How to Lessen the Threat
The second Weimar lesson, then, is this: take right-wing populism and Trump's magnetic resonance with large sectors of the American public very seriously. This is a lesson reinforced not just by Weimar but by the Brexit vote in the UK. Progressives must understand how and why Trump connects with millions of Americans -- and then move to undercut resonating ties.-- Charles Derber, Truthout
Many times during these last months I have worried that normal people were not taking Trump seriously enough. This was especially true of the press and media last summer and fall. By spring it became apparent that Trump was likely to win the Republican nomination. I have alluded to this concern here in various ways.
The article from which the above quote is taken is most serious indeed. It deals with a subject I have studied both in and out of school -- Germany's Weimar Republic. The article has the history right.
And the prescription Derber gives is correct, too. First, people on the left need to take more seriously the economic concerns of workers, especially rural workers. Any condescension toward these workers must cease forthwith. As a person with ties to a farm, I can attest to the validity of the concerns of farmers. Farmers are not necessarily bigoted or far-right. And they certainly are not stupid, as a group. It is true they can be, and often are, ignorant of history.
But this should not stop us from reaching out to them with genuine concern. Many would be willing to be approached if done in a respectful manner. They may have things to say which can be disagreed with. But in the main farmers are simply looking to make a living. Surely this is an aspiration shared by all American workers.
Next, as the author so perceptively notes, the various wings of the Democratic Party and the left movements must come together in a genuine, working coalition to stop Trumpism. This must be done from the White House on down, or from the people on up -- if you prefer.
The article says it all. We of democratic persuasion must unite. There is no time to lose.
The center-left must unite