Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Comparing Trump to Hitler

I have heard people comparing Trump to Hitler at times lately, and recently responded to such claims on a post in Facebook.

Frankly, I have tired of the Hitler comparisons. Everyone that we do not like or agree with is Hitler. We forget, or gloss over the fact, that Hitler took absolute power over Germany within months, and then proceeded to build up a war machine, test the waters with the rest of the world while building up the military behind the scenes, passing all-encompassing racial laws within Germany to promote this idea of racial purity, then went ahead and took over numerous countries - Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Norway, Denmark, Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece, and much of northern Africa and the Soviet Union. He also exterminated millions of people with a bureaucratic machine, as extermination became a modern nation's official policy. Ultimately, the war that he started - which was the deadliest war in all of history to date - saw an estimated 50 million people dead.

However much we might not like someone we disagree with, that does not entitle us to making comparisons to such a man as that.

So, this is how I responded to the comparisons (admittedly, it was a bit long-winded):

Too many people are very quick to pull the trigger on Hitler comparisons. There seems to be a trend in the last couple of decades or so of comparing people to Hitler. Saddam was Hitler, George W. Bush was Hitler, Obama is Hitler. People make these irresponsible comparisons for political profit, but certainly not out of some historical knowledge to back their claims up. While I find Trump both ridiculous and despicable, I agree with Lenny in thinking that such comparisons are overblown. Let us not forget that Hitler advocated expansion to the East well before he ever took power. Hitler also became the leader of a political party because of his ability to generate unbelievable excitement with his speeches, and was known to stand silently at the podium for one full minute before beginning the speech. Imagine standing at a podium for one full minute while saying nothing - he was clearly very confident in himself! He made clear that he wanted to remilitarize, that he hated some other countries (Russia and France in particular), and that the Germans were the master race, and Jews were essentially subhuman. He was very clear on those points, whether or not he specifically mentioned extermination before taking power (although I also do not know if he ever did). Trump, to my knowledge, is simply making stupid comments off the cuff. He hardly seems to have a solid plan in place, let alone to have a very specific agenda, as Hitler and the Nazis did. Also, let us not forget that democracy in the United States is not quite yet dead, and is probably still stronger than it was with Weimar Germany, which was essentially imposed on the country, and thus very weak. So, while Trump may have xenophobic views, and is bringing the worst out of too many Americans (and it is shameful that so many seem to like the guy), the Hitler comparison is, quite frankly, way overblown and as predictable as it is tiresome. Hitler was Hitler, and he was unique in history specifically because there never has been anyone like him before, or since. As bad as Trump might be, Hitler he is not. Quite frankly, Hitler was smarter and craftier than Trump could ever be. Trump is, however, the symbol of everything that is wrong with this country today, being an ego-centrist rich prick, loud, and with a false sense of entitlement and a greatly  exaggerated sense of greatness. He rejects serious thinking on issues and favors quick opinions that generate attention that make for great soundbites for both those who love him and those who hate him.

1 comment:

  1. Agree completely. Trump sickens me, and is the quintessential "Ugly American". I obviously would never vote for him. But comparing him to Hitler is both stupid and irresponsible, because as you accurately point out doing so trivializes the incomprehensible horror of what he orchestrated. People that we both like - Jello Biafra springs to mind - have been known to resort to that. He, along with others who render themselves guilty of this, should know better.