I made the mistake yesterday of listening to Trump’s sick and displaced speech.
Displaced, because for a few minutes I was thinking, no, this can’t be live. It sounds like somebody else’s speech in a country that isn’t ours, and at a time that isn’t ours, pretending to address a dire situation that doesn’t exist here, isn’t happening.
We are certainly in a dire situation, but not the one Trump’s speech invented. Except it wasn’t invented. It was historical plagiarism.
Immediately, the Reichstag fire of 1933 sprang into my mind.
I just looked it up because while I had a general memory that it was a fire lit, most likely, by Hitler’s minions to give him an excuse to put Germany under his autocratic control, I wasn’t sure.
I should trust how well my history lessons stuck in my head. The Reichstag fire was immediately followed by the Reichstag Fire Decree, regulations which
… suspended the right to assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and other constitutional protections, including all restraints on police investigations.
Justified on the false premise that the Communists were planning an uprising to overthrow the state, the Reichstag Fire Decree permitted the regime to arrest and incarcerate political opponents without specific charge, dissolve political organizations, and to suppress publications. It also gave the central government the authority to overrule state and local laws and overthrow state and local governments.
Now, what does this sound like? Trump’s speech? A speech that contrived a Commie uprising out of a mass civil protest over the police murder of a black man?
Yes. But I’m not suggesting we have now entered into an official fascist autocracy. I am suggesting that some bright Naziboy in the White House (Stephen Miller, for instance) knew enough about the Reichstag Fire Decree to customize it for Trump. Who read it, without the incantatory speechmaking ability of Adolph Hitler.
Indeed, Trump sounded like a dimwitted 8-year-old auditioning for an elementary school play, obviously forming his face into a Very Serious and Powerful Look. I get the feeling he doesn’t even know what the Reichstag Fire Decree was.