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I cannot vouch for the source, but Mark Twain is reputed to have once remarked “History doesn’t repeat, but it sometimes rhymes”. For reasons of both personal history and temperament, I have always found it difficult to be optimistic. But in the wake – an apt word, if ever there was one! – of the recent presidential election, I find it flatly impossible, and even trying to be such would grate on my sensibilities as an exercise in dishonesty. The most I can do at this point is to offer some perspective. But even this, modest as it is, may turn out to be considerably less than comforting and encouraging. For the precedent I am going to cite, the most relevant template, will be the final death throes of the Weimar Republic and the rise of fascism in Germany, as embodied in Adolf Hitler.