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...

20 comments:

  1. Are you sure that's not just another Trump bio?

    I think I made a point a while ago though perhaps not here, that up until 1932 or even 1933 it appears that the polictical and business elites in Germany thought that Hitler was a silly little man that they could control---communism was the big threat.

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    1. hi jrkrideau...It's interesting isn't it? I think it takes a perfect storm for a budding demagogue to develop, but we have one now, and anything is possible. When people want to believe in something so badly, too many of them will believe anything...

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  2. Anonymous11:00 AM

    He's going to start a nuclear war? Quite the opposite my progressive friend. Hillary is the war monger, there isn't a single war she opposed in the past. If she becomes pres she will escalate the tension with Russia to the point where we have a cold war on our hands. Not to mention she will continue to fight wars for Israel, and continue to destroy the Middle East. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria... who's next? To quote Hillary herself, what difference does it make?

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    1. Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Trump:

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/sizing-up-the-next-commander-in-chief-1474064606

      "He is stubbornly uninformed about the world and how to lead our country and government, and temperamentally unsuited to lead our men and women in uniform. He is unqualified and unfit to be commander-in-chief."

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    2. hi anon 11:00...I'm not claiming that Clinton is not a flawed candidate, but she is a known quantity, she is qualified to be President. And since she is demonstrably more stable than Trump, I'd rather have her in control of the nuclear button than the maniac Trump. It's the lesser of two evils and a matter of survival...

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  3. Hi Simon, these parallels are indeed uncomfortably irrefutable. I came to these same conclusions reading a well-researched bio-graphic novel by Japanese cartoonist/historian Shigeru Mizuki(published by Montreal's very own Drawn and Quarterly Press). Batshit crazy how they have come to this south of the border.

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    1. hi Scott...nice to hear from you. I hope all is well. And yes the parallels are scary. The U.S. political system has been weakened so much by the antics of the tea baggers, and the racist reaction to Obama, the train is in danger of going off the tracks. I can't remember a scarier time...

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  4. I just dont see Trump as a sadistic dictator with no regard for human life. The USA still has three functioning branches so he would face obstacles Hilter never did. In addition the media is completely in the tank for Hillary. The first debate was a farce, all the hard questions for Trump fair game, but none of Hillarys warts touched touche! It gets worse, look what happended last night. Again I say Hillary is more evil than evil.

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    1. hi Steve...I can't understand how you can find many of Michael Savage's opinions abhorrent, as I do? And still think he's the best talk show host in the U.S. Just like I'm still trying to understand how you can vote for Trump after the way he behaves. He may or may not set up concentration camps for his enemies, but with a push of a button he could kill more people than Hitler...

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    2. I dont take talk radio seriously. I just like the entertainment and the way the hosts structure their rehtoric. Savage has double the intellect of Rush Limbaugh and is way more expressive. Trump is real and I believe Hillary behind the curtains is a bigger lunatic than he is. The only people I fear pushing the button are religions fanatics like Ted Cruz. Trump seems to be a more live and let live guy than Hillary who is a control freak. She wants war with Russia and Iran. A Trump presidency would pave the way for a real progressive to be the next president. A Hillary presidency will guarantee the next president is Ted Cruz.

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  5. Anonymous3:24 PM

    Look, Trump is a buffoon, bigot, racist, misogynist, bully, and so forth, but comparing him to the Fuehrer is quite over-reaching. :)

    On this topic, one of very disappointing things in respect to this pile on Trump by the media, and Hillary supporters, is the corresponding lack of serious examination of Hillary's policies and ideologies, some of which are actually as dangerous, if not more so than Trump's.

    For example, have you heard the media talk about the dangers of Hillary beating her chest and proudly proclaiming about "American exceptionalism"? Essentially "American exceptionalism" means that she would justify the continued killing of people around the world as morally justifiable, and probably virtuous, because an "exceptional" nation can do no wrong, eh? Just as she and her government had destroyed Libya, among many others, and then she had callously said this about Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he died".

    And then there is the "Hillary Doctrine" where she essentially proclaimed that women's rights and violence against women are issues of "national security". And then went on to suggest that regime changes are necessary in those countries which do not give women those rights or had perpetrated violence against them.

    Yes, she actually suggested regime changes! In Clinton Cash, Schweizer had documented that the Clinton Foundation actually received millions of dollars in donations, and Bill Clinton had accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars, including $500K for a paid speech from Saudi Arabia (and other mid east countries) which do not respect women's rights. Isn't that rank hypocrisy? Or would she invade Saudi Arabia to fulfil her doctrine? I would rather hear her answer to this question in the debate than the mutual personal attacks she and Trump had visited on each other.

    Then there is also the neoMcCarthyism where she and the Dem. party are blaming both Russia, and anyone who criticizes her, as essentially Russian lovers. Trump, to his credit, on his better days, is calling for a dialogue with Russia, probably recognizing the dangers of a new cold war or a nuclear war that neither side nor the world can afford. Have we in Canada not seen this movie before? - recall how Harper and his bigoted party had called Jack Layton "Taliban lover" because the latter had suggested a dialogue with the Taliban.

    We already knew that Trump is a lot of vile things that Hillary is not. But there are many serious issues with Hillary that are not being discussed and debated because of this incessant pile-on on Trump.

    A likely reason why she is not 50 points ahead is that many informed people are just as scared, if not even more, of her than Trump.

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    1. hi anon...I thought I made it clear that I'm not calling Trump Hitler. But there can be no denying the similarities between the ways both men became popular. And it's not just the appeal to emotion over reason, it's also the tenor of the times. When as I said above, so many want to believe, many will believe anything. I'm not a Cold War warrior or a militarist, and I fully admit that Hillary is not the ideal candidate. But in a dangerous world she appears to me far more stable than Trump, and that could be the difference between life or death...

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  6. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Comparing Trump to Hitler may be a stretch, but comparing what is going in in America to what went on in Germany is not. The public is enamoured of a demagogue who offers little substance, but promises to solve all the nation's (perceived) problems with radical simplicity.

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    1. hi anon...yes I agree. It is the similar times that allow people like Hitler and Trump to emerge. And once demagogues like them take power they are capable of anything...

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  7. Anonymous10:19 PM

    Although perhaps it was always more illusion than reality the American Dream has been slowly suffocated and replaced with a range of manipulative propaganda designed to keep power over their own destiny out of the hands of the masses. Its surprising the propaganda worked as long as it did but the story lines are tired from over use. Questions like why do people want to kill us when all we did was overthrow dictators and bless them with democracy. Answers like they are all deranged religious fanatics appease some but others are not so sure especially when Trump points out the US spent $3 trillion ( an exaggeration?) to wage war rather than spend it at home. Too bad he is/acts like a wacky bigoted salesman with no plan but like the American Dream any true visionaries were probably suffocated at birth. The choices are grim with Fascism or an Orwellian state complete with medication and reality television not that far away.Hopefully for themselves as well as the rest of the world the American people will keep on insisting on better than what has been presented to date.
    RT

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    1. hi RT....some of the things Trump says are true, in the same way a broken cock is right twice a day. But I think the U.S. has learned a painful lesson from its foreign expeditions, so I don't see Clinton playing MacArthur, whose name Trump mentioned during the debate. But I do see him playing Commander-in -Chief, and I must admit it's a scary thought. And let's not forget that the man is a rabid climate change denier, so he wouldn't need nuclear weapons to torch the planet. I'm counting the hours before the U.S. election, and I only hope we can put this nightmare behind us...

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  8. Machen Amerika Great
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cf2L7tWWEAEK0ui.jpg

    http://wonkette.com/607076/super-smart-trump-campaign-manager-accidentally-admits-her-boss-is-a-criminal-lol-omg-wtf

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    1. hi David...yes I saw that Cuba story. So now what I want to know is when will Trump be arrested? And will Conway testify against him... :)

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  9. http://www.newsweek.com/just-how-similar-donald-trump-adolf-hitler-501252

    What makes the comparison between Hitler and Trump so poignant is not just the rhetorical marginalization of groups, lifestyles or beliefs, but the fact that both men represent their personal character as the antidote to all social and political problems.

    Neither Hitler nor Trump campaign on specific policies, beyond a few slogans. Instead, both promise a new vision of leadership. They portray the existing political systems as fundamentally corrupt, incompetent, and, most importantly, unable to generate decisive action in the face of pressing problems.

    Both use their personal biographies—or rather, the highly edited accounts of their personal biographies they present to the media—to conjure up a new style of politics, which is based neither on expertise nor on detailed policy proposals. Instead—they suggest—their own personal 'struggle' shaped them into—supposedly—authentic leaders, capable of overcoming adversity through sheer force of character. In this scenario, democracy has less to do with representative institutions than with a leader who is intuitively 'in tune' with the sentiments of the people.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/9/29/13093316/hitler-trump-review

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-hitler-book-my-new-order_us_57ed36c9e4b082aad9b9a2d3

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    1. hi David...when Newsweek starts comparing Trump and Hitler you know we're in trouble, and that fear has gone mainstream. People always claim that "it couldn't happen here." But when the conditions are the same, and the two men resemble each other, who knows what might happen? I have never seen a demagogue like Donald Trump, and every democratic fibre in my body tells me he is dangerous...

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