More Trump Hitler comparisons

Thomas Veil

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Aug 13, 2020
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Look where we are now. At the start of Trump's administration it was, "Oh, you can't make Hitler comparisons to him!" We've gone from that to it being a legitimate topic of conversation.

No, Trump isn't skinning Mexicans to make lampshades, but he does have some more-than-passing similarities, so comparisons are, as far as I'm concerned, valid. The biggest one is, yes, his starting out of the gate blaming our country's problems on foreigners. He took the resentment Americans felt about economic stagnation and made it about outsiders taking "advantage" of us. After WWI Germans were resentful of their situation as losers, and Hitler used that to blame the Jews. Make Germany Great Again.

The whole propaganda thing? Yes, Trump's whole organization reminds me of Goebbels (because of the constant repetition of The Big Lie), though the entire Republican party has been that way for years now. In other ways Trump reminds me more of Soviet propaganda in the sense of, "You know that thing you saw with your own eyes? That's not what happened. We'll tell you what happened."

You can compare the fanatical blind devotion Trump acolytes feel for their leader to various cults, particularly Scientology, but you also can't deny that when Trump ramps up the hate at one of his rallies, it resembles a Hitler one.

Then there are the angry, egotistical, long speeches; the constant rallies; the constant need for affirmation; his appointment of crazy people to government positions; his belief that there are almost no limits on his power...yeah, he checks enough boxes.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Aug 12, 2020
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Let’s try from another angle. I don’t know how well versed you are in Hilter’s journey or personalty,....
Pretty well versed; my birthday present for my twelfth birthday - which I had requested - was William L Shirer's book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, the first book of many I have read on the subject.

Such similarities as do exist are both more subtle, and, because the US is a western democracy, more damning, than the obvious stuff, such as (irresponsible) rallies, designed to appeal to base & cruel instincts, inflame passions against An Other, and stoke up fears.

These include the gutting of state agencies, the emasculation and deliberate frustration of the branches of government charged with oversight, the abject surrender - the supine abdication of all moral and political responsibility - by "classical conservatives" (and that is one dismal and depressing similarity to Nazi Germany that I will willingly concede) as they ceded power to the coarse court of sycophants, toadies, zealots and corrupt cynics who surround Mr Trump.

And it has also included the replacement of formal systems and structures of governance by something resembling a dysfunctional medieval court - for Mr Trump's administration resembles nothing so much as a particularly chaotic medieval court, where one's power is measured in terms of access to a narcissistic monarch, an access granted at the price of stratospheric levels of sycophancy, and whatever incompetent and corrupt governance occurs, occurs parallel with incredibly vicious turf-wars upon which incredible energies are expended, as satellite courts (mini-me courts) try to carve out some space for themselves in such a toxic environment.

Even when he had vague associations with the Democrats, I don't doubt that Mr Trump had authoritarian tendencies, was a racist, a sexist, and a bully with an extraordinary capacity for cruelty, a man with an appetite for the vindictive humiliation of anyone who had had the misfortune to cross him.

Yet, all of that - and it is a surpassingly unpleasant (and thoroughly corrupt) that, - still doesn't make him Hitler.

However, there is one area where I will predict a similarity with the world of The Third Reich, especially in its dramatic final days, and that will be in the veritable plethora of books - invariably penned by insiders - that will flood the market after the departure - possibly inglorious - of Mr Trump from office.
 
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Chew Toy McCoy

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Aug 15, 2020
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Trump is pretty malleable on politics. Back in 2012 when some Republicans were trying to get Trump to take on Obama that year, and Bannon was holed up at some hotel and talking with him about the prospects and possible problems, Trump needed explanations about some very basic stuff regarding electoral politics in the USA. His own overall exposure had always amounted to throwing money at both parties and hoping enough would stick so whoever won would remember how great he was and let him have more power to do whatever he was after as a man of business.

1) he didn't understand anti-choice as a litmus test for Republicans. In fact once Bannon pointed out to him that he had donated money to Democrats and that made him suspect in the eyes of many Republican voters, he first scoffed and then said "ok I'm good with that, I'm against abortion right now. So that's already fixed."​
2) Bannon said another problem was Trump didn't even vote. Trump said BS he always voted and Bannon said no you've never voted in a primary in your whole life. Trump said how does anybody even know that, voting is private. Bannon had to explain that HOW one votes is private but THAT someone has voted is a matter of public record.​
The bottom line with Trump is always personal, not ideological. He sees far right individuals in the USA as supportive of his presidency.

But, if he thought Democrats would put him up on a pedestal -- and God knows he hopes some will do that over his EOs in lieu of more practical solutions to lack of a further stimulus program so far not having emerged from Congress-- then he would quit hammering on Dems in general and Pelosi in particular and start talking about what a schlub McConnell is and how people need to vote for Amy McGrath in KY and boot Mitch outta his chair.

And so... wait for it... that could still happen. But it would still be all about Trump and not about his ideology. He would literally make deals with devils, and maybe he already has. But not because of their politics, or their "in" with a deity. Because of however he figured the deal would make him look.
That is a very big noted difference. It is just all about Trump. But then the problem is who he seems to attract as diehard supporters and to what degree he would go to keep their support, in essence they are feeding him an ideology that he seems all too willing to pursue as their leader and as more people flee for more sane ground he's whittling down his echo chamber down to the most extreme and militantly divisive holdouts.
 

lizkat

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Aug 15, 2020
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That is a very big noted difference. It is just all about Trump. But then the problem is who he seems to attract as diehard supporters and to what degree he would go to keep their support, in essence they are feeding him an ideology that he seems all too willing to pursue as their leader and as more people flee for more sane ground he's whittling down his echo chamber down to the most extreme and militantly divisive holdouts.
Yep. Meanwhile look at how frayed our social fabric has become by partisan politics during Trump's presidency. It's really hard to reach across the political aisle now, whether we are public servants in Congress or on town councils or just people used to talking across the back fence as neighbors.

In some ways at first the covid-19 threat made people draw together in a sense of having "to beat this thing together." But Trump played that out very differently and in the process of ensuring that the spotlight would stay on him, he made partisan politics the tool we would use not on covid-19 but on each other. The guy is so destructive.
 

Citizenzen

Power User
Aug 31, 2020
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No, I didn't like when they did it to Obama, or Bush, or Clinton (including Hillary), or anyone else. Let's stop this bullshit. Hitler was Hitler, Stalin was Stalin, Churchill was Churchill, and yaxo is yaxo. Yes, we can learn from history, and we can learn from historical figures, but history doesn't repeat like that, and I do find this type of parallels very superficial - and annoying.
Do you find trump to be unstable? Dangerous?

Do you find the parallel annoying because you don't see it at all, or disagree with it? Comparing and contrasting is a time-honored way to understand the world and the people who inhabit it. It would be rather stunning to suggest that we have to throw those tools away, just because you don't like the conclusion they point to.
 

Renzatic

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Aug 14, 2020
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I just read something interesting about this very subject, and the arguments made were quite apt.

In short, if you're really, truly desperate to compare to Trump to any other autocratic leader that's arose throughout history, it wouldn't be Hitler, wouldn't even be Mussolini. It'd be Saddam Hussein.
 

Thomas Veil

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Aug 13, 2020
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Great. Let’s add “wants to brainwash our kids” to the mix.

President Donald Trump said Monday that the nation must restore “patriotic education” in schools as a way to calm unrest in cities and counter “lies” about racism in the United States.
Trump blamed violent protests in Portland, Ore., and other cities in recent months on “left-wing indoctrination” in schools and universities, while accusing his Democratic presidential challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden, of giving “moral aid and comfort” to vandals.
“Many young Americans have been fed lies about America being a wicked nation plagued by racism,” Trump said during a news conference. “Indeed, Joe Biden and his party spent their entire convention spreading this hateful and destructive message while refusing to say one word about the violence.”
Trump Youth, anyone?
 

Scepticalscribe

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Aug 12, 2020
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Do you find trump to be unstable? Dangerous?

Do you find the parallel annoying because you don't see it at all, or disagree with it? Comparing and contrasting is a time-honored way to understand the world and the people who inhabit it. It would be rather stunning to suggest that we have to throw those tools away, just because you don't like the conclusion they point to.
Mr Trump is unstable and dangerous; he is also cruel, corrupt, vindictive, sociopathic, narcissistic, and astonishingly malevolent and mendacious. In fact, the man is so awful - as man and as president - I don't think he has a redeeming vice, let alone a redeeming virtue.

However, and this is what I think may be @yaxomoxay's point - he is not Adolf Hitler, and - wearing my historian's hat here - I think that comparisons to Hitler are made so easily and so often (and not just with Mr Trump) that the comparison has become too facile and has lost any analytical or political or historical value it may once have had.

In truth, to my mind, any comparison between Mr Trump and Hitler does Hitler (who was very talented, and gifted, and dangerously charismatic) a disservice. Trump is venal and vicious and vindictive, his petty cruelty a mark of the man, and his malevolent and mendacious narcissism his true measure.

And it also misses the real significance of Mr Trump's administration, which has connived at the creation of appalling new norms, coarse and corrupt norms, re standards of ethics in office, and among which, must also be included the the moral gutlessness of classical conservatives (and that is a similarity with Germany in the 1930s) as they have colluded in the hollowing out of state agencies and government, and the frustration of the mechanisms of oversight and accountability because Mr Trump brought them power and allowed them to deliver on cherished policy objectives.
 
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Thomas Veil

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I just read something interesting about this very subject, and the arguments made were quite apt.

In short, if you're really, truly desperate to compare to Trump to any other autocratic leader that's arose throughout history, it wouldn't be Hitler, wouldn't even be Mussolini. It'd be Saddam Hussein.
I can’t wait for the day Trump goes on the lam and we find him hiding in a hole in the ground.
 
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lizkat

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Do you really think this a likely outcome?

He may find - or, be offered - sanctuary somewhere, or may end up facing charges.
Let's not forget that plenty of these rogues and fake kings of assorted hills end up dying in bed. But yes, exile is a common way of having had their cake and getting to export some of it too. Trump has a way of burning bridges though, an impulsive habit that may not leave him many choice places outside the USA in which to hang out in the deep afternoon of his life. The way he is reported to eat, he's in that phase right now anyway and likely to expire from too many cheeseburgers.
 

Thomas Veil

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Sadly, I think the most likely result will be that either no charges will be brought, or he will fight and stall everything in court and death takes him before justice does.

He may flee to another country. Who’d offer him safe harbor though?
 
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Huntn

Power User
Aug 11, 2020
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me neither, but they certainly do share some traits.
I mean, for the love of God... Trump had the golden opportunity to increase Executive powers like 10x (COVID) and didn’t use it (actually and actively went for more local control). Talk about being authoritarian...
How would he have increased his executive powers, beyond using executive orders like they are toilet paper and installing lap dogs who are blind or act as accomplices? I suppose we’d disagree that he is also an incompetent boob, that the last I heard he would be your choice for President.
 

Huntn

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Aug 11, 2020
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Let's not forget that plenty of these rogues and fake kings of assorted hills end up dying in bed. But yes, exile is a common way of having had their cake and getting to export some of it too. Trump has a way of burning bridges though, an impulsive habit that may not leave him many choice places outside the USA in which to hang out in the deep afternoon of his life. The way he is reported to eat, he's in that phase right now anyway and likely to expire from too many cheeseburgers.
Anyone who is truly worried about the state of the Nation can hope.
 

Huntn

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Aug 11, 2020
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Same way they all do. Increased regulations of some sort, imposing stuff like a national mandate on masks.
He’s done much more damage to Federal Agencies. The amount of talent that has left DC because of The Head Malfeasant is Alarming. Regulations per say are not authoritarianism And it’s not the president’s job to write them.
 
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