Adventures in Uber Driving 7/2019

ATTENTION EDITORS - PICTURE CONTAINS OBSCENE GESTUREA supporter gestures at the media as Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally for Republican Presidential Donald Trump in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., October 13, 2016. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston TEMPLATE OUT - RTSS6C2

I had a rider who was a man who had just moved to the United States from Australia a week ago. On his way to the US he had vacationed in Europe and had visited Auschwitz. He had taken the English tour and became acquainted with an American tourist and they started chatting. At one point the American said to the Australian that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had compared the detention camps at the Mexican border to the German concentration camps (which she didn’t, although she did say they were concentration camps, and by pretty much any definition they are), and he declared that she should be shot. The irony of what he was saying in the place he said it no doubt escaped him, but not the Australian. He expressed to me that he was dumbfounded by that kind of an attitude. What I told him was that the United States has a finely tuned propaganda machine designed to divide us and dehumanize those who don’t agree with us, much like the Nazi propaganda machine although ours, in true capitalist fashion, is privatized. I didn’t say this but I fear we are approaching a tipping point where violent rhetoric justifies violent action, similarly to what happened in Germany.