Friday, November 18, 2016

No Similarity Whatsoever

In November, 1922, when Adolf Hitler had been Nazi party chairman for a little more than a year but had not yet gained much political power, the New York Times published an article which was re-released in February, 2015. It reported

But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler's anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.

A sophisticated politician credited Hitler with peculiar political cleverness for laying emphasis and over-emphasis on anti-Semitism, saying: "You can't expect the masses to understand or appreciate your finer real aims. You must feed the masses with cruder morsels and ideas like anti-Semitism. It would be politically all wrong to tell them the truth about where you really are leading them."

Noting that Snopes has confirmed publication of the story, Digby snarked "He (Donald Trump) was just playing a part, right? And even if wants to do the things he says he wants to do, he can't really do them. So relax folks. He's no worse than anyone else."

Really, though, there is little reason to accuse Donald Trump of being another Hitler, especially because his anti-Semitism is quite limited.   In July, his campaign re-tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton awash in dollar bills with the words "most corrupt candidate ever" within a Star of David. However, when it was identified as anti-Semitic, the campaign substituted a tweet with the same message inside a circle instead of within a Jewish star. Further, he does have a Jewish son-in-law married to a daughter who has converted to Judaism, which means little but which at least provides window dressing.

Moreover, Trump has attacked a Judge born in Indiana for being a "Mexican," suggested the possibility of shutting down mosques, maintained the Federal government must "secure and patrol" Muslim neighborhoods (as first proposed by Ted Cruz), falsely contended he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks, repeatedly raised the possibility of the President being a Muslim, suggested the possibility of detention camps for Muslim citizens as were used during World War II for Japanese-Americans, and of course, The Wall.  By contrast, the Nazis and Arab Muslims often collaborated with each other and there is no record of Adolf Hitler being particularly anti-hispanic.

Donald Trump was the most fervent birther, even claiming that he "would be revealing some interesting things," having sent an investigator to Kenya to research Barack Obama's birth. He re-tweeted inaccurate and scurrilous statistics wildly inflating the incidence of black-on-white crime, all the while aiming to stir up the emotions of supporters.  Similarly, he charged "our great African-American President hasn't exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and destroying Baltimore," as if there aren't white and hispanic thugs, street crimes elsewhere, and is not- as worded decades ago- "a credit to his race."

Mr. Trump at one time reportedly maintained "laziness is a trait in blacks" and during the campaign channeled slaveholders by pointing out "my African-American over here."  By contrast, Hitler's animus toward blacks was eclipsed by his hostility toward Jews.

The President-elect has criticized veterans with PTSD and demeaned American prisoners of war- such as John McCain- because "I like people who weren't captured." (Later, he bragged about the statement.)   This does not remind anyone of Adolf Hitler.

And women, of who he has said "you have to treat 'em like s_ _ _."   Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her whereever" and for Carly Fiorina "look at that face, would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next President?"    There were not four women who accused Adolf Hitler of assault or attempted assault, nor did he ever advise wealthy men to "grab them by the pussy. You can do anything." No, sir- there is no such record and no evidence Hitler ever did such things.

Some people have noted the similarity between Trump's "we're going to win so much" and Hitler's "Sieg Heil," translated as "hail victory." Nonetheless, the President-elect has never said "heil" anything.

The amateur anthropologist and head of the Third Reich branched out from genocide of Jews to oppression of other minorities, anyone he did not consider the "Aryan" ideal.  Donald Trump's anti-Semitism, though, is minimal compared to bias against other groups. He is no Hitler, and any such comparison is fallacious. Say that over and over again, and you may be as convinced as I that the President-elect doesn't believe any of the things he has said and done.

Share |

No comments:

Racism and Sexism Unnecessary

Jen Psaki, perhaps a living embodiment of the Peter Principle, once was a very good press secretary for President Joe Biden and now is a ve...