We may at times wonder how an entire country could follow a self-deluded megalomaniac into racial hell and a disastrous war to boot. I am speaking, of course, of the Weimar Germans, or at least a sizable percentage of them, who enthusiastically embraced the politics of fear and hate to systematically rid their society of undesirable elements, notably “Semites.” They not only said “Heil Hitler.” They sang his praises, believing that the Jews were worthless vermin who, paradoxically, were responsible for their country’s demise.

Yet, we need only look at the phenomenon of Trump, whom one writer accuses of going “full fascist,” to gain insight into the darkness lurking within America’s body politic. Janet Allon writes:

Having surged ahead again in the polls, Trump was handed the bullhorn time and again this week and he took full advantage, milking the xenophobic vote as hard as he could. Not content with his own suggestion that perhaps closing down mosques in the U.S. would be a good idea, he upped his own sky-high ante when he said Thursday that a Muslim registry might be a good idea, telling a reporter he “would implement that—absolutely.” Pressed further about how such a thing could be accomplished, he said,  “Different places. You sign up at different places. But it’s all about management. Our country has no management.’’

Well, the Germans certainly had management, along with willing executioners. Today, too many Americans seem ready to shout “Heil Tump!” It’s not the Jews this time around. Rather it’s “the Mexicans” and “the Muslims.” Trump even has his version of brown-shirted supporters.