So are we going to get yet another thread full of splainers splaining why it’s wrong to compare Drumpf to Hitler?
The thing about public figures who spout hate is that it doesn’t really matter if they genuinely believe it or not. The end result is the same.
Some Strom Thurmond apologists like to point out that he didn’t seem to have any deep animosity toward people of color in his personal life. He even had an illegitimate daughter with a black woman! (Well, with a black girl really.) But that doesn’t matter, because Thurmond spent decades espousing and perpetuating bigotry and discrimination in public. No matter what was in his heart that was the legacy he built with his actions, and that’s the legacy that should haunt his withered corpse until he fades completely from human memory.
No, Drumpf is HIlter.
And the effect is much more immediate than any policy. Violent crimes against Muslims in America are way up from last year (you could argue this has more to do with Paris attacks than Trump, it seems like both are factors). Last Canadian election our Conservative party talked about instituting a tip line to report “barbaric cultural practices” and that weekend and the following week there were several stories in the new of women in hijabs being attacked in the street (at least one of whom was visibly pregnant).
The brownshirts start working on their qualifications well before the positions are actually created.
“He (Hitler) smiled very pleasantly and indeed had a sort of appealing and affectionate look in his eyes. My sizing up of the man as I sat and talked with him was that he is really one who truly loves his fellow man. His face is much more prepossessing than his pictures would give the impression of. It is not that of a fiery overstrained nature but of a calm, passive man deeply and thoughtfully in earnest … His eyes impressed me most of all. There was a liquid quality about them which indicates keen perception and profound sympathy. Calm, composed and one could see how particularly humble folk would have come to have profound love for the man. As I talked with him I could not but think of Joan of Arc…”
William Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada in 1937
I reject the implication that what Stewart says there applies to comparisons between Hitler and Trump. He says at least a couple of times that comparing someone you merely disagree with to Hitler is fallacious, because it’s a falsely balanced comparison, and (he at least implies) because it trivializes the large-scale horror of what Hitler did.
However, people aren’t comparing Drumpf to Hitler merely because they disagree with Drumpf. They’re doing it because in a lot of ways, Drumpf and his movement really do resemble Hitler and those who followed him.
In all ways? No. In enough ways to make the comparison is apt? Yes.
This is a boy who cried wolf problem–we’ve called politicians fascists and compared them to Hitler for so long, that when a real fascist comes along, most people won’t listen anymore…
Thanks, I like that guy, especially his movie recs, but I think he’s wrong here. Just because Trump and our times differ in some ways from those of other fascists in other times doesn’t mean that pointing out resemblances isn’t an instructive way of clarifying how a new leader and his followers scarily resemble fascism.
Does something have to precisely resemble something else for a comparison of the two to be useful? Not in most cases, but when it comes to Hitler and/or other fascists, suddenly a lot of people think it does.
When even The Daily Mail thinks someone is a bit of an extreme right winger, then you know you’ve got problems.
So, um, just how far to the right does Drumpf and his movement have to be before the comparison to Hitler and/or other fascists becomes fair enough for you?
Sure, I can get with that. It seems the issue then is “how much is Trump really like Hitler?”
Trump hasn’t put any though into policy, he just rattles off whatever he thinks will float, so he can say “I love the Muslims” while at the same time talk about restricting them from the US. I don’t think he really believes anything, but I absolutely think Hitler believed Jews were vermin-- he wrote a book about it and promoted the idea for a decade before coming to power. Trump’s book (which he didn’t even write), is mostly about how great he is. Ironically Trump’s board game is probably a better reflection of who he is:
“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s whether you WIN!” (At the time he was facing bankruptcy, an expensive divorce and lots of bad press. The board game probably gave him his needed ego boost.)
There are plenty of reasons to hate Trump, he doesn’t have to be Hitler to justify how bad a President he would be. At this point in history it just seems like calling someone “Hitler” rings hollow, it’s losing its meaning. Saying “Trump is like Hitler” won’t get traction with a lot of people, it’s probably wiser to point out what a horrible and dishonest business man he is (I just watched that 1991 documentary he tried to get banned.)
I don’t think comparing him to Hitler is a super horrible sin, but it’s somewhere between preaching to the converted and ideological masturbation. In the long run it just helps escalate the extreme rhetoric and bitterness our political debates have become.
I think saying “Trump is the next Hitler” as a standalone statement is vacuous, but pointing out that several things about Trump and the conditions he is rising to power in remind one of Hitler is valuable. American Muslims feel afraid right now. Trump’s rhetoric has spurred increased violence against them.
I compared what the party running for re-election in Canada did last election to the Nazis when they said they were going to introduce a snitch line for “barbaric cultural practices” (in the context of a broader anti-Muslim agenda). It also made me think of the USSR.
Labeling people rapists because of the immigration status sounds like a precursor to rounding them up, tracking people because you he believes their religion makes them terrorists sounds like a precursor to rounding them up. Building a wall makes it hard to not think of East/West Germany (though this would be more of a “Trump is Stalin” than “Trump is Hitler”). Compare to Hitler or not, there is a lot to suggest that Trump would be a dangerous leader.
Know Your Fascist Dictators
As long as we’re on to the subject of fascist dictators and Donald Trump being compared to Adolf Hitler in major urban newspapers, I thought I should speak up on behalf of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini as the true proto-Trump.
missing Salazar, Franco, Peron, and a bunch of others.
Trump is the next Berlusconi.
I agree. The problem is locating that dividing line.
We just spent 8 years with conservatives comparing Obama to Hitler (among other dictators), so I guess I’m prone to rolling my eyes now when I hear that comparison.
Corrupt, decadent, ridiculous. . . you may have something there.
But I can’t judge until I see Trump “bunga bunga.”
The trick here is that there’s no parallel in any meaningful sense between Obama and Hitler and never was. On the other hand, Trump not only has a number of parallels (and differences), but flipping kept a copy of Hitler’s My New Order by his bed. And many of the parallels are around things like demonizing/blaming religious and ethnic minorities for all our problems and promising to deal with the problem, declaring he’ll commit war crimes, egging on followers to physically assault minorities, etc. He’s not Hitler, but there are very serious, very troubling parallels between them, and I take no issue with mentioning this.