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One man, one ruler? 

Cutting through all the talk about Trump and his supporters versus the rising opposition made up of Democrats, independents, and some Republicans, what it comes down to is one-man rule versus our democratic system of government.

Many Trump supporters understand this division and choice and completely accept the one-man rule that Trump is in essence pushing for. He believes the attorney general should serve as his personal attorney. He rejects any investigation of his presidency, either by Congress as set forth in the Constitution or a special counsel.

It is no more impossible that a large percentage of Americans would abandon democracy than it is impossible that they would elect Donald Trump and the anti-race, anti-immigrant platform he pledged to give us.

Is one-man rule better than the democracy we have now? History has lessons, ready and waiting. The best of these lessons is available in movies and books. It is Germany in the '20s, '30s, and '40s. An educated German people schooled in democracy eagerly switched to one-man rule over that time period, believing the strongman's promise to make Germany great again. The steps of the change, one by one, are all cataloged well in movies and books for our education. From start to end, anyone can see the progress and people's support for this radical change—a flight from democracy to something promised as better.

Spoiler alert. One-man rule didn't end as predicted by the one-man ruler. Instead, it ended in a vast failure of epic proportions with terrible suffering and the agonizing death of millions of humans—including Russian soldiers, American soldiers, German soldiers, and German citizens.

Today, Americans aren't interested in history or books. While they like movies, they don't like historical documentaries. Few are familiar with the details of this one-man-rule story in Western history. Strongman rule sounds good to them, despite the many failures of the current wannabe one-man ruler to deliver on past promises! Vile, trust-eroding radio and TV talkers have made the new one-man-rule enthusiasts ready for another Western democracy to unwisely embrace the one man who "absolutely promised" to cure all national ills.

But for those who still have some sense of the value of history, at least watch those well-documented movies on Germany in the '20s, '30s, and '40s. The America that has done so much for so many at least deserves that easy study. The BBC has particularly good programs on this history.

After watching this history, ask yourself—which path is preferable: messy, disagreement-plagued democracy or clean, simple one-man rule? You'll be armed with facts to answer the question.

William Gloege

Santa Maria

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