Trump is performing exactly as expected. His presidency is turning the status quo on its head, chipping away at democracy, discrediting, dismantling and undermining the institutions we’ve built up and have come to take for granted for so long. We are moving from a nation of principals to a nation of expediency, unable to trust, blaming others for our problems, guided by fear.
I wonder at what point the German people went from seeing Hitler as a breath of fresh air, the maverick, who might ignite prosperity, rescuing a bitter, disillusioned Germany, to finally seeing him as the existential threat he was all along. It took them many years to be able to see the truth of what they brought upon themselves.
At this point, relatively early in the process, we see only a scant few Trump’s supporters waking up, some very vocally, but most just quietly in there hearts. The rest of his supporters are hunkering in for what they see as a wild but ultimately glorious new authoritarian awakening. They are betting the house that somehow, this time, this brand of Fascism will work out.
I wonder how many Germans, in there hearts, supported Hitler to the bitter end. We often marvel how they could have supported such a tyrant at all. But the answer as to how is becoming clearer as we live through the early stages of our own transition into totalitarianism:
People will believe anything when they perceive a threat to their familiar way of being. They will do anything to preserve that idealized, rarefied version of that house upon the hill to which they believe they are entitled.