The key lesson of the 20th century is that democracy is far more fragile than we might think.
Prior to WWII, fascist ideas were increasingly accepted. The energetic growth of Nazi organizations spread across America in the 1930’s. This appeal of fascists ideas were held by such prominent citizens as Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, who went so far as to praise Hitler.
At the time, Jews served the same role as immigrants and minorities do today. It was believed that Jews posed threats that were undermining America’s greatness. In 1942 a Gallup poll showed that a growing number of Americans thought Hitler was doing the “right thing” to Jews. This is similar to what many Americans think about what Trump is doing to immigrants and foreign minorities today: “the right thing”. While secure borders are critical to our national security, we need to keep in mind those who are seeking a safe haven by border crossing. These people need humane treatment not imprisonment. There are times when doing what seems “the right thing” is actually a slippery slope toward the undermining of our democracy. Is our ‘Shining Hill’ becoming a tarnished one?