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Don the Con and Adolf Hitler: A Comparison

2017-10-11

Some people have said, “Donald J. Trump is just like Adolf Hitler” or words to that effect.  Despite the similarities, there are important differences that make his presidency vastly different from the reign of the Chancellor of Germany and Fuehrer of the Third Reich.  One non-trivial similarity is intentional: Don has been said to have studied Hitler’s speeches, collected in a book that was seen at Don’s bedside… a book that was conspicuous because there were no other books there.

What follows is partly derived from a just-finished reading of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William L. Shirer– a classic book of history by a journalist.

Anyone who listens to Don the Con speak can see the similarities: demagogic appeals, malignant narcissism, a tendency to lie without compunction, authoritarian tendencies.  Behind the scenes, too, Don and Adolf are doing the same things to their governments: taking over departments that nominally oversee human services and regulations and installing political commissars who exercise veto power over normal government functions.  There is also a striking similarity in that both are/were prone to attacks of hysterical anger and both had a worldview that didn’t comport with reality.

There are significant differences: for one, Don the Con is much older than Adolf.  Don didn’t show the drive and single-minded pursuit of political power that characterized Adolf, nor his psychotic hatred of Jews.  Nor does Don blatantly incite his followers to violence; his approach is more suggestive.  Don’s approval of white-supremacy demonstrators is partial and limited to saying that “some of them are fine people” although their response and approval of his regime is enthusiastic.

Don’s hatred of those who disapprove of him and his attempts to suppress dissent are further similarities to Adolf’s behavior.  But Don is not so loyal to those who cleave to him; he has repeatedly betrayed his acolytes who aren’t useful to him anymore.  Adolf was loyal to many of his most bloodthirsty supporters, although he ruthlessly dismissed and humiliated anyone who disagreed with him, like Don.

Some of the differences between the two are an artifact of their social/economic standing: Adolf Hitler came from a middle class family, and never held a full-time job other than as a volunteer soldier in war(he was seriously wounded in a gas attack in World War I.)    He was a committed fascist and Jew-hater as a teenager.  Immediately after WW I, Adolf began to support himself through donations to the Nazi party he created.   Don the Con was born into money and lived luxuriously all his life; although he went to “military school” he never served in his country’s armed forces.  Don’s early life showed no tendency for studying nor any philosophical leanings.  For Don, politics was an afterthought based on years of  building his ego with one casino, golf course, and luxury hotel (funded with laundered money) after another.

Although some of Don the Con’s supporters are obviously fascists, racists, or neo-Nazis, his approach is to appeal to the average Republican moron, and he is more of a kleptocratic demagogue than a fascist mastermind.  The dangers emanating from Don’s presidency are real, however,  and the risk of a complete corporate fascist takeover in America is acute.  Reagan’s claim that “government is not the solution, it is the problem” is  a self-fulfilling prophecy by Republicans bent on destruction, rather than a statement of established fact.

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