Opinion writer, Washington Post

December 5 at 7:21 PM
Last week on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” a guest mentioned the new unmentionable: Weimar. The guest was Bob Garfield, a liberal media critic, and he was discussing Donald Trump. Hayes was mildly disapproving of the reference. “I tend to stay away from Weimar comparisons for a variety of reasons,” he said. That would make sense if only Trump himself did not constantly bring them to mind.
I must stop right here to emphasize what I will not be saying. I will not be calling Trump a fascist. I will not be saying he’s an anti-Semite because, manifestly, he is not. I will not be smearing him with the clear bigotry of some of his supporters, although I fault him for not slapping down the haters with more energy. Still, the reference to Weimar is apt, not because Trump is another Hitler but because the United States might be another Germany.Weimar is the charming German city that gave its name to the parliamentary democracy that was created following World War I and which Hitler crushed in 1933. It was never a robust democracy, but it nevertheless was the government of Europe’s most important — and, in many ways, advanced — country. Berlin in the early 1930s was a tolerant and liberal city. Many a Hollywood filmmaker got a start in Berlin. I cite Billy Wilder — “Some Like It Hot,” “Double Indemnity,” “Sunset Boulevard” — for one. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »