Rise of Trump and Hitler Have Parallels, Potential Massachusetts Democratic Candidate for Governor Wrote In Washington Post Column

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2021/02/12/rise-of-trump-and-hitler-have-parallels-potential-massachusetts-democratic-candidate-for-governor-wrote-in-washington-post-column/

Harvard Professor Danielle Allen may end up running to be governor of Massachusetts — and she is no fan of former President Donald Trump.

If she runs, she may end up being the most vocal Trump critic in the race.

Allen wrote a column for The Washington Post in February 2016 where she spent about 500 words comparing him to Adolf Hitler — before urging the Republican Party to nominate U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) for president.

Allen supported Hillary Clinton in the primary and said she planned to vote for Clinton again in the general election.

She acknowledged in the column that a direct comparison of Trump and Hitler “is inaccurate,” but she made a different point.

She described her understanding of the rise of Hitler and the Nazi ideology; she said that some people, “act as cogs in the wheel of a murderous machine” without thinking they are doing anything wrong. She said some people thought they were “just doing their job.” She also said that some people chose “internal exile”, which she described as “staying invisible and out of the way as their strategy for coping with the situation.”

Allen then drew a parallel between that and Trump’s rise in the Republican primary.

Allen blamed the media for enabling Trump politically.

“The first shows itself, for instance, when journalists cover every crude and cruel thing that comes out of Trump’s mouth and thereby help acculturate all of us to what we are hearing,” Allen wrote. “Are they not just doing their jobs, they will ask, in covering the Republican front-runner? Have we not already been acculturated by 30 years of popular culture to offensive and inciting comments? Yes, both of these things are true. But that doesn’t mean journalists ought to be Trump’s megaphone.”

“Perhaps we should just shut the lights out on offensiveness; turn off the mic when someone tries to shout down others; reestablish standards for what counts as a worthwhile contribution to the public debate,” she added. “That will seem counter to journalistic norms, yes, but why not let Trump pay for his own ads when he wants to broadcast foul and incendiary ideas? He’ll still have plenty of access to freedom of expression. It is time to draw a bright line.”

Allen also went into further detail to explain what she meant by “internal exile.”

“One spots the second experience in any number of water-cooler conversations or dinner-party dialogues,” she wrote. “‘Yes, yes, it is terrible. Can you believe it? Have you seen anything like it? Has America come to this?’ ‘Agreed, agreed.’ But when someone asks what is to be done, silence falls. Very many of us, too many of us, are starting to contemplate accepting internal exile. Or we joke about moving to Canada more seriously than usually.”

She wrote that Trump was capitalizing on a divided country that had no solution to stop him and that most Republicans at the time supported candidates other than Trump for the nomination.

She concluded by taking more shots at Trump.

“Donald Trump has no respect for the basic rights that are the foundation of constitutional democracy, nor for the requirements of decency necessary to sustain democratic citizenship,” Allen wrote. “Nor can any democracy survive without an expectation that the people require reasonable arguments that bring the truth to light, and Trump has nothing but contempt for our intelligence.”

“We, the people, need to find somewhere, buried in the recesses of our fading memories, the capacity to make common cause against this formidable threat to our equally shared liberties,” she added. “The time is now.”

Allen could not be reached for comment on Wednesday or Thursday this week.