History teaches us some crucial lessons, but most aptly, it teaches us how easy it is for parties once described as ‘lunatics and on the fringe’ to soon be at the centre of government.
The great historian Laurence Rees whilst speaking to Dan Snow last week explained how the Nazi Party in 1928 won only 2.6 per cent of the popular vote. Four years later, the party won 37 per cent of the popular vote and consequently gained the most seats in the Reichstag.
This is evidence for how extreme parties can in a short space of time change from being the lunatics to the most powerful.
I am wary of comparing the current rise of Donald Trump and the right-wing movement in America to the rise of Hitler, for multiple reasons. Firstly, the surge towards Hitler was a reaction by Germans intimidated by the rise of communist parties. In particular, the military saw communists as ‘unpatriotic’. Secondly, I would like to think that the world is in a much stronger position now to react to a tyrant such as Hitler, compared to the 1930s, when Britain and France were still reeling from the tragic effects of WWI.
Despite this, the executive order Donald Trump signed last weekend, essentially banning Muslims from entering the United States, was an act performed by a tyrant, who has no understanding or respect for the rest of the world — sound familiar?
It is incredibly difficult to find Germans who will openly admit that they voted for Hitler, many remain ashamed or feel embarrassed. Laurence Rees explained though that many Germans suddenly felt important and superior under a Nazi regime.
Hitler managed to empower certain sections of German society. Through his great oratory skills, Hitler made white Christian Germans feel superior, whilst demonising the Jews and classifying them as second-class citizens. This was a successful strategy for Hitler electorally, and lead to his early support.
Donald Trump promised to ‘put America first‘. In his first week since being sworn in as president, he hasn’t just put America first, but made American citizens feel and become more superior by relegating Muslims to a weaker category.
I am a passionate Leave voter. I see the free movement of people as a policy that weakens America and Britain. Free movement of people also weakens our defences in the fight against terrorism and the repugnant ideology that Isis aims to spread. The evil is ISIS and its ideology, not the Muslim faith.
Anyone who supports the destruction of Western civilisation should be banned from entering our country. Muslims around the world should be doing more to help fight against this fundamentlism, that is painting their faith as nihilistic. After all, it is really Muslims who can stem this problem, by offering an alternative ideology that incorporates the principles of liberty and education.
I plea, for Muslims around the world to stand up against ISIS when heartbreaking attacks take place. As a religious people, Muslims need to be sharing the tears of the Western world when our beating hearts are attacked.
No matter how many times our borders become the gates to terrorists harbouring evils, as people we should never single out one faith, one group of followers, or indeed, 1.6 billion adherents.
Donald Trump is the first president never to have represented Americans as a military commander or politician, prior to being elected. Trump has only ever represented himself and his personal pocket through his businesses. This weekend we saw an arrogant self-serving businessman emerging from the populist wave that brought him to power.
Donald Trump has turned into a tyrant who does not represent America or its people. As a result of his vicious and prejudiced policy, Americans now cannot travel to Iran and soon to Iraq too.
Some of the first people to be aggressively stopped from entering the United States was an Iraqi translator who had worked for the American military for ten years. This man has been a supporter of America and its virtues, helping to spread and protect the values of freedom around the world. Such a man should be rewarded, instead of being described as an ‘alien’. Trump runs the danger of radicalising America’s allies and making them into its enemies.
Unlike in the world of business, Donald Trump cannot just turn away from Iraq and its people, choosing a different contractor to carry out a particular task. This is not business. This is the twenty-first century. 2017 will define the decisions taken in 2016 by voters in Britain and America.
I support a points-based system where immigration is based on the skills and security of a person, not on their faith. I stand firmly against any kind of Muslim ban that Donald Trump advocates.
President Trump is not leading the United States of America. He is leading his own version of America, and it is one the world will look at with distaste and horror. Mr President, you are an arrogant tyrant, for seeking a simple answer to a complex problem and turning a people into second-class citizens. Complete freedom of movement is not ideal, but neither is the permanent closure of borders.
Mr President, you are building America’s frontiers. You are building up its defences. You are building evil walls against Mexicans and Muslims. As tears fall from the statue of liberty, the words of George Washington echo veraciously around Mount Vernon: you can’t build walls around opinions, around voices.
I hope that America and the world will choose to be on the right side of history and fight for the freedom that each and every individual deserves; the freedom to be recognised as a person and not as an alien.
History teaches us that freedom does win, that morality overcomes hate. But history also teaches us that for this to happen we have to fight against evil. I hope you’re all up for a long, arduous fight this year. If you don’t speak out, then one day, the evil you allowed ‘may come’ for you.