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Trump: What’s Next?

2017 August 17
by Ben Achtenberg

Has he crossed the line?
How far will we let him go?

“In high schooBarracudal, I woke one Saturday and spotted an odd shape on my bedroom window. Peering closer, I realized what it was: a swastika. Someone had scrawled thick white swastikas in soap over most of the windows of our house and on my brother’s lime green Plymouth Barracuda…The swastikas were easy to wash away. But they were seared into my memory.”

That’s the opening of a recent piece by the Boston Globe’s former education editor, Linda K. Wertheimer. She writes that, at the time, she and the rest of her Jewish family felt that no one else in their community would care. She contrasts the incident, though, with the recent community-wide response of indignation when the same symbol was scrawled in one of the bathroom in their community’s high school.

This is a time for indignation.

Green TrumpThe lime green Barracuda (at least for those of us who can remember that era) seems to put those fears in the distant past. Just a few weeks later, though, the sense of optimism she expresses in her column seems almost quaint. Wertheimer’s piece was written less than a month before this week’s outbreak of right-wing violence in Charlottesville, Virginia – followed immediately by President Trump’s fawning attempt to equate the attackers with their victims.

Criticism of Trump’s remarks – even within the political and business establishments – has been moderately encouraging, but is it enough to matter? Are we seeing the beginning of an end to our slide into fascism, or is this just the beginning of something worse?

NOTE: Regarding the possibility of the rise of an American fascism: I did give brief thought to including one of the Trump/swastika graphics that are going around the web (including one created by Former Mexican President Vicente Fox that shows a Time Magazine cover with a swastika and the words “American Nazi” superimposed over the President’s forehead.) In the interest of journalistic integrity and good taste, and with some reluctance, I have refrained, but you can check it out for yourself.

Also, if you haven’t already seen it, check out Vicente Fox’s response to Trump on the border wall plan.

 

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