FROM THE LEFT

Yes, there are parallels between Trump and Hitler

What are conservatives thinking? With any comparison of Trump to Hitler the reaction is: Trump hasn’t killed millions of people.

Hitler didn’t start by killing people when he began his rise to power in the 1920s-1930s in Germany but there are serious comparisons between him and Trump. Hitler didn’t take Germany by force. He used techniques learned from Social Democrats’ press and speeches: how to create a mass movement, the art of propaganda among the masses and what he called “spiritual and physical terror,” according to author William L Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.”

Trump’s first wife, Ivana, stated Trump kept and studied a copy of Hitler’s speeches, “My New Order.” Author Burt Neuborne’s “When at Times the Mob is Swayed: A Citizen’s Guide to Defending Our Republic” writes, “neither Trump nor Hitler ever admitted a mistake and both responded to criticism with insults and name calling. Both used low forms of language, simple sentences so even a person with a low level education would understand.”

 Hitler’s Nazi Party offered inexpensive radios for direct propaganda communication to the German people. Trump has Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, Sinclair, Twitter, Russian trolls/bots (Facebook) and Chinese’ Epoch News (YouTube). He calls news sources that oppose his policies “fake news” and “enemy of the people.”

Neuborne writes, Hitler “orchestrated mass meetings to cement his status as a charismatic leader.” Trump’s rallies do the same while reinforcing his narcissism.

 Neither of them respected scientific experts, especially academics, who questioned Hitler’s views on race and Trump’s views on climate change, immigration and economics.

The goal of both is/was to convince the public that their lies were the truth. Trump offers a “steady diet of fear, greed, loathing, lies and envy,” says Neuborne.

Hitler promised his version of nationalism, as a populist leader to “restore German greatness,” glorifying Aryan’s, demonizing Jews (requiring them to register and wear ID’s), Slavs, homosexuals, gypsies and Jehovah Witnesses — and blaming them for Germany’s problems.

Trump’s slogan is “Make America Great Again” with populist “America First” policies. He supports white nationalists while demonizing Mexicans as rapists, murders, drug dealers. He sows fear among people that caravans of immigrants are invading our country, with anti-LGBTQ directives, equating Muslims as terrorists, banning them and proposed registering them. This has lead to the rise of deadly attacks on minority communities by fascist, white nationalists and Neo-Nazis who spread Trump’s hateful rhetoric.

Hitler and Trump both used closing borders (“build the wall”), scapegoating, short-term economic gain, xenophobia and racism to convince their countrymen that government is the problem. To this end, Trump has decimated and/or slandered much of the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture scientists, Justice system, the rule of law, the FBI and the CIA.

Both leaders demonized their political opponents.

Trump with “lock her up” and “send them back.”

Nazis used mass detention and deportation during WWII of Jews and Slavs, separating children from families. Trump is doing the same with non-white immigrants seeking asylum, placing them in detention centers, with plans for rounding up and detaining nearly one million, possibly for years, who are legally in this country, awaiting judicial hearings.

Hitler joined power with elite leaders of German industry while Trump has empowered corporate America with huge tax cuts and rolling back regulations that protected consumers and workers.

Hitler destroyed the labor movement and Trump has undermined efforts for stronger labor unions and has refused to raise the minimum wage.

Trump’s overcrowded detention camps have resulted in seven children dying, reports of inhumane treatment, children not being returned to parents, refusal to administer flu shots, while planning to detain thousands more.

Seriously ill children who cannot get medical treatment in their country are being deported, actions described as a death sentence.

The similarities of Hitler and Trump are frighteningly, unmistakable. Will our system of checks and balances survive a Trump Presidency? What are conservatives thinking when they embrace Trump’s anti-government, fascist, pro-authoritarian dictatorship?

KATHY WEAVER

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