Since I drive a Prius, I appreciate the special parking spots for hybrid and low-emission vehicles at the Hannaford supermarket off Cony Circle. It is a “green”-designed store, so this dedicated area is appropriate to its mission.

Usually I seethe when I see half the spaces are filled with Dodge Ram 2500s, GMC Yukons and Chevy Impalas.

Except — not so much anymore.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”

I’ve been a rebel since way back when, but I also believe in obeying the rules. I drive the speed limit, don’t steal grapes when I’m browsing the fruit section in the grocery store and almost always use crosswalks. Thus, I am irritated when drivers shoot into the rotaries without slowing down, race through yellow lights or tailgate me. I rebel by questioning the status quo and thinking for myself, not by proclaiming that the rules (or laws) don’t apply to me.

But now there’s a crazy incompetent in the White House. I can maintain my cool when others misbehave around me, because that’s a good indication they are not going to let President Donald Trump run roughshod over our democracy.

The Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville observed us in the early 19th century and presented his findings in the two-volume “Democracy in America.” He noted certain features of our history, traditions and character that made it possible for us to rule ourselves. For example, early settlers sought religious freedom. In New England, the town meeting form of government gave all voters a chance to speak. Later, we would embrace the “right” to go west to farm or mine gold, and expand our country. In the Wild West, lawlessness was rampant.

Our collective psyche is messy, but it does present a barrier to dictatorship.

I know it’s considered politically incorrect to compare Trump to Adolf Hitler, but as a student of the Third Reich, I see unfortunate similarities. Mental-health issues, megalomania — check. Both loved to give bombastic speeches, and rally their people. The fact that Trump has held rallies since attaining the presidency is especially unnerving.

I have been reading “Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich,” by Norman Ohler. His revelation that much of the Wehrmacht’s seemingly superhuman power in the early years of World War II was a result of the pervasive use of methamphetamine does not bolster my faith in the character of the American people, given the drug crisis we are experiencing right now.

However, Ohler also tells the story of how Hermann Goering — high-ranking Nazi, close friend and adviser to Hitler and morphine addict — suggested to the Fuehrer that his tank generals might be getting too big for their britches. They had successfully swept through France and might win the support of the German people, to the detriment of the ruling Nazis. Hitler halted the advance on Dunkirk. This, Ohler argues, is what permitted thousands of British and French troops to be evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk.

To me, Trump’s petulant comment that he would turn to the Democrats to help craft a health-care bill after his own bill failed to win conservative GOP support comes from the same emotionally shallow and egotistical place. It can be colorfully described as “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

Hitler’s rise to power and the steps he took to manifest his fantastical dream of ruling the world required the support of the German people. They were motivated in part by fear of the jackboot. Many accepted anti-Semitism, which had its roots in the Middle Ages. They were victims of propaganda. But to me, one of the most important reasons they accepted fascism is that they did not have a strong history of democracy, freedom and individual political thought.

We, too, are plagued with propaganda from the Trump administration, as it decries any news it doesn’t like as “fake.” But what we have on our side is our stubborn resistance to authority. Consider one of our favorite sayings: “Who made you the boss of me?”

My father was born in 1929. I find it hard to imagine he would have been interested in joining some American equivalent of the Hitler Youth. Carrying flags, singing patriotic songs, spewing Nazi nonsense? He was sneaking smokes and playing baseball and getting into trouble at school. A first-generation true American.

I know the rejection of Trumpcare is complicated, but I’m just glad it happened. Dear World: We are Americans. We don’t like to be told what to do. We will survive. And let’s cc President Donald J. Trump.

Liz Soares welcomes email at [email protected]