One Scholar On Similarities Substantial Differences Between Trump And Hitler
Even before the election, critics had been drawing comparisons between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler.
They’ve pointed to Trump’s promise to ban Muslims, deport millions of immigrants, crack down on the press and “make America great again.”
Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Daniel Ziblatt , professor of government at Harvard University and author of the forthcoming book “Conservative Parties and the Birth of Modern Democracy in Europe,” about Hitler’s rise to power in 1930s Germany, and whether the comparisons between Trump and Hitler are fair or unnecessarily inflammatory.
This Is Why Donald Trump Sounds And Acts Like Adolf Hitler
It is not unusual for a politician, especially one running for a national office, to study carefully highly successful political leaders campaign speeches and rhetoric. It should surprise no American that Republican frontrunner for the presidential nomination, Donald Trump, also carefully studied a highly-successful politician, except it was not an American and not the kind of monster any decent American should emulate. Donald Trump is not remotely a decent American, and based on his embrace of Adolf Hitlers volume of speeches he made between 1918 and 1941, he intends on being an effective Nazi instead of a good American.
It is not like it was a secret that Trumps hateful speeches, and more troubling, his policy proposals are very close to those instituted in Nazi Germany even some conservatives have cited his fascism. However, the idea that he has studied, at least since prior to 1990, a book of speeches Hitler used in his rise to power should put an end to complaints about comparing him to Hitler or Godwins law.
According to a recent profile of Hitler in the scholarly journal, Psychiatric Quarterly, all of Trumps tactics are modeled in Hitler speech book the Donald kept close by his bed.
The Times wrote
Trump Told Chief Of Staff Hitler Did A Lot Of Good Things Book Says
- Remark shocked John Kelly, author Michael Bender reports
- Book details former presidents stunning disregard for history
On a visit to Europe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, Donald Trump insisted to his then chief of staff, John Kelly: Well, Hitler did a lot of good things.
The remark from the former US president on the 2018 trip, which reportedly stunned Kelly, a retired US Marine Corps general, is reported in a new book by Michael Bender of the Wall Street Journal.
Bender reports that Trump made the remark during an impromptu history lesson in which Kelly reminded the president which countries were on which side during the conflict and connected the dots from the first world war to the second world war and all of Hitlers atrocities.
Bender is one of a number of authors to have interviewed Trump since he was ejected from power.
In a statement a Trump spokesperson, Liz Harrington, said: This is totally false. President Trump never said this. It is made-up fake news, probably by a general who was incompetent and was fired.
But Bender says unnamed sources reported that Kelly told the president that he was wrong, but Trump was undeterred, emphasizing German economic recovery under Hitler during the 1930s.
Bender writes that Kelly did his best to overcome Trumps stunning disregard for history.
Don’t Miss: Washington Post Trump Won
The Dialectic Of Normalization
In a further paradox, however, the process of normalization may ultimately promote, rather than inhibit, the value of analogizing. Debates over Hitler comparisons resemble larger debates over how to confront, interpret, and remember the legacy of the Third Reich. Since the end of World War II in Europe, the United States, and beyond, the supporters of a moralistic form of remembrance have clashed with the supporters of normalization. This clash intensified after the turn of the millennium, when the memory boom of the 1990s sparked an illiberal backlash against what critics called a masochistic, politically correct culture of contrition. Rather than leading to the suppression of memory, however, this backlash has paradoxically promoted it in keeping with the dialectic of normalization. According to this phenomenon, every attempt to forcibly render a traumatic historical legacy normal ends up underscoring its exceptionality by unleashing bitter debate that keeps it in public view. For this reason, the debate over Hitler analogies may ultimately preserve a wider awareness about their relative merits.Footnote 189
Trump Is Not Hitler But Is Behaving Like Hitler
By contrast, other commentators dismissed the idea that Trump was Hitler, but affirmed that he was behaving like him. In doing so, they sidestepped the potential charge of making a reckless comparison by placing it into more acceptable packaging. Critics of Trump increasingly used this rhetorical bait-and-switch after he became the Republican Party nominee and headed into the general election. Some focused on his aggressive demonization of minorities. In October 2016, journalist William Saletan admitted that Trump isn’t Hitler, but insisted that the candidate’s blaming of Muslim Americans for domestic terrorism made him sound like Hitler.Footnote 14 Other critics echoed the claim of Anne Frank’s stepsister, Eva Schloss, who told Newsweek in January 2016 that Trump was acting like another Hitler because of his demagoguery.Footnote 15 Communications scholar Nicholas O’Shaughnessy repudiated any direct comparison between Trump and Hitler, but argued that both men used bullying, bellicose rhetoric to manipulate audiences through maneuvers, panaceas, and fraud.Footnote 16 Other observers focused on Trump and Hitler’s shared personality traits. Writer and former US congressional staffer Mike Lofgren said that both men were egomaniacal narcissist journalist Volker Ullrich argued that they shared an inclination to mix lies with truth and journalist Peter Ross Range observed they suffered from a messianic complex.Footnote 17
Also Check: How Do I Sign Up For Trump Bonus Checks
How Israel Fatah And The Pa Join Forces To Silence Palestinian Protest: Listen To Amira Hass
According to the report, Trumps comments came as Kelly was briefing the president on World War I, reminding him which countries were on which side during the conflict.
The former Marine general told the president that he was wrong, but Trump was undeterred, reported Bender, who wrote that Trump denied having made such comments. Kelly also told the president that you cannot ever say anything supportive of Adolf Hitler and argued that the German people would have been better off poor than subjected to the Nazi genocide.
According to The Atlantics Jeffrey Goldberg, Trump asked why he should go to a U.S. military cemetery in France during the trip, declaring that it was filled with losers.
Trump has repeatedly come under fire from Jewish and civil liberty groups for his relationship with the far-right. Several of the pro-Trump insurrectionists who stormed the capital last January in an attempt to block the certification of President Joe Bidens election victory were known white supremacists. One was photographed wearing a Camp Auschwitz hoodie.
Last October, asked if he would denounce white supremacists and militia groups during a televised presidential debate, Trump told the Proud Boys right-wing group to stand back and stand by.
JTA, Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Trump Is Best Explained With Other Historical Analogies
Although critics rejected the idea that Trump resembled Hitler, they did not reject all historical analogies. Indeed, they argued that other figures from the past better explained the present.
Other critics compared Trump to European monarchs. Several commentators argued that Trump resembled the English king Henry VIII with journalist Emile Simpson noting that both rulers were mercurial egomaniacs who exploit revolutionary networked movement to get power and columnist Bret Stephens writing that the endless dramas involving Trump’s family members evoked the palace intrigue in Henry VIII’s royal court.Footnote 136 Journalist Matthew Rosza compared Trump to King George III, saying both men refused to naturalize foreigners, made judges dependent on the king’s will for office, and endeavored to take the army out of the people’s control.Footnote 137 Still others compared Trump to the kings of France. Historian Yair Mintzker said that Trump’s West Wing resembled Louis XIV’s Baroque court because both featured courtiers constantly flattering the king and avoiding exposing his ignorance, lest they fall from grace.Footnote 138 Less than a year later, historian Christine Adams pointed out that Trump’s many female adviserssuch as Hope Hicks, Kelleyanne Conway, and Omarosa Manigaultresembled King Louis XV’s close relationship to women like Madame Pompadour because both groups offer comfort not competition.Footnote 139
You May Like: Trump Lies Fact Check
Thirteen Similarities Between Donald Trump And Adolf Hitler
Germany in 1920 had many similarities to the United States in 2020:
On a personal level, Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump have several similarities.
In 2016 I Identified Four Future Developments That Would Justify The Trump
In 2016, comparing president-elect Donald Trump to all-time villain Adolf Hitler seemed overdrawn. It ultimately proved to be exaggerated in 2021, with the transition of power to Joe Biden completed. However, during his presidency, Trump has taken actions similar to the ones the Nazis used to consolidate their power. This is no partisan political statement, but the result of a simple test.
Before Trump took office, I published an analysis of the Trump-Hitler comparison on the Monkey Cage blog of the Washington Post. I pointed to four areas where Trump could copy key moves of power consolidation pioneered by the German Nazis. Then, I kept quiet on the matter for four years. History has delivered the results. Lets take a look.
Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0
In my 2016 post, I first pointed out bottom-line changes to German society after 1933:
Nazi policies concentrated on building a cohesive national majority, to unite ethnic Germans against Jews, foreigners, homosexuals, political critics and other minority groups. The contemporary analogy would be Trump actively pitting white Christian America against minorities in the years ahead.
Beyond this general outlook, I highlighted four key steps that were taken by the Nazis to consolidate their power. Using history as a guide, I translated them in scenarios for contemporary America. The first step is scapegoating. I wrote:
Read Also: Jobs Trump Created
Lessons From The Debate
Given the many pitfalls of historical analogies, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the key question driving the Trump/Hitler debatewhether or not the Nazi past helps us understand the American presentis unanswerable. It should be theoretically possible, of course, to accurately assess the dangers facing American democracy. If, as scholars have shown, all causation results from the complex interplay of forces and systems, then America’s political future will depend on the relative strength of anti-democratic forces and the country’s political institutions.Footnote 178 This being the case, it may not matter how we define the formeras fascist, nativist, or populistif the danger they pose ultimately depends on the stability of the latter.
With this in mind, it is important for German historians to recognize three phenomena that have shaped the Trump/Hitler debate and will influence the use of historical analogies going forward: 1) the law of analogical exhaustion 2) the Hitler analogy paradox and 3) the dialectic of normalization.
North Korea Says Donald Trump Is Like Adolf Hitler
Mr Trump is accused of “following Hitler’s dictatorial politics” – viewing nations as “friends and foes” to justify “suppression”.
Tuesday 27 June 2017 10:00, UK
North Korea has ripped into Donald Trump, likening him to Adolf Hitler – a week after calling the US President a “lunatic”.
Tensions have been escalating between the two nations following the death of US student Otto Warmbier, who was arrested in North Korea and sent home in a coma after 18 months, and in the face of Pyongyang’s military and nuclear ambitions.
Moon Jae-in, the new leader of North Korea’s neighbour and arch enemy, South Korea, is headed to Washington for talks this week.
North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said: “The America-first principle… advocates the world domination by recourse to military means just as was the case with Hitler’s concept of world occupation.”
And it went on to accuse Mr Trump of “following Hitler’s dictatorial politics” to divide others into two categories, “friends and foes” in order to justify “suppression”.
It is not the first time the secretive state has evoked Hitler in propaganda against the US.
After George W Bush branded the North, along with Iran and Iraq an “axis of evil”, Pyongyang hit back, saying the then-US president was a “tyrant that puts Hitler in the shade” and a “political imbecile bereft of even elementary morality”.
Read Also: Superpowerchecks.com Review
Trump Might Be A Fascist Without Appearing To Be Fascist
These confident assessments notwithstanding, other observers recognized that because Trump did not display certain fascist traits, other ways of categorizing him as such had to be employed. Many commentators shared Robert Dreyfuss’s assertion that a potential American style fascist movement would hardly be a precise copy of either the German or the Italian model and cited the warnings of American writers from the 1930s, such as Dorothy Thompson and Sinclair Lewis, that if fascism were ever to manifest itself in the United States, it would be marked by indigenous rather than foreign features.Footnote 42 As historian Robert Paxton put it, there would be no swastikas in an American fascism but Stars and Stripes No fascist salute, but mass recitations of the pledge of allegiance.Footnote 43 An American fascist leader, historian Robert Kagan added, would probably be a television huckster or a phony billionaire.Footnote 44 As writer and former congressional staffer Mike Lofgren put it, he would be less Horst Wessel and more Lee Greenwood.Footnote 45 Finally, historian Simon Schama drew on Umberto Eco’s influential 1995 idea of Ur-Fascism and argued that because fascism could come back in the most innocent of guises, such as TV or Internet populism, Trump could be defined as an entertainment fascist.Footnote 46