Wednesday 17 January 2018

We must closely monitor sectarianism and racism evident within this administration

New York pupils protesting against Donald Trump on Tuesday. Photo: Getty
New York pupils protesting against Donald Trump on Tuesday. Photo: Getty

Niall Holohan

In keeping with the sentiments attributed to Winston Churchill, it is now widely accepted that those who don't learn the lessons of history will find to their cost that history will return to smack them in the face by repeating itself. This may well prove to be all too true in the wake of the election of President Donald J Trump as the most powerful man in the world.

Of all the world's leaders, it is only Pope Francis who, to the best of my knowledge, has had the courage to point out the resemblance of recent international developments to the history of Europe in the 1930s (I will ignore in this regard Mr Trump's own haranguing of the CIA for alleged Nazi-style behaviour). To date, however, mention of the name Adolf Hitler has been studiously avoided.

Perhaps the most important similarity between today's world and that of the 1930s is the precarious economic situation. We are all aware of the effects of the Great Depression brought about by the Wall Street crash of 1929 and the resultant poverty, accompanied by huge levels of unemployment in Germany and elsewhere. Many of us now seem to be less conscious of the equally widespread effects of the international financial crisis that erupted in 2008.

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