muslims? Homosexuals? Women? Jews?  As Nazi Germany's Gestapo demonstrated, once it starts, it does not end.  Eventually, they come for nearly everyone, until there is no one left to speak out.  Imagine your door being kicked open by uniformed thugs who grab you and drag you away, throw you into the back of a truck full of other terrified vomiting ordinary folks whose lives have just come to an end; as your neighbors tear through your stuff in your home, knowing you won't be back.  Its happened before, in 1938 in Germany and in 1941 in America.

You don't have to see a straight arm salute to smell the stench of a hate monger.

Norman Buskepelheit, is an imaginary street philosopher and commentator.

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