Today's NY Times book review [Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939, by Volker Ullrich]

Everyone should read today’s NY Times book review. It is a review of a bio of Hitler. Trump is not mentioned by name, nor should he be. But every other sentence of the description of the book under review is redolent of something we have seen. E.g.:

and last, but not least:

Think on that, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Pence, Mr. Christie, and all the rest of the idiots bellying up to Trump. And all you disaffected millenials who think to cast a protest vote.

Just to be clear, you’re saying that if Trump wins, the US will become Nazi Germany?

If not, what are you saying?

Here’s the missing link. (Pun intended)

SIEG HE…oops, I mean…HAIL TRUMP!

Not Nazi Germany. We’re on the wrong continent and don’t speak the language. But Fascist America doesn’t seem completely out of the realm of possibilities.

Nonsense. Hitler delivered on most of his promises.

Looks like SOMEONE has been michikokakutanied!

Of course, anything is possible. Can you outline how that happens?

For those who remember, we went thu with Bush, too.

President Trump wouldn’t have 1/2 the popular support of Hitler, and would be subject to checks and balances.

Checks and balances only work when they are enforced.
edited to add: and when the agencies behind them get the funding needed to do so.

It does seem to go out on a limn.

What do I mean? Reasonable question and I don’t have an answer. But the parallels are chilling. I know that the idiots in the Republican party think they can rein him in. I can only, if he wins, that they are right.

I am also reading Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here about a Huey Long type demagogue who wins the 1936 Dem nomination and the election and proceeds to institute a dictatorship by arresting the members of congress who don’t go along and putting the entire supreme court under house arrest. But–and this is clearly and important but–he had previously raised an army of brownshirts. And that is one thing Trump has not done.

I think Trump is dangerous, but I also think he is too feeble mentally to carry off anything like that. He would lose focus and interest.

You literally have so little hope that you couldn’t bring yourself to write “hope”.

“Ich wusste Adolph Hitler. Adolf Hitler war ein Freund von mir. Donald Trump, du bist kein Adolf Hitler.” -Ghost of Goebbels

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. – Karl Marx

It’s almost obvious that the review was written with the (conscious or unconscious) reference to the current elections.

And no, Trump cannot be another Hitler, and even not another Mussolini. History does not repeat like that. Also he doesn’t have The Stamina ©. But a majority of the American people (Trump + Bernie) want a real major overhaul of the country and the political system and HRC is boring them with facts.

Five reasons why Trump isn’t Hitler 2.0:

  1. Trump is utterly unfocused, scatterbrained and all over the place. Hitler, on the hand, was focused and knew what he wanted. Also, Hitler was far more intelligent than Trump.

  2. There has already been a Hitler, and people know history.

  3. Trump isn’t a warmonger or conqueror (except for talking about 'bombing the shit out of ISIS"); if anything, Trump is isolationist.

  4. There are numerous ways that a governmental system like the US would restrain or depose or obstruct a rogue president like Trump.

  5. Trump will never command anywhere near the support that Hitler had.

He is saying that Trump is a narcissistic, self-serving demagogue with many similarities to Hitler, and whose unlikely success has been driven, as Hitler’s was, by a disaffected populace unhappy with the status quo.

The fact that bigotry and other repellent viewpoints are front and center of the Trump platform and that he has the overt and enthusiastic support of white supremacists should be major red flags. So should the fact that his extreme aversion to criticism – the kind that has spawned a multitude of lawsuits by Trump against almost anyone who has ever opposed him – has driven him to suggest that if elected he will curb the freedom of the press to engage in such criticism.

The silliness and hyperbole of suggesting that Trump is the next Hitler and will turn the US into a replica of Nazi Germany should not obfuscate the fact that the man would, if elected, promote those repellent values. The actual threat to democracy is probably small although not non-existent – any democracy can be undermined and eventually destroyed by being chipped away one hammer-blow at a time, day after day and year after year. But the greater immediate threat that Trump poses is to the economy, to international relations, to social values and social stability, and to specific policy issues like immigration and race relations.

If you put all the “charismatic leaders” together, good and bad, it would be easy to come up with a list of common traits. That is not to say that Trump is good, but it is to say that common traits don’t mean all that much in telling you one way or another.

There is much to criticize Trump about. Trump is Trump, with not many redeeming features. Throwing “Hitler” in there is a good way of making sure most people will dismiss your criticism. And rightly so.