Imagine what things must have been like when the Nazi party was first coming to power in Germany. Many people must have seen Hitler’s prancing, screaming and posturing as comical– even his infamous and silly moustache was the one Charlie Chapman made popular. I would venture that a lot of people didn’t take him seriously, and didn’t think he really meant the things he said. Surely many folks couldn’t fathom that legions of fellow human beings would eventually “follow orders” into absolute madness.
But they did.
Comparing Donald Trump to Hitler is becoming uncomfortably easy. Of course Trump is totally ridiculous, with his orange bouffant, his brazen and often bafflingly pointless lies (see Trump Steak-Gate), his pathological narcissism, and his third grade bully mentality. So at first you laugh at his antics because you’re a reasonable human being with a firmly held belief in the good in most of humanity– making you feel pretty confident that nobody would really vote for such a baffoon in this day and age. And then he wins a few states in the Republican primaries. And a few more. And then you read one young kid’s account of going to a Trump rally for the LOLs and instead ends up sickened at all the hate. And then you see violence against protesters on the news, and Trump encouraging it.
And here we are, folks. These are three mistakes I believe a lot of people made with Adolf Hitler that we need to stop making with Donald Trump right now:
1. Being fooled by a comical appearance. Hitler had his Chaplin moustache and Trump has that flamboyant– whatever– on his head. They both pull faces and strut in a way that I find ludicrous. The screaming and practically frothing at the mouth– Who the hell acts like that, except in a bad movie? It is tempting to dismiss them, because most reasonable people would dismiss them. But playing the fool could be a tactic to confuse the opposition. Despite some of the crap that comes out of Trump’s mouth, the man is not a complete idiot. He knows how to manipulate people and get attention. I believe acting a fool is part of his strategy– and it is working.
2. Not taking hateful things he says at face value. Hitler dreamed up the evil genius idea of “The Big Lie,” which is when you make up lies of epic scale and repeat them often so that few will dare doubt them. Trump, whose ex-wife paints him as something of a Hitler fanboy, seems to have taken that idea to heart. It would take pages to discuss this is properly, but suffice it to say that Politifact found that almost none of Trump’s statements they fact checked through 2015 were rated “true” and they awarded him the “Lie of the Year.” So as far as liars go, Trump is a highly accomplished and decorated one. Hitler would be proud.
Some claim Trump’s being allegorical when he talks about building a wall on the border between this country and Mexico. Some say he was joking when he said he would pay your legal fees if you beat up protesters at his rallies. Well, how do we know what he’s serious about? Trump lies and exaggerates so much, even about the stupidest things, that it is tempting to believe some of his more problematic statements are also exaggerations (lies). But this is probably calculated. He’s set the stage so he can say whatever he wants and then claim he was “only kidding” later or, conversely, start deporting Muslims and say, “I told you so.” He’s covered either way, and some people won’t even stop to consider that we maybe shouldn’t have a president who just makes crazy shit up as he goes. Perhaps we’re so used to being lied to by politicians that Trump’s trainwreck spin on it is refreshing?
Hitler blamed the Jews for the collapse of Germany’s economy and Trump blames Mexicans for the woes in ours. In both cases, a scapegoat is cooked up in a fashion that draws in the racist, casually racist, and/or weak-minded supporters like flies– with a little honey promising how great things will be when all those bad ethnic people are gone. Pepper with the laughter of the wealthiest Wall Streeters as they bathe in Cristal. Mix well and enjoy the delicious taste of fascism.
Anyway, it’s not surprising that people are not taking some of Hit– I mean Trump’s– outrageous statements about certain religious or ethnic groups completely seriously because he’s a big fat liar. But one thing I have learned about narcissists is that they will lie– a lot– about many different topics for a lot of completely incomprehensible reasons. That is pretty much a hallmark of a pathological narcissist and there is no sense in wasting energy trying to sort out why. But when they say something horrible– that’s when you should pay attention. That is more likely to be the truth than anything else they say.
3. Believing he couldn’t possibly rise to power. This belief (along with a little bit of faith in humanity) is being rapidly squashed as Trump continues to nail the Republican primaries. Those of us who are aware and awake no longer have the luxury of hoping that a Trump presidency could not happen in this country. It could definitely happen.
Remember the old saying: The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.
I can’t close this without mentioning that Hillary Clinton is not much of a better choice. She is another pathological narcissist– she just holds it together a bit better than Trump. Her lies are (usually) not quite as shocking and her racism and calls to violence are more nuanced (See Clinton’s comments about bringing young black folks “to heel.”). That does not mean that her effect on our future would necessarily differ that much from Trump’s because her motivations are clearly similar– greed for power and riches. As a known war profiteer, Clinton could very well usher in WW3 because it would be good business for herself and her buddies/corporate masters. By the way, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are friends– the web is littered with photos of them hobnobbing together as well as evidence of his fat campaign contributions to her. In short, Trump vs. Clinton is an illusion of choice. The upset in Michigan, with Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic primary against supposedly impossible odds, is proof that people are waking up and realizing that we’ve been lied to for far too long, and it doesn’t have to be this way.
I hope you will join me in making Bernie Sanders the next President of the United States. Let’s make this country great again for real, instead of it being a place from which many of us fantasize about fleeing. Personally, this is the first time I have had a little hope for this cesspool of poverty, racism, injustice, and imperialism. Let our children to go to college for free instead of dying in pointless wars that make the 1% richer. Let us get the money and corruption out of politics. Let us end poverty because we can and because it is the only acceptable course of action. Let us have fair wages and universal healthcare and sound infrastructure. Let our police departments be de-militarized and let profit-making prisons be torn down. Let drug addiction be a healthcare issue, not a criminal one. Let us have the America we were promised. Like Bernie says, these ideas are not radical. Other civilized countries have accomplished these things, and we can too. https://vote.berniesanders.com/