Thursday, September 29, 2016
Donald Trump and the Rise of Adolf Hitler
Although Donald Trump used to sleep with a copy of Hitler's speeches on his bedside table, I've tried to avoid comparing him to the Nazi dictator.
For whatever he is Trump isn't Hitler, and to suggest he is only insults that murderous maniac's many victims.
But after reading a review of a new book about Hitler's rise to power, I must admit I might have to reconsider that position.
For while the reviewer never mentions Trump's name, Hitler's rise from big mouth buffoon to demagogue does seem chillingly familiar.
How did Adolf Hitler — described by one eminent magazine editor in 1930 as a “half-insane rascal,” a “pathetic dunderhead,” a “nowhere fool,” a “big mouth” — rise to power in the land of Goethe and Beethoven? What persuaded millions of ordinary Germans to embrace him and his doctrine of hatred? How did this “most unlikely pretender to high state office” achieve absolute power in a once democratic country and set it on a course of monstrous horror?
The compulsive shameless liar.
A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”
The megalomaniac who would take Germans back to a happier time, and rescue them from the encroaching darkness.
Hitler increasingly presented himself in messianic terms, promising “to lead Germany to a new era of national greatness,” though he was typically vague about his actual plans. He often harked back to a golden age for the country, Mr. Ullrich says, the better “to paint the present day in hues that were all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there was only decline and decay.”
You know, make Germany great again...
The rallies, the speeches, the never-ending appeals for law and order.
He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order.
The economic and social problems that Hitler was able to turn to his advantage.
He benefited from a “constellation of crises that he was able to exploit cleverly and unscrupulously” — in addition to economic woes and unemployment, there was an “erosion of the political center” and a growing resentment of the elites.
As Trump is trying to do today.
And of course the failure of so many to take the "dunderhead" seriously before it was too late...
Early on, revulsion at Hitler’s style and appearance, Mr. Ullrich writes, led some critics to underestimate the man and his popularity, while others dismissed him as a celebrity, a repellent but fascinating “evening’s entertainment.”
Now I ask you, doesn't all that sound so familiar?
Trump may not be Hitler, yet.
But he is a dangerous demagogue, with fascist tendencies.
Who if he ever becomes President could kill millions by triggering a nuclear war.
And nobody will be safe until the day he is defeated...