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Letter: History seems to be repeating with our own fascist dictator

History seems to be repeating with our own fascist dictator

History affords us the opportunity to see with great clarity how things really were. I remember as a young boy in the 1930s, gathered with my family around our little radio, of a certain Sunday listening to the ranting of Adolph Hitler being translated for our understanding. The experience bred concern and anxiety. The full gist of the homophobia and bigotry were all too clear, even to a kid. Coupled with this, Saturday matinees at the neighborhood movie house brought double features, a serial, cartoons and the stark Pathé newsreels. And there, filling the screen, the image of Adolph Hitler and/or Benito Mussolini orating to thousands of their followers, who screamed their support.

The brain, thankfully, tucks away unhappy memories until they are recalled, and recalled they were, as I watched the candidate Trump spewing the same homophobia and bigotry as the long-gone dictators. Most frightening of all was the hypnotic look on the faces of his followers.

Looking back, as a dog-face G.I. in World War II in Europe, it was impossible to find one person who supported Hitler. In every conversation I was told, “I was not political.” Remarkable isn’t it, that of all those thousands and thousands of screaming people, I had trouble finding one who was loyal to his memory? And now we have our budding fascist, and the screaming masses. And when it is all over and we stand in the ashes of this horrendous time, will we be able to find someone who was “political?”

Joseph Spina


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