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Letter: Parallels between today, the 1920s are disturbing

Parallels between today, the 1920s are disturbing

Two recent articles in The News by Anthony Graziano and Keith Burich confirmed what I have been thinking for some time: the parallels between the 1920s and our current time period are striking.

Start with the presidents, Warren Harding and Donald Trump. Each was totally unqualified and unfit for the job. The only difference was Harding realized his limitations, even though he actually did win a landslide victory in 1920. Both surrounded themselves with millionaires, now billionaires, in their Cabinets. Anti-immigrant raids and deportations marked both eras, the Red Scare in the 1920s and Islamophobia now. Both periods saw the rise of hate groups, racial tensions and intolerance: the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan then, extremist groups today. Both periods saw a rising stock market, tax cuts proposed for the rich and a widening gap between the incomes of the wealthy and ordinary Americans.

America needed “a return to normalcy,” said Harding as the United States turned its back on Europe and the rest of the world after World War I and retreated from progressivism. “Make America great again,” and “America first,” says Trump, as we retreat from world leadership and repudiate the Clinton and Obama agenda and worldview. Meanwhile, in the 1920s and 1930s, totalitarian regimes began rising in Germany, Italy, Japan and the Soviet Union, while today Russia, China, Iran and North Korea loom as potential adversaries. Let us pray a different ending follows, not a Great Depression and world war.

Ray Hohl

Retired social studies teacher

Getzville

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