History could be repeating itself

Donald Trump, in not weighing his words and relishing thoughtless chants, has a scary resemblance to Adolf Hitler.

That chant of “lock her up” referring to Alberta premier Rachel Notely at the Dec. 3 anti-carbon tax rally in front of the Alberta legislature continues to have repercussions.

Federal Conservative party leadership candidate Chris Alexander, who spoke at the rally, was heavily criticized afterward for failing to chill the chant and made excuses for the pleased grin on his face as the chanting continued.

In a lively tweet exchange about the incident, another leadership candidate, Brad Trost, expressed support for the chant writing, “Everyone has an uncle that speaks like that at the breakfast table or a buddy on coffee row and no one takes them seriously.”

Why should anyone take the uncle or the coffee row buddy seriously? Both people have been known to spout off all manner of ridiculous, regrettable statements with no one paying them any mind. Sensible listeners chalk it up to another blowhard trying to grab attention.

The reason no one pays any mind to the uncle or the coffee row buddy is this: they have a long, established reputation for saying any wild thing even remotely referring to the topic of discussion in the hope of being noticed.

Also, they are not vying to become the leader of a federal political party.

When someone is running to become a party representative, they should weigh their words before they speak. It would be useful practice in case they are successful and one day end up as prime minister of Canada.

Trost said the chant was not meant to be literal, but politicians – specifically Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – need to take their constituents’ concerns seriously.

“No one was paying attention to what they were feeling,” Trost told CBC. “They weren’t meaning literally throw her in jail. What they were saying is that they were frustrated and no one was listening to them.”

And somehow the chanters concluded that threatening to throw Notley in jail was the ideal way to express their frustration and improve their world? Really! And how’s that working for them?

Did they lack the vocabulary to express their feelings civilly for themselves, in terms anyone could interpret? Or must they depend upon a career politician to unravel their message?

What offends me more than Alexander weaselling around when interviewed by Rosy Barton on CBC’s Power and Politics, was his endorsement of the crowd’s behaviour copying Donald Trump’s most obnoxious rallies when his supporters chanted “Lock her up!” referring to Hillary Clinton. Counting the chant as praise for his candidacy and clever stump tactics, Trump preened.

Thank goodness for late night comedians, Netflix and published writers.

Trump doesn’t like seeing himself ridiculed on Saturday Night Live, but I do. Actor Alex Baldwin has mastered Trump’s mannerisms perfectly.

Hopping from channel to channel I can catch more jokes about Trump, his family, and his incendiary talk, further magnifying his boastful style copied so closely on his TV show Apprentice.

Lately I’ve returned to reading books at bedtime. The one I’m enjoying at the moment is “In the Garden of Beasts” by Erik Larson. The non-fiction story deals with the rise of Hitler. Notable is how closely Hitler’s words, thinking and governing style parallels that of Trump.

More than one political commentator has pointed out this likeness. History has never been one of my interests, but this uncanny temperamental likeness worries me. What if Trump turns out to be a second Hitler?

Claudette Sandecki observes the world from her home in Thornhill, B.C.

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