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Mon Jun 20, 2016, 05:51 AM

If it talks like a Hitler and walks like a Hitler …





Sometimes we learn that the unthinkable is not

You can’t blame people who didn’t realize what Hitler was

But the rest of us have no excuse



Yes, Hitler.

Some of you questioned my evocation of history’s great villain in a recent column on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s surrender to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. I likened Ryan to Franz von Papen, a German politician who helped Adolf Hitler rise to power under the naive delusion that he could control him.

A handful of Trump fans found that. as one put it, “a bit of a stretch.” One guy expressed his skepticism through the time-honored expedient of the triple punctuation mark: “Hitler???”

Yes, Hitler.

Not that their dubiousness is unreasonable. In recent years, Hitler and the Holocaust have popped up in political debate as routinely as dandelions on the lawn. One man said having to tack a “No Smoking” sign on his building was like being a Jew forced to wear a yellow star; another claimed popular anger over the excesses of the rich was reminiscent of Kristallnacht.

Almost by definition, Hitler and Holocaust comparisons trivialize that era and reveal the ignorant insensitivity of those who make them. But the key word there is, almost.

Because for the record, I’m not the only one who sees the shadow of Germany in the 1930s over America in the 2010s. Once again, a clownish demagogue bestrides the political landscape, demonizing vulnerable peoples, bullying opponents, encouraging violence, offering simplistic, strongman solutions to difficult and complex problems, and men and women who bear more moral authority on this subject than I ever could see something chilling and familiar in him.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article84512862.html#storylink=cpy






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Reply If it talks like a Hitler and walks like a Hitler … (Original post)
DemocratSinceBirth Jun 2016 OP
pinboy3niner Jun 2016 #1
tblue37 Jun 2016 #2
PJMcK Jun 2016 #4
cali Jun 2016 #3
peacebird Jun 2016 #5
cali Jun 2016 #7
pampango Jun 2016 #12
DemocratSinceBirth Jun 2016 #8
cali Jun 2016 #9
DemocratSinceBirth Jun 2016 #19
cali Jun 2016 #20
DemocratSinceBirth Jun 2016 #21
cali Jun 2016 #23
gregcrawford Jun 2016 #11
cali Jun 2016 #13
DemocratSinceBirth Jun 2016 #15
gregcrawford Jun 2016 #25
SummerSnow Jun 2016 #6
Surya Gayatri Jun 2016 #10
unblock Jun 2016 #14
cali Jun 2016 #16
unblock Jun 2016 #18
HereSince1628 Jun 2016 #17
brer cat Jun 2016 #22
ProudProgressiveNow Jun 2016 #24
bravenak Jun 2016 #26
harrose Sep 2016 #27
DemocratSinceBirth Sep 2016 #28

Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 06:04 AM

1. That's heilarious

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 06:27 AM

2. Mussolini. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:04 AM

4. If Mr. Trump is Mussolini..

... then is Putin his Hitler?

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 06:30 AM

3. More and more people are beginning to understand why this

 

is a valid comparison. Last week I posted Benet's amazing Litany for Dictatorships. I've been posting some of EM Forster's incredible, prescient essays written in the 30s. I've written about Reck-Malleczwen's 'Diary of a Man in Despair'.

I have never before bluntly said that an American political figure in my lifetime, is in the same universe as Hitler. I have no problem saying it about Trump.

I was going to post this as an OP, but it fits well here:



Donald Trump is setting the wrong things free

Keel Hunt 6:41 p.m. CDT June 19, 2016

The Tennessean | 2016-06-19T06:05:35.6170000


Trump’s message and behavior are simplistic, crude, amateurish, childish. He seems not to grasp what the fuss is about.

In this past week of mass murder and meanness, we may actually have seen the beginning of the political end for Donald Trump, candidate for president.

Trump is not the man for this job, though he seems in no way to understand why, and that is part of the problem.

<snip>

The world learned this style, too late, in the 1930s. It didn’t help Trump, in my estimation, that when he kicked off his campaign a year ago, I was finishing Erik Larson’s "In the Garden of Beasts," the story of Hitler’s rise. All of it was fueled by ruthlessness and the stirring up of nativist fear.

Many regular German citizens, at first, were amused by the odd-looking man and his screaming. Politicians might have thwarted disaster by speaking up but didn’t. Then, in 1934, came the Rohm Putsch — the “Night of the Long Knives” — and the world went upside down.

<snip>

read:http://www.tennessean.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/06/19/donald-trump-setting-wrong-things-free/86002816/

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:30 AM

5. One must question why Hillary & Bill are friends with Trump if what you say is true.

I agree the act Donald is putting forth is heinous, my question is this: is it just an act? If it isn't then why ar the Clintons friends of his? He & Bill talked discussed Donald running before he got in the race.
I may not like the Clintons policies, but I dont think they would be friends with Hitler incarnate.

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Response to peacebird (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:37 AM

7. Hitler wasn't Hitler... until he was.

 

Trump shares characteristics of what EM Forster described caustically as "the great man". He was talking about a certain form of mind.

There are certainly commonalities between Trump and Hitler in the way they manipulate their audiences and in cadence and the whole call and response that goes on between Trump and his audience and that went on between Hitler and his audiences, particularly in the late 20s through the thirties.

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Response to cali (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:56 AM

12. Well said. "... the militant left decided that their real enemies were the moderate leftists ..."

At each step of the way, the shock was tempered by acceptance. It depended on conservatives pretending he wasn’t so bad, compared with the Communists, while at the same time the militant left decided that their real enemies were the moderate leftists, who were really indistinguishable from the Nazis. The radical progressives decided that there was no difference between the democratic left and the totalitarian right and that an explosion of institutions was exactly the most thrilling thing imaginable.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-dangerous-acceptance-of-donald-trump

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Response to peacebird (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:44 AM

8. The Clintons "befriended" the billionaire blowhard, not the wannabe authoritarian leader.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:45 AM

9. I think that's the best way to put it.

 

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Response to cali (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:29 AM

19. Before his presidential run Trump was what some folks would call a boor.

Mildly racist, mildly sexist, mildly bigoted, mildly misogynistic; not fundamentally different from what you would expect from a man of his age and social environment... Nothing you wouldn't hear in a men's locker room.

This election has revealed him to be a dangerous demagogue. Whether he believes the views he espouses, has suddenly become unhinged, or his doing it to garner votes is of no moment because he is espousing those views...

The Hitler charge might be a bit harsh but I have no problem comparing him to Batista, Somoza, Marcos, Rhee, Trujillo, Reza Pahlavi, Mubarak or any other third world authoritarian dictator.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #19)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:46 AM

20. i think you mean boor. And he was horrific years ago

 

My parents walked out of a Met dinner for Patrons of the museum because they were seated at a table with him back in the late eighties or early nineties. Now, I grant you that my mother was a terrible snob and my father had no patience for stupidity at all, but they said he was just appalling.

I doubt that the Clintons have ever been close with Donald Trump. They were using him. He was using them.

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Response to cali (Reply #20)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:53 AM

21. Thanx for the correction. That was embarrassing.

I think Bill was close to Donald in the way one celebrity is close to another.

I do think Trump is more authoritarian dictator wannabe than Hitler whose evil was sui generis.

Trump's contempt for democratic norms and the rule of law is what is frightening.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 09:02 AM

23. There are absolutely apt comparitive points between Hitler and Trump

 

particularly when it comes to the use of a certain kind of rhetoric. Hitler was sui generis and the epitome of the banality of evil. It's so rarely either/or. I believe that two seemingly contradictory truths can exist within the same frame. Call it the theory of apparent paradox.

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Response to peacebird (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:55 AM

11. 'Hitler" could be considered shorthand...

... for the system of government he espoused, namely corporatism, which was Mussolini's preferred description of his form of government, more commonly referred to as fascism. To suggest that the Clintons do not subscribe to the fundamental premise of corporatism – the collusion of Big Business and Big Government – is absurd on its face. So it ain't no big stretch for them to be buddy-buddy with an asinine clown who espouses the same things, albeit in an obscenely obnoxious manner. The mindset is no different; they just dress better, preferring Armani instead of childish uniforms.

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Response to gregcrawford (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:05 AM

13. hi greg. I think this is worthy of discussion and I disagree with you

 

not that the Clintons don't subscribe to the fundamental premise of corporatism- they do. But Hitler can never be shorthand for coporatism, because of the havoc he wreaked upon the world. In any case, I think there are substantial differences between HRC and Trump. The first and foremost being that he's insane in a very particular way. I think HRC is fundamentally sane. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think their utterances illustrate that divide.

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Response to gregcrawford (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:12 AM

15. "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.”

-George Orwell

National Socialism was about a lot more than the marriage between corporate and political power. By that narrow definition a lot of Republican and Democratic presidents were National Socialists.

The indispensable elements of National Socialism were a profound sense of grievance and dominance ripped away, a hyper emphasis on nationalism, a reverence for military power, and separating people into groups with some groups literally being unworthy of life itself ; Lebensunwertes Leben.

It wasn't Hitler's desire to marry corporate to political power that led him to liquidate six million of my co-religionists and throw four continents into war.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:14 PM

25. No, it was not Hitler's dedication to the marriage of corporate and political power...

... that ignited the Holocaust; That was born of the need to have someone to blame for the nation's ills, and Mr. Schickelgruber's innate malice toward Judaism.

But the collusion of Big Business and Big Government was exactly how Mussolini, the self-professed Father of Fascism, described his form of government. The point is, The Donald is emulating FAR too many of Hitler's rabble-rousing techniques NOT to draw parallels.

Fascism did not die at the end of WW II; there were thousands of prominent Americans who thought the economic premise of fascism was just swell, and far too many that shared his anti-Semitic views as well. The clever sociopath learns from past mistakes, which is why those who don't do their homework may fail to see the ominous similarities between the 20th century's most despicable monster, and the clownish imitation we now have to deal with.

For the record, I WILL support Hillary, though I was an ardent Bernie fan because I know the man, but Clinton's record cannot be refuted, nor can her husband's. Corporatism is thriving in the Land of Milk and Honey, where the street's are paved with gold, but only for a very select few. Corporatism is the most malignant social disease facing this nation, and if Bernie accomplished nothing else, he has forced Hillary to alter her course hard-a-port. (That's to the left for the nautically challenged.)

And for those sanctimonious (Insert preferred obscenity here) who said he did nothing as a congressman or as a senator, I would simply say I KNOW otherwise. Just because he didn't call a grandiose press conference every time he did something for vets, or anyone else, does NOT mean that he did nothing. He was looking to do good, not score points.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:30 AM

6. k and r 1,000,000 times. Spot on.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:50 AM

10. A particularly ugly and vicious fascist duck...scary as hell.

 

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:07 AM

14. people think hitler 1933 looked exactly like hitler 1945

as if killing 6 million jews was a campaign promise.

of course it wasn't. the hate hitler leveled toward jews at that point was on a par to what trump is dishing out. simply saying that jews weren't real germans and that real germans were better than those others that didn't belong. not far off from what trump says about, well, you name it.

note in particular that trump has lumped american born citizens in with the "other" groups -- he's done this at least with a judge and a terrorist, both natural-born american citizens, just because their family heritage was foreign, as if the same can't be said for many of us, drumpf included.

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Response to unblock (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:13 AM

16. Actually, it kinda was. I gather you haven't read mein kampf

 

Hitler was elected in 1933. Mein Kampf was first published in 1925. Now the citizenry may well have thought he was using hyperbole in Mein Kampf, but he was pretty fucking clear about advocating genocide.

<snip>

Historian Ian Kershaw points out that several passages in Mein Kampf are undeniably of a genocidal nature.[10] Hitler wrote "the nationalization of our masses will succeed only when, aside from all the positive struggle for the soul of our people, their international poisoners are exterminated"[11] and in another passage he suggested that "If at the beginning of the war and during the war twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the nation had been subjected to poison gas, such as had to be endured in the field by hundreds of thousands of our very best German workers of all classes and professions, then the sacrifice of millions at the front would not have been in vain."[12]

The racial laws to which Hitler referred resonate directly with his ideas in Mein Kampf. In his first edition of Mein Kampf, Hitler stated that the destruction of the weak and sick is far more humane than their protection. Apart from his allusion to humane treatment, Hitler saw a purpose in destroying "the weak" in order to provide the proper space and purity for the "strong".[13]

<snip>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mein_Kampf#Antisemitism

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Response to cali (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:24 AM

18. i was thinking of his 1933 campaign speeches

which, while full of hate and violent rhetoric were, afaik, less overt in terms of putting that into action, certainly on the scale of 6 million jews (not to mention 6 million more non-jews).

i don't know if he spoke directly about mein kampf in 1933, if he ignored it or distanced himself from it vaguely.

obviously he hadn't changed his views.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:19 AM

17. Well, then let's elect a Congress that won't pass The Enabling Act

Fear is not a policy plank in any political platform, no matter how often it is a tool of politics.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 08:58 AM

22. I hate seeing comparisons to Hitler

and the Holocaust because it does trivialize the genocides, the abject inhumanity of the Nazis. That said, Pitts' point in this column is spot on:
If one should never be too quick to make comparisons to Germany in the 1930s, is it not also important, on the rare occasions it is merited, to make sure one is not too slow?

One reason, after all, that no one saw Hitler for what he was is that people simply could not conceive of anything as preposterously monstrous as what eventually occurred. They took refuge in the assurance — the false assurance, as it turned out — that reason would eventually reassert itself.


It is not so much Trump that is the problem...it is his supporters. If he was elected (shudder!) he would give legitimacy to millions of our fellow citizens who believe that people of color are the root of all of America's problems, and they are demanding a "solution." How far would they go?

Thanks for the OP, DSB. Pitts is a thoughtful columnist who produces food for thought.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 09:12 AM

24. Wiki

Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen zu Köningen (German: [ˈfʁants fɔn ˈpaːpən] ( listen); 29 October 1879 – 2 May 1969) was a German nobleman, General Staff officer and politician. He served as Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and as Vice-Chancellor under Adolf Hitler in 1933–1934. He belonged to the group of close advisers to President Paul von Hindenburg in the late Weimar Republic. It was largely Papen, believing that Hitler could be controlled once he was in the government, who persuaded Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor in a cabinet not under Nazi Party domination. However, Papen and his allies were quickly marginalized by Hitler and he left the government after the Night of the Long Knives, during which some of his confidantes were killed by the Nazis.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_von_Papen

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2016, 07:25 PM

26. You got that right!

 

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Original post)

Sun Sep 18, 2016, 05:35 PM

27. Comparing Trump to Hitler is an insult to Hitler

Donald Trump possesses ten times the evilness that Adolf Hitler possessed. It's not even close. Heaven help us if he's elected.

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Response to harrose (Reply #27)

Sun Sep 18, 2016, 05:42 PM

28. God help us if you are right./nt

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