Historian: Trump employs some of Hitler’s techniques

Historians in the News
tags: election 2016, Trump




... Like the Germans of the late-1920s and early 1930s, the American public is angry and frustrated with a national government that seems inept and out of touch. The middle and lower classes, which have suffered for years while the elite has prospered, has embraced a political novice who has never held a political office.

Eager to reverse the policies of the Obama administration, 17 candidates — all claiming to be conservative — sought the Republican party’s presidential nomination in 2016. Ironically, the candidate who has received the most votes thus far is Donald Trump, the least conservative of the 17 candidates. A further irony is that the richest of the candidates has become the spokesman for the disaffected classes. Trump has become the front-runner because he understood the anger and frustration of the American public, especially the middle and lower classes, and promised simple solutions. Like Hitler, Trump is an effective communicator who projects strength. The media loves him because he is newsworthy. At each debate, he was the center of attention. He draws large, enthusiastic crowds wherever he goes.

Trump’s policies, which have widespread appeal, cannot possibly accomplish what he promises. A recent article by Max Boot and Benn Steil in the Weekly Standard explains that his trade policies to stop “cheating” by foreign governments would raise prices and kill jobs; deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants would take 20 years and cost over $400 billion; the 1,000 mile wall on the Mexican border will cost over $40 billion; and his foreign policies, especially his admiration for Vladimir Putin, would be even more disastrous.

Thus far, none of his insulting remarks or flawed policies has dampened the ardor of his supporters. They simply ignore these realities. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie and other politicians have endorsed him, as have several evangelical leaders.

Hitler, who had never held political office, promised to revive German greatness with vague generalities and undefined policies. He became the most popular political leader in Germany. Donald Trump is not a replica of Hitler. He does not have a private army of brown-shirted thugs, but he has employed some of the same techniques that Hitler used. His promise to “Make America Great Again” with vague generalities and undefined policies has generated much popular support.

Many of the Germans did not know what kind of leader they were getting in Hitler. The frustrated Trump supporters, as gullible and naive as the Germans in Hitler’s day, do not know what kind of leader Donald Trump will be. He may prove to be a dynamic executive who solves America’s most pressing problems in an effective and legal manner. Or he may be an authoritarian who destroys our constitutional system of government.

As yet, no one really knows.




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