What’s the matter with us?

People keep pointing out that Donald Trump is like Hitler. Maybe, maybe not. In my opinion, Trump is not the problem. We are.

There never will be an adequate excuse for the rise of Hitler, but the German people had suffered dreadfully in the years before he became chancellor. First a lost war, then national disgrace, French occupation of the Rhineland, heavy reparation payments, inflation, depression and double-digit unemployment. They were desperate.

All they wanted was someone, anyone, who seemed capable of making Germany great again. So, hoping to restore the good old days, they re-elected the doddering, unabashed monarchist (bring back the Kaiser) Paul von Hindenburg as president of the equally shaky Weimar Republic. It was his duty to appoint a chancellor. He detested Hitler, but thought he was a lesser evil than the Communist candidate. So, against his better judgment, Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor.

Then the little clown nearly destroyed civilization as we know it.

We Americans are infinitely better off than the Germans were in 1933. We have no need at all to make America great again. Nothing in this world is perfect, but we are doing reasonably well and working with other countries for the common good.

In this election year, though, we are facing a situation which has the potential of bringing our country down just as surely as Hindenburg’s appointment of Hitler brought down Germany. It is clear that, just as Hindenburg despised Hitler, the leadership of the Republican Party despises Trump. But they think they need to support him to unify the party against a greater evil — a Democratic victory.

They do not need to support him. No one needs to support anyone whose professed intent is to harm our democracy, to destroy our rapport with other countries and to militate against religious groups of any kind.

We should have said no to him sooner. What we have to do now is say no and make it stick. Say no to his candidacy. Say no to his election. Do it now — it will be harder later when we have to scale the wall to refugee out to Mexico or put up the cash to immigrate to Canada.

Ruth Firestone,