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Letter: Could United States have a dictator?

I have often wondered how a social failure, Adolf Hitler, became the absolute dictator of Germany. Germany was a modern, well educated, sophisticated nation and not some poor, banana republic with marauding gangs of thugs who violated every law and sense of decency as a form of entertainment. Eventually the toughest thug would become the leader and form something called a nation.

After WWI, Germany was a truly defeated country. Its economy was in shambles, its social fabric dissolved and the world looked on it as a pariah. The future was bleak for every German. Hitler had served four years, was wounded, hospitalized and awarded an Iron Cross First Class and Black Wound badge for bravery.

One day Hitler heard a National Socialist give a fiery speech and Adolf was immediately mesmerized and joined the group. Rather surprisingly, he became an even greater speaker. He would spend hours before a mirror practicing his body movements and speech mannerisms to great effect before huge audiences.

Hitler's rise was quick and straightforward. First, he established the Nazi party with total loyalty to him. Then he allied with the Brown Shirts Party and used them to control the civilians that opposed his way of government while German bankers financed his operations.

Next he ran for the presidency against Hindenburg and came in second, twice, with 36 percent of the vote, a remarkable showing. That made Hitler chancellor, a powerful office. He was quick to grab political power. The leaders of the Brown Shirt Party were all assassinated on one night while all officers of the German army were required to kiss the German flag and say an oath of total loyalty to Hitler while kissing the flag. In the past, German officers were required to pledge loyalty to Germany and not a person. Hitler was now the absolute dictator of Germany.

Now I am beginning to wonder if Trump can duplicate what Hitler did by becoming the dictator of the USA. Both men are megalomaniacs whose primary goal in life is to gain ever more power. Luck is important. Trump survived enough stupid blunders to defeat all 16 presidential candidates in the primaries, and he continues to make all most daily political blunders. His base still supports him.

Edward Halas

Grand Forks