January 03, 2019 

By Bill Fletcher, Jr. 

NNPA Newswire Contributor 


Recent events with the Trump administration, including the Bob Woodward book—Fear—and the anonymous op-ed in the New York Times from an alleged member of the Trump administration had me thinking about the July 1944 plot by some of the German military to overthrow Adolph Hitler. My reference to Hitler, just before you jump out of your seat, is not a direct comparison. Rather it is to make a different point.


Germany began an active military buildup shortly after Hitler assumed power. He made an agreement with the Reichswehr (the name for the Germany military) that he would curtail the more radical elements of the Nazi movement—specifically the S.A. or Stormtroopers—and, as a result, the Reichswehr would lend its support to Hitler’s political and military ambitions. While there were probably some in the German military who questioned Hitler’s approach, there was little opposition. Instead, the Reichswehr, which later became the Wehrmacht, went forward with naked aggression. Additionally, it abetted the Holocaust carried out against Jews, other minorities and political dissidents.


It was only in 1943/1944 when the tide of the war had turned with the German defeat at the hands of Soviet troops in the battle of Stalingrad, and the later collapse of Mussolini in Italy, that there was a rethinking. It was a rethinking not based on a moral reawakening among these generals but a recognition that Hitler was in the process of taking Germany down rather than leading it to victory.


The lesson here is important in looking at this moment. There appear to be an increasing number of Republicans who are, quietly and sheepishly, beginning to question the wisdom of the great leader, excuse me, of President Trump. This has been captured through the interviews in Bob Woodward’s book, Fear, and equally illuminated by the anonymous op-ed.


To be clear, the covert opponents of Trump are NOT questioning the basic objectives of the administration. Rather, they are questioning the methods being undertaken and the instability brought about by the fact that Trump is, apparently, quite prepared to discard the rule of law. They are not questioning the disemboweling of the Environmental Protection Agency; they are not questioning Trump’s picks for the judiciary; they are not questioning the revoking of the Iran nuclear deal…the list goes on. But what they do realize is that Trump is bringing the temple down on everyone.


None of this is to suggest that the covert opponents of Trump should be ignored or even ridiculed. Opposition to Trump’s authoritarianism is always welcomed. But the rest of us must always keep in mind that there are those who resist the demon and the demonic agenda, while there are those who resist the demon because the agenda is under threat.


Bill Fletcher, Jr. is the former president of TransAfrica Forum. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.

Category: Opinion