I have heard a few of the TV pundits comparing Trump to Hitler – and it doesn’t seem fair…..at first. The first thing that comes to your mind with Hitler is gassing 7 million Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals. Disgusting. It is also of note that Stalin is attributed with killing roughly the same amount of people….but I digress…
Trump has not brutally killed 7 million people. That’s obvious. So what were the pundits talking about?
I believe what they were talking about was some similarities with the rise to power. Some. In English class in 11th grade or so, we had to read excerpts of Mein Kampf, which was a book Hitler wrote and published from prison in 1925 or so. Mein Kampf translates to “My Struggle” in German. It describes a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world, and he primary states that Judaism and communism are evil and the work of the devil.
Wait….he wrote a book?
So Hitler wrote a nationalist book with his plans to make Germany great again, and blamed all of their problems on a religion trying to take over the world and communism.
Enter ISIS with Islam and communist Putin taking over Crimea.
Trump has also been promoting “toughness” and building up America’s strength. He wants to bomb the hell out of ISIS, block all Muslims from coming into the country, and stand up to Putin. To block all Muslim’s from entering the country, I have broken down the error in Trump’s statement here.
I believe Trump is tapping into the same nationalism that Hitler used. What he does when/if he gets to power are two separate things, but still, the idea that Trump is tapping the exact same methodology is where I would draw the parallels.
Consider also from the Mein Kampf Wiki page:
“During his work, Hitler blamed Germany’s chief woes on the parliament of the Weimar Republic, the Jews, and Social Democrats, as well as Marxists, though he believed that Marxists, Social Democrats, and the parliament were all working for Jewish interests. He announced that he wanted to completely destroy the parliamentary system, believing it to be corrupt in principle, as those who reach power are inherent opportunists.”
To me, this also sounds like Trump’s rhetoric on how terrible Congress is…and how other candidates are bought off by special interests and corrupt, where he doesn’t need anyone’s money to be elected.
Lastly, I believe his rhetoric on Japan, China, Russia, Mexico, and just about every other nation-state kicking our ass in some manner is meant to stir nationalistic pride. One of my buddies is a huge fan of WW2 Germany – which sounds creepy, and it partially was, but from an academic study perspective is rich with knowledge. He said to me that Germany would use symbols to promote their nationalism – flags, songs, and even uniforms. He said it was sort of like how it worked in medieval times with kingdoms and flags of the kingdoms, etc.
So, our American flag can be ultimately used as a ultra-nationalist symbol….along with our national anthem, along with our troop uniforms to promote a Trump-led run to the White House. He most certainly has tapped into a vein of middle America who is sick of the corruption in Washington….and to me, it seems he might have some sort of Manifest Destiny of himself to accomplish this goal.
Trump 2016? It might happen. How it happened might be a history lesson we’ve already learned before.
Does Trump have bad intentions? I don’t think so, but I don’t know the chap. I believe that he is trying to fulfill a destiny he saw in himself when younger. There is almost a Machiavellian aspect to this – that it doesn’t matter how he gets into the White House, it’s that he gets there. It does seem a very “ends justify the means” way of doing things, and the Hitler parallel seems to not be lost on a lot of educated people….and where people feel danger could lurk.
In a previous post, I linked to a Trump interview with Oprah where he seemed entirely cogent, thoughtful, and ambitious. I believe that Donald Trump may have had a hard time standing out in a GOP field. He is worth $10 billion….he runs a very large company…he has lots of kids…my guess is this is what he wanted to leave for many generations, a legacy to be remembered in the history books forever. I believe a run for presidency is an ultimate vanity project, but I don’t feel he has any nefarious intentions with the run….but he needs to dial the rhetoric back in order to not sound like an unhinged Hitler in training.
Could he have tapped a means of running for president to get there, but have entirely noble purposes? It’s very, very possible. Who knows, but when you start using the same means to get into office as one of the most evil and reviled men in history, people will take notice and debate his ends…