I watched as the narcissist waved to his crowd of supporters at one of his Midwestern rallies.
I crinkled my eyes, furrowed my brow and thought, “I know, I’ve seen that modified version of a wave or was it a salute before.”
Yes, it was in those 1930’s British Pathé newsreels of Adolf greeting his admirers.
“Hitler bent his right arm at a 90º angle with his elbow facing forward, towards those he greeted and at shoulder height with the face of his palm parallel with the sky.”
His admirers returned Adolf’s modified salute with the full blown Nazi salute.
They greeted him with a Heil, mein Führer! (‘Hail, my leader!) or a Sieg Heil (‘Hail victory!’) or a “Heil Hitler.”
I can still hear their black leather heels clicking together right before the salute and the greeting.
Hitler’s followers, his cult, performed their responsive salute by extending the right arm from the shoulder into the air with a straightened hand.
Yes, you’ve seen that salute a thousand times.
Yes, you saw it in almost every movie Hollywood ever made about the Nazis.
And now the narcissist was slyly copying a modified Hitler salute.
I wondered, “Had he practiced that salute in front of a mirror?”
Of course, I knew the narcissist had.
And I waited for the news reporter to mention the wave or the salute.
And to my surprise, the reporter never mentioned it.
“Had my eyes played a trick on me?”
So I hit the rewind button on my clicker and watched it again.
Nope, no trick, he had done it.
It was as clear as day.
“And I bet all those folks holding up those “Q” signs saw him do it.”
They watched him like a hawk.
They studied all his words, his gestures and his mannerisms for messages.
And boy, did he give them one.
Herr mini Führer actions spoke loudly and clearly.
They said, “It’s now okay to salute me at rallies.”
He had gifted them dog whistle.
The narcissist had given his stamp of approval to hailing him.
Yes, the fascist who kept a black leather bound copy of “Mein Kampf “in his nightstand was now stealing Hitler’s Nazi salute.
“How original,” I thought.
“What an f’ing surprise!”
So when I turned on the news a few days later, and watched one of his Ohio rallies.
And I saw a hundred or so of his anti-Semitic, QAnon, MAGA followers greeting him the “Hail Trump” salute.
Yes it was a hybrid.
Yes, the salute had a slight deviation.
Yes, these clowns pointed their right hand index finger toward their leader when saluting.
Yes, Trump had gotten his message across to his minions; they were running with it.
I wondered, “Would the Republicans pooh pooh the salute, saying that right index finger in the air made all the difference.”
Didn’t they poohpooh his anti-Semitic tropes on his campaign literature, the “sheriff badge,” his praise of Henry Ford, “Good bloodlines,” his dual loyalty rants, his greedy Jews crap, his Charlottesville quote, “There are very fine people on both sides,” and his Jews and money quotes.
And the list goes on and on and on.
Then I thought, “They couldn’t be that stupid,”
But I’ve been wrong many times before.
And from now on, I knew that at everyone of his rallies, we would see that Nazi hybrid salute.
.It would be normalized.
It would become part of his dog and pony show.
It would become as American as apple pie—a proudly displayed symbol in Trump world.
And I wondered, “When we see all 20,000 attendees at his rallies saluting him in unison and chanting Sieg Heil.
So don’t try to tell me you didn’t see it coming.
You can’t be as blind as that reporter.
That hybrid Nazi salute at Trump rallies was as predictable as the numbers tattooed on my arm.