The similarities between Donald Trump and Adolph Hitler are not inflammatory hyperbole, but a basic understanding of history.
By Sean McCarty | Monday, February 10, 2020
Every time I bring up Nazi Germany, in relation to our present times, I’m castigated as alarmist, hyperbolic or hack. I stopped for a while in a spell of self-conscious embarrassment. You can only see people roll their eyes so much. I get why people shy away from the consideration that we are headed towards a fascist US, but not acknowledging the similarities is just denying an uncomfortable reality at this point.
Here’s the thing that keeps ringing like a gong in my mind: what were normal, everyday German folks doing while others were getting swept up in Nazi ideology? The Nazi party was 7% of the German population so that left a vast majority of people wondering how their friends and family got so extreme as to be unreachable. They had to be thinking the same things we are right now, especially before the Reichstag fire and things accelerated out of control.
If the logic of, “if you don’t heed the lessons of the past you’re doomed to repeat it” isn’t applicable now, then when is it? After his re-election and he starts killing people other than Iranian leadership? Do we really want to wait until whatever Reichstag Fire equivalent Stephen Miller is cooking up right now?
Every single time people said Trump won’t go that far, he has. Every move he’s made in retrospect has served to normalize his march towards assuming more power. Attacking the media for criticizing him, his religious fervor-like rallies, locking up immigrants in detention centers, encouraging violence and racism, insuring he’s impervious to democratic checks on his power, creating the narrative that his is the only truth and anyone that questions this is unpatriotic or a traitor. He’s quite literally doing everything Hitler did in his ascension to absolute power.
A holocaust survivor recently said that Trump is every bit as dangerous as Hitler was and is trying to do the same thing. Not sure why we wouldn’t shut up and listen to someone that lived through one of the most catastrophic transitions from a former democracy into full blown fascism. Our hubris will be the end of us. How many times are we going to tell ourselves it can’t happen to us before it actually does?
Trump has already accomplished the hardest thing Hitler had to do. He’s separated his followers from the rest of the country. This is an unmitigated fact. He didn’t create the division but he made them much more solidified and irreconcilable. Perhaps the thing he did that is so eerily like Hitler is he made his unquestioning followers malleable to his every whim and lie. Trump has become God to his followers. The common denominator from every person that has written about his rallies is the call and response, zealous, religious atmosphere crackling with energy. His followers would go to literal war for him. In your heart of hearts do you really think Trump has shown himself to let go of that power peacefully?
Regular Germans pretended that it wasn’t as bad as it was for a long time. They consoled themselves by pointing out what an incompetent clown Hitler was and that fascism couldn’t happen in a democracy. The only way that we’re different from them is that we’ve seen that it can happen. God, I hope I’m wrong but if Trump gets re-elected the likelihood that we see another Nazi Germany is far greater than anyone is comfortable with.
The most perilous thing of all of this is not recognizing how close we are to the end of our democracy. We already have the Republican party acting everyday, and with every ounce of their being, in direct conflict with the Constitution. As Hunter S. Thompson said, the Republicans never liked Democracy, it’s just that now they are actively trying to thwart it.
It’s surreal to me how nobody, not even Bernie, is calling out the danger and severity in real, blunt language. It’s the liberals turn to want a return to normalcy so bad we’re unwilling to look at the danger of who we are supporting. Biden’s platform can be condensed down to “Let’s get back to the way things were before Trump.”
Make America great again indeed.