They say that history repeats itself, and damned if it doesn’t. Events in an embittered and divided America that have given rise to Donald Trump are eerily similar to events in an embittered and divided Germany that gave rise to Adolf Hitler.
I realize that such comparisons are unpopular and almost always vociferously condemned as hyperbole. And I fully understand the very legitimate contention that Hitler represents a vile, extreme, and unique brand of evil that is beyond repetition. But these arguments fail to recognize that before Hitler could accomplish his evil, he had to acquire the power to do so. And to forget or ignore how he gained such power is to permit other evil people to gain it as well.
With that being said, let’s examine the similarities between the rise of Trump and Hitler. Trump personifies, as Hitler personified, a deranged, narcissistic megalomania. Both sought power through the same three means: blaming convenient scapegoats for their nations’ problems; exhorting emotion over logic, reason, and evidence; and exploiting the fanaticism this emotion generates to disseminate “great lies.” And both obtained power even though they were not supported by a majority of voters.
Both recognized that the greatest threat to the obsequious acceptance of great lies comes from academics, scientists, a free press, and those who dare to think and question. So it’s no surprise that Trump and his supporters have placed them under attack: government agencies are being censored when they do not mindlessly regurgitate Trump’s lies and fantasies; social justice programs are being threatened on college campuses; Trump’s version of Himmler, Steve Bannon, views the free press as the enemy; Trump’s von Ribbentrop, Nikki Haley, threatens foreign nations that fail to swear allegiance to Trump; Trump’s Goebbels, Sean Spicer, continues to spew mendacious propaganda regardless of the facts; Trump’s Eva Braun, Kellyanne Conway, works to create an alternate universe where truth and reality do not matter; and, much like the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, there is the Putin-Trump Pact.
So to the people of the United States, especially those who value their civil rights and liberties, be very afraid. For all that remains before these rights and liberties are taken away is the burning of the Reichstag, which will undoubtedly be a false-flag operation designed to look like an act of “terrorism” committed by a person or persons Trump is scapegoating.
And to the people of the world (especially those in Russia) beware: A new Operation Barbarossa may loom on the horizon.
Then, tragically, another sordid repetition of history will be complete.
David R. Hoffman