Bill Maher has had issue with Donald Trump for a long time, and they feuded throughout Trump’s campaign. Recently, however, Maher exposed an absolutely terrifying historical parallel that characterizes Trump’s campaign during a conversation with Yale historian Timothy Snyder. During this conversation, Snyder made a number of compelling points in regards to how Trump’s methods and behaviors mirror those of authoritarian leaders in the past, and provided valuable insight as to how contemporary Democrats can continue to fight back.
Snyder reminded viewers that Democrats must be more active now than ever, and can’t simply rely on institutions to do that job for them. Instead, the protests that have been occurring throughout the country since Trump’s election must continue to go on, as Snyder points out that Americans must defend their institutions as opposed to the other way around. Remaining active and engaged is a key factor in defeating 1920s-style dictators like Trump.
Snyder actually makes this comparison directly, pointing out that 1920s fascist movements were proponents of the post-fact world that Trump is trying to create, in which nationalism and government matter more than facts or realities. This is frightening, as this sort of philosophy of propaganda is at least partially responsible for some of the worst events in human history.
Snyder makes it clear that considering history like this is incredibly important. He makes the point that many younger voters are a “generation raised without history”, and that it’s important to remember the terrible times in the past to ensure that they don’t happen again in the present. A big part of ensuring that Trump isn’t successful in his goals of authoritarianism and the destruction of truth is remembering how dictators before him did it, and reminding people that it doesn’t happen again.
Snyder even took this comparison a step further, claiming that the Russians were clearly manipulating Trump. Snyder points out that a lot of Trump’s imperialist and jingoistic ideologies are likely Russian in origin, as is his clear aversion to the truth. While he doesn’t think Trump is a Russian agent himself, Snyder makes it clear that it could be equally if not more dangerous for this country if the Russians were simply in control of him.
These are the sort of questions that should have been answered at the House Intelligence Committee hearings concerning Trump’s connections to Russia, but House Republicans ended these hearings before that sort of information could get out. This can’t be allowed to happen, and Americans need to continue to demand the truth from Trump and his administration. Snyder’s comparison only makes this clearer, as the fascist leaders of the 1920s represent what could happen if Trump is allowed to proceed unopposed. If you agree that this is an incredibly important fight, please share this article with your friends and family on Facebook to make sure that Democrats around the country remain involved.