“This break in the link between representatives and represented weakened parliament after 1930, and presaged the movement toward what could be called, “parliamentary idiocy.” Concomitant with this was the relative increase in the power of the military, the bureaucracy, and private-interest groups.” - The Collapse of the Weimar Republic, David Abraham
For those who may be novices in the field of history, the Weimar Republic was the government formed between Imperial Germany and Nazi Germany after the defeat of the Central Powers in the First World War. It was wracked by inflation, unemployment, and severe political turmoil. The German Citizenry was mistrustful of the Weimar Republic, and political extremism proliferated to the point in which armed groups fought each other in the streets of Germany’s major cities.
The Weimar Republic collapsed because the public lost faith in the abilities of their government, and they lost trust in the German Media, and in other public institutions. The political structure was so fractured that the government was powerless to establish themselves as a body.
The Nazis were able to seize control through parliamentary means, and their brutal and violent tactics destroyed any potential opposition. Their strength was their appearance of strength, and they crushed the Weimar Republic and the decent-minded Germans, and gave way to the most authoritarian and evil government that has ever existed in the history of the world.
This mistrust, this division, is happening in the United States. We have a weak and confused President Trump, and a Republican Congress that does not seem to be working with the President either. We have seen sharp political divisions, with both parties allowing extremists to gain influence, the Democrats with Corporate America, and the Republican Party with the Trump Corporate/Populist Movement.
The government will fail the less that it governs, and the Weimar Republic is a prime example of this. The people working with the courageous in our government in order to save our democracy is the most essential task at hand.
In order to ensure that tyranny does not destroy our Republic, we must fight for our values. The rights that we are guaranteed did not come by naturally, rather it took peaceful, and sometimes violent action. The lesson learned from this period is that complacency is the key to failure. The German Social Democrats failed because they trusted the Weimar Institutions to assist them. The Democratic Party must not do the same, or risk failure. Just today, President Trump called out 100,000 National Guards to assist in the deportation of undocumented immigrants. This is tyrannical, and it is wrong.
There are some in the government that will fight, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but as we have learned from Weimar Germany, the most powerful weapon on Earth is a united and motivated people.
In conclusion, the United States has the potential to beat back the hatred and bigotry spouted by Donald Trump and his supporters, but only if we are courageous and we stand for our values. Being silent and standing by is no longer an option.