The great fear of President-elect Trump is that he’ll be a fascist strongman, crushing liberties and revoking freedoms on a whim, and all in the name of some supposed greater good. But if this is the fear of the incoming president, it’s self-defeating to advocate a form of resistance that is itself fascistic.

Consider the following Daily Beast op-ed by Sabine Heinlein, who claims her experience growing up in Germany has given her a unique insight to America’s current political landscape.

“In Germany, we were taught over and over again that Hitler came to power because ordinary people were afraid to stand up and speak out. Americans could stand to learn that lesson now,” she wrote.

She continued, “I am beyond frustrated that we’re stuck with a president who, just like Adolf Hitler, despises refugees, intellectuals, journalists, women and non-Christians.”

The Germans, Heinlein wrote, have spent many years reflecting on how they allowed Hitler to rise to power. The most commonly held belief, she added, is that their first mistake was failing to stand up for the Jews.

“Maybe that’s also why Germans are so quick to let you know when you do something wrong. Cross a street at a red light and your fellow pedestrians will start yelling,” she wrote.

“One time, I took an American boyfriend to a large spa in Hamburg. When he kept his towel on in the sauna, a chorus of sweating, naked old men and women … demanded he take it off. Germans, he learned, have agreed on exposing their private parts in the sauna. So unless you want to embarrass them, you follow suit,” Heinlein added.

Here’s the key quote [emphasis added]:

I have plenty of problems with Germany, but its people’s willingness to speak their minds and stand up for others isn’t one of them. Whatever you do, in Germany the public good trumps your individual desires.

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Oh, my.

It may be a good idea to spend a little more time reflecting on how Hitler came to power.

(h/t Mark Hemingway)

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