Listening to class today, I was struck by a couple of things that seem to parallel what has been happening today in America.This is NOT a post of how our president = Hitler, but rather, how the traditional right, the liberal-left, and the radical-left reacts to the rise of a radical-right leader. An old saying in American politics is , the Republicans fall in line with their candidates, while the Democrats fall in love with theirs. As can be seen both then and now, it seems that the right in general “falls in line” feeling threatened by the left enough, while the left fragments when it cannot “fall in love.” Of course there are many differences when it comes to the Wiemar political system and the American political system. But this basic truth explains how radical-right wing candidates not fully trusted by either side, may not be the full focus of concentration, even when one the cusp of victory.
On the left we see a propensity to fall out issues of whether the candidate is “radical” enough. One could see this dynamic when it came to how the SPD and the KPD thought of each other during the election of the 1930s. The SPD, which had collaborated with middle-class parties on trying to reduce Germany’s budget, were accused of selling out the working class by the KPD. The KPD said that the SPD amounted nothing more than “social fascism,” and refused to help them against 1925 and 1932 presidential elections. The SPD, in turn, thought of KPD as a big a threat to the republic as the Stahlhelm and the Nazis were. Meanwhile, the working classes, who had put their faith in the SPD for so long, drifted between the radical right and left, hoping that either one would alleviate their problems. By 1932, Hitler was winning a 1/3 of the working class vote. Not enough to win, but enough to get a plurality.
This split seems to mirror the much smaller but still salient split between the Green party die-hard Bernie Sanders Democrats , the Hillary Clinton Democrats, and the working class democrats. The primaries exposed the fact that many saw a long established flexible Democrat as untrustworthy or criminal, and wanted a more ideologically driven person as a candidate. After Clinton was nominated, some people,like Susan Sarandon, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, said that Hillary Clinton was no better than Trump, or, even worse than Trump, because of her known record on the Middle East. And now, with the Democrats out of power, the rift is divided on how much “resistance” should be given Trump is only growing.It probably won’t heal for along time.