Letters to the Editor

Trump: German history a cautionary tale

Step back in time to the 1930s when Adolf Hitler began to display his winning leadership style, as described by German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer at that time. Hitler’s rise was derived from the nation’s distrust and lack of confidence in traditional political authority.

Hitler’s winning style “co-opted conservatives and Christian churches,” Bonhoeffer said, and was “self-derived and autocratic - messianic and very attractive to those who trusted him.”

A true leader, however, leads his followers away from the authority of his person and toward recognition of the real authority of orders and offices.

Bonhoeffer also suggests that a true leader “refuses to become the appeal, the idol - the ultimate authority of those whom he leads.” He does not ridicule and he “allows himself to be controlled, ordered and restricted.”

So does history try to repeat itself? Sometimes.

We would be wise to be discerning with respect to our own leader, President Trump.