Can Trump Unleash America’s Inner Nazi?

Trump-KFC

A tweet from Donald Trump shows him feasting on Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Like many Jewish survivors of Germany’s Nazi period, my father didn’t like to talk about his experiences back then. But from a couple of conversations I had with him before he died in 1997, I extracted this story: In 1933, shortly after Adolph Hitler assumed power, my dad was rounded up and arrested. He’s not sure exactly how it happened, whether it was because he was Jewish, or at a gathering somehow identified as subversive or communist, but he was thrown into jail.

He didn’t sleep that night. Instead, he agonized about his plight, and concluded that the political situation in Germany would only worsen under Hitler, that the German people were becoming mesmerized by a maniac. There was no future for an ambitious 19-year-old Jew in this country.

Right then and there, in a dank jail cell, he decided he would depart his homeland, and leave his family behind. When he was released the next day, he followed through on his decision, and before 1933 was out, he was on his way to Palestine. He lived there until 1935, when he was able to gain admission to the U.S. under the strict immigration quotas of the time, to join his older brother, who had made a similar decision, and moved straight to the U.S. in 1934.

My father and uncle were anomalies of sorts, leaving Germany so early in Hitler’s reign. Most Jews, and many other thoughtful Germans as well, didn’t take Hitler seriously. They thought he was a passing fad, a bad joke, who would fade from the scene. Hitler would eventually implode and savvy Germans would come to their senses, and make this lunatic go away.

Other members of my family, among them my father’s parents and grandparents and my mother’s entire family (my parents’ families didn’t know each other in Germany), were among those hoping Hitler would go away. Of course, Germans didn’t come to their senses and Hitler did not go away. Many of these relatives just barely escaped, in the mid and late 1930s, but a few didn’t, as Hitler became ever more deranged and full of himself, and sucked the whole world into a war that killed more than 60 million people, including about six million Jews murdered by the Germans. (I researched the experiences of my mother’s family, in a book,  Inge: A Girl’s Journey Through Nazi Europe.)

What most of our country doesn’t appreciate is that the dye for the Holocaust and World War II was cast during those early years of the 1930s, when Hitler was going around saying the most outrageous and dishonest things about Germany’s politicians and judges and journalists and university professors and Jews. Even a prominent critic, like NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who laments in a column that American high school students have begun bullying Hispanic students, in Trump’s name, hedges: “We need not be apocalyptic about it. This is not Kristallnacht.” But Kristallnacht, the arrests and beatings of German Jews and the burning of Jewish businesses, happened nearly six years after Hitler maneuvered himself into power as Germany’s chancellor in early 1933.

What few appreciated, even at the time, is that Hitler didn’t play by the rules of tradition and constitutions and compromise in a democratic society. He not only had no respect for Germany’s established institutions and rules of governing, he was actually contemptuous of all of it.

Now, I’m not suggesting that Trump would unleash another Holocaust, or anything close to it. History doesn’t repeat itself literally. But similar themes do repeat themselves.

As our presidential race unfolds, I find myself increasingly obsessed with comparisons between Donald Trump’s 2015-16 rise to prominence and Hitler’s 1930-33 rise to power.

I may be one of the only bloggers around who hasn’t written something about Trump, probably because I have been spellbound by what has been unfolding. I have come to understand much better what my relatives in early 1930s Germany experienced,  the anxiety they felt, as I wait for Trump to implode, and go away, and for this political nightmare to end.

I watch him speak, and hear the contempt for our Constitution, for our judiciary, for war heroes, even for prominent members of his own party. More troubling, I see and hear my countrymen, thousands of them gathered together, cheering him on with calls of “Hang the bitch!” Even after he expresses admiration for the thug who runs Russia, and after he threatens assassination of his main opponent, they cheer him on.

A few weeks ago, I thought I might write something about how Trump, despite all his vitriol, at least respected healthy and organic food. Natural News has repeatedly highlighted this as a big reason it loves his bullying style. In 2015, even before he began racking up primary wins, there was this: “”The Donald”, as NaturalNews has reported is a consumer of organic food. His daughter, Ivanka, has said that the whole family consumes mostly fresh, organic meals which she often prepares herself. In addition, Trump’s children help oversee foods served at the family hotels – meals that include vegan, organic and gluten-free in-room dining choices. And when it can, the hotel chain obtains locally-grown organic foods as a way of giving back to the communities they serve. The family’s diet even has a name: The Trump Wellness Plan, which fits with Trump’s overall health and fitness lifestyle.”

But like so much of the Trump fairytale, Trump-as-supporter-of-real-food turns out to be a lie as well. Trump is a big lover of fast food—it’s not even something he tries to conceal, but rather is something he has long bragged about, according to a recent New York Times report. (The photo of Trump on this page is from one of his own tweets.) The reason? “Mr. Trump, who frets about germs and prizes cleanliness, also loves fast food because of its consistency and the promise, at least, of a basic level of hygiene. ‘One bad hamburger, you can destroy McDonald’s. One bad hamburger, you take Wendy’s and all these other places and they’re out of business,’ Mr. Trump told Mr. Cooper of CNN. “I’m a very clean person. I like cleanliness, and I think you’re better off going there than maybe someplace that you have no idea where the food’s coming from. It’s a certain standard.’ “

Yes, you sure know where the food is coming from at McDonald’s. Love those CAFOs. Whew!

Natural News, like so many other alienated parties, sees Trump through rose-colored glasses. Because he’s against the establishment, he must be great. Being against the establishment is one thing—Bernie Sanders railed against the establishment in rational terms, all the while being respectful of America’s Constitution and institutions.

No, Trump’s modus operandi is drawn straight from Hitler’s playbook—the bigger the lie, the more people will believe you. The Trump phenomenon has gotten me re-reading histories of that period, like the classic, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and newspaper assessments of Hitler. The NY Times in 1945 published an obituary of Hitler after he finally killed himself in a bunker to avoid being captured by the Allies, and here is the “playbook” it described:

*Portraying his country as being victimized by other countries:

“He went about making speeches bewailing the wrongs done to Germany….”

*Making grand promises to restore his country’s economic prominence:

“To the middle classes he promised relief from what he called the tyranny of big business, particularly the department stores, with which small tradesmen found it difficult to compete. He promised them that when in power he would dissolve the department stores and abolish all interest. To the workers he promised dissolution of the trusts. Neither of these promises was kept.”

*Zeroing in on scapegoats: 

“Added to his economic program, designed to appeal to the ruined middle-class elements, he put forward his slogans of extreme nationalism and racism–the union of all Germans on the basis of self-determination in a greater Germany.”

*Creating an aura of violence among his backers: 

“These (storm) troops acted as the Hitler police at public meetings and demonstrations, attacked Jews in the streets of Munich, broke up meetings of the opposition, staged street brawls with Communists and republicans, beat up leaders of other parties and, in general, conducted a reign of terror with which the authorities found it increasingly difficult to cope, in proportion as the political aspect of the Nazi movement gathered strength.”

*Treat the current rulers as fools and traitors: 

“With increased support from the army and industrialists, a gigantic propaganda machine was set up, which, backed by millions of throats, blared wild accusations in an unending stream against the Government and leaders of other parties. Men like Gustav Stresemann, to say nothing of Socialists and Democrats, were denounced as traitors and held up to public ignominy.”

*And, of course, the unending lies:

“ ‘By shrewd and constant application of propaganda, heaven can be presented to the people as hell and, vice versa, the wretchedest existence as a paradise,’ he wrote in ‘Mein Kampf.’ This contempt for the people and his unbounded capacity for hatred, which found expression in his merciless treatment of opponents and persecution of the Jews….”

Sound familiar?

What’s going on here?

Yes, there is lots of economic and political alienation in this country, and I have expressed my share on these pages. But it has been in the context of an assumption that our political and economic system remains flexible enough to shift and change, in the food arena and other areas.

The main reason I can think of that so many Americans have become infatuated by an authoritarian politician so at odds with American values and history is that we have had it too good politically for too long. We’ve so long been free to say what we wish about our leaders and their policies and have access to a reasonably free media and to go to court to get unjust laws reversed and have free elections for so long, we don’t know what it’s like to live in a country that has lost these rights.

It’s easy to argue that some of our rights have been under attack, or diluted, in the U.S. But compared with many other countries, they are very much intact. As just one example, we’ve seen just recently a number of federal courts reverse state actions to dilute voting rights.

Just as in early 1930s Germany, we are witness to prominent politicians and other leaders allying themselves with the bully—the governors of New Jersey (Chris Christie) and Indiana (Mike Pence), the former Speaker of the House (Newt Gingrich), and the former mayor of New York (Rudy Giuliani)—presumably in hopes of being appointed to powerful positions in a Trump administration. I never thought I’d say this, but the heroes thus far, to my mind, are the Republicans who have stood tall in condemnation of Trump’s racism and bullying. Mitt Romney, whom I considered an empty suit when he ran for president in 2012, has stood up to Trump, accurately labeled him a “fraud.” More recently, Susan Collins of Maine has condemned him, refused to endorse him.

But the ultimate “deciders” will be the American  people. The polls thus far suggest a clear majority turning from Trump. But there is considerable time to go, incidents for him to concoct and exploit. Moreover, a two or three percentage point win for Hillary Clinton may not make Trump go away, as it would any other traditional candidate. He spoke in advance of the Republican convention, when it looked like he might lose, of “riots” should he not be selected. He has spoken during the national election of the election being “rigged.”

It’s not difficult to see him challenging a loss in the courts, leading demonstrations, for years, hoping the threat of unending chaos gets him invited into government, or gets the military to help him. No, I’m afraid it will take an overwhelming loss, one so humiliating that he wouldn’t dare challenge the situation. Are Americans up to the task at hand? Or will they continue to be hypnotized by the promise of nirvana by a demented real estate developer?

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38 Comments on "Can Trump Unleash America’s Inner Nazi?"

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Mary McGonigle-Martin
Mary McGonigle-Martin
August 14, 2016 10:27 pm

Very well written David. Trump is scary and even scarier are the people who love him.

Shawna Barr
Shawna Barr
August 17, 2016 11:08 pm

Its encouraging to see that there are some things that was CAN agree on at TCP. 😉 #nevertrump

Mary McGonigle-Martin
Mary McGonigle-Martin
August 14, 2016 10:40 pm

Here is a sticker for the window of your car. https://stddonald.com/shop/

Bill Marler
August 15, 2016 12:19 am

We have disagreed on much over the years, but on this we are together my friend.

bless\'ed are the cheese makers
bless\'ed are the cheese makers
August 15, 2016 7:56 am
Please do not take this as defending Trump. However, look what we’ve got on the other side of the spectrum. One of the most corrupt, lying, treasonous hags who has ever run for public office and who thinks she is “entitled” to be the president. Why won’t the Clintons just go away? She just released her tax documents and it turns out about 10 percent of her “earnings” went to “charitable” organizations. Well, if you read the fine print, you find that 96 percent of her “charitable” donations went to the Clinton Foundation. What a hoax. If she’s elected, she will likely be in a position to appoint two to three supreme court justices. If that happens, we will likely see the end of any hope for a constitutional republic being restored as she will appoint one or more “progressive” judges who will take what’s left of the Bill of Rights and cast them into the fireplace. At the end of the day, if Mr. Gumpert is correct, here is our choice; An Adolf Hitler wannabe on one side and a proven Joseph Stalinist on the other. The moral to this story is clear. We must return to local control.… Read more »
Joe C.
Joe C.
August 15, 2016 8:37 am
I disagree with a few statements made in this article. First, Trump is not anti-constitutional. Some of his different plans he has such as his plans to raise tariffs on international imports, lower income taxes (which are not constitutional to begin with), having illegals deported from this country, etc. are all very constitutional. Second, when I look at someone like Hillary Clinton, I see someone who is much more dangerous than Donald Trump. I could easily see her putting more restrictions on freedom of speech, growing the FDA to be more powerful (which would lead to more restrictions on raw milk, make organic food more difficult to distribute, etc.), raising taxes which would make it more difficult on small family farms, etc. I see that Trump may have some issues, but he certainly doesn’t have the same kind of threat that Hillary Clinton has. When I think of what this blog stands for regarding raw milk and organic whole foods, I’m very surprised to see a post coming against Trump like this (and speaking well of Bernie, who basically has communist principles he follows) and not dealing with Hillary Clinton, who I see as our main threat right now. David… Read more »
Ken Conrad
Ken Conrad
August 15, 2016 9:02 am
Just as Napoleon, Trotsky/Lenin, and Hitler are a product of discontent with the rulers of the time…so is Trump. As I stated earlier, “I do not envy the American public’s choices for president. Having to choose between Hillary and Donald is inconceivable!” I agree with Ron Paul that all three parties represent “Poor Choices” — “We Really Do Not Have Democracy… Unless You’re A Billionaire” Despite our perceived freedoms, Politicians and the establishment in the US (and Canada) have demonstrated the utmost of contempt and disdain for the constitution, human rights/dignity and the economy. The American people are becoming increasingly fed up with that very contempt and disdain that Hilary Clinton so clearly epitomizes. Peter Kropotkin (1842-1941), Russian activist, scientist, and philosopher states that, “America” is an example of “how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society”. Is it indeed a surprise to see longstanding members of the conservative party lining up to support Hillary? It just goes to show, when it comes to the establishment, it doesn’t matter what ones political… Read more »
Gary
Gary
August 15, 2016 10:14 am

Ken: I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. We all thought our votes were counted locally, by public officials, but in truth, they haven’t the capacity. Vote tallying is farmed out to private firms; it is vanishingly easy to write vote-counting software capable of shifting an election (see blackboxvoting and the GEMS software), leaving not a trace behind. In 2004 the Ohio Secretary of State vowed he would see that Dubya won his state. The tabulation of the votes for the entire state was farmed out to a private firm. The “establishment,” or deep state candidate in this election is Hillary. The Clintons are very close to these folks (Kissinger, the Council on Foreign Relations). I suspect that, in some states, the Bernie vote was shifted to Hillary. I may, like I did in 1972, vote for nobody for president this year.

Mary McGonigle-Martin
Mary McGonigle-Martin
August 15, 2016 10:20 am

There are more than 2 choices for president. Gary Johnson is an option. You have two men who have been successful governors.

Amanda
Amanda
August 18, 2016 12:53 pm

Gary Johnson is who I’ll be voting for, and despite popular perception about votes being “wasted” on 3rd party candidates, he actually does have a chance at winning.

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/how-presidential-candidate-gary-johnson-could-ignite-a-constitutional-crisis-in-november/comments/#disqus

Julie Kowalski
August 15, 2016 10:57 am
I could not even read all of this article. I would like to share my thoughts, but I won’t. Here’s why. Many years ago I went through a powerful three day immersive simulation that was intended to help build community in the presence strong differences. The single, most captivating, most enlightening lesson from this mentally and emotionally grueling experience was this: Each of us has a trigger that, once its pushed, there is no ability to reason or rationally discuss the topic that triggered it. The part of your story that talked about your family’s experience during the worst of times was heartbreaking. I cannot imagine having that as a part of my family history. The part of your story where you draw parallels between Trump and Hitler is interesting on an intellectual level. The part where you present Trump’s positions and proclamations is more interpretative than factual. Unfortunately, this is often and unintended consequences when a person is careless with his tongue, lacks emotional intelligence, and often goes rogue, as Trump does. In my world, even carelessness, emotional volatility, and going rogue do not justify projecting our own thoughts, words or imagined intentions and onto another. As I said,… Read more »
Amy
Amy
August 15, 2016 11:56 am

I don’t see how a proclaimed socialist can have a deep love for the US Constitution. Those two just do not go together. I agree that Trump is a frightening possibility, but I truly believe he is LESS frightening than Hillary (see other comments). And he is also less frightening than a socialist. You cannot be a socialist and uphold the values in our Constitution. Please take note of all the other countries ruled by socialism …. Please show me the prosperous ones. It was not socialist values or ideologies that made America the great nation that helped win WWII, or that declared independence from England. And btw, I would love to see a review here of Joel Salatin’s impressive and relevant “hit-the-nail-on-the-head” new book, “The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs.”

Race
Race
August 15, 2016 12:02 pm

I like what Julian Assange said… “choosing between Trump and Clinton is the same as choosing between Cholera or syphilis ….” Not an exact quote but definitely the way I feel.

Sue Diederich
Sue Diederich
August 15, 2016 5:54 pm
My family on both sides came out of Europe during the first German persecutions and mass assassinations that wiped out the vast majority of the populations in the slavic countries. I will grant you, they continued under Hitler, but they started long before he did. David, I am glad your family was awake enough to get out and start over here, but I must say – we’ve been waiting for the Evil Dictator here since Shrub senior. Sooner or later that just might happen, that just might have to be what it takes to get the American people (not that we are even a majority here anymore – much thanks to Dem policy) to wake the hell up. There is no candidate in the presidential election (caps will return when respect for the office does). Neither prospect will speak truth. Neither will heal what has been broken. Neither will improve the country in any way. Both would profit personally on the already broken backs of the people – just as has every one of them since the first. Both lie. Both cheat. Both are thieves. That said, Trump may have indirectly caused a few deaths in his day, but never… Read more »
Kelley Eidem
August 16, 2016 12:42 am

Read about half way through thinking the author was talking about Obama and Hillary. Then the author said he’d heard Trump treating our military badly. OMG what a liar Mr. Gumpert is! Trump loves our military and has said nothing but wonderful things about the military.

Meanwhile, Hillary is well known for despising our military. So does Obama.

The article is shameful.

Jack
August 17, 2016 5:15 am

Some weeks ago, Trump said that he knows more about ISIS than the generals. Maybe his bone spurs were bothering him again.

Dairy Duchess
Dairy Duchess
August 17, 2016 3:19 am
David, I was beginning to wonder if this was click-bait, due to Trump and Nazi being in the same sentence. When your article was first published, I didn’t have time to read it, so I’m a little late to the party. Hildahag is the real criminal here, and there is much more at stake than the lesser of two evils, so why the hell would you, or anyone else even think of wanting her??? That Hag is the scary one to me. Bernie the Commie/Socialist, no thank you. I don’t think we’ll ever have an ‘ideal’ candidate, especially if you are one of those who believe that people aren’t elected, they are installed (HRC is one of those elites, whether you agree with it or not). I don’t know about you, but I do not favor a globalist agenda. Those people are THE control freaks on steroids. And, in case you haven’t seen it, Clinton Cash–the movie, is free on YouTube. Most of what is in there is something I’ve known about for a long time. That’s where you can follow the money, and it isn’t just the Clintons who were involved. I had to shake my head when I… Read more »
Jack
August 17, 2016 5:34 am

On August 23rd, the Washington Post will publish its book, “Trump Revealed.” While many dislike the Post’s leftist leanings, its integrity depends on the accuracy of its investigative reporting. The book’s research predates Trump’s near-daily, news-cycle trash talk; it thus provides much-needed depth by which to consider Trump’s character as revealed in his life’s work.

Amanda
Amanda
August 17, 2016 4:05 pm

I am voting for Gary Johnson, because his stances are in line with supporting freedom of choice and minimizing federal government interference… something that is important to all of us here. Clinton is a fan of GMO, Pharma, and forced vaccination. For that reason alone I would hope that you aren’t planning on voting her into office. It would be a real nightmare for the health / food rights community if she gets into office.

Nate
Nate
August 18, 2016 8:54 am

My only argument with your ideas on Trump is that they also apply to most of the political leaders these days. They are all very authoritarian both left and right. For a great book on that idea look here https://www.amazon.com/End-America-Letter-Warning-Patriot/dp/1933392797
The author talks about Bush/Cheney and how many of their actions mirror actions of histories dictators.

The main reason that I am a Trump supporter is because I look at who hates him. The media hates him and for that reason I am willing to vote for him. The media is a corrupt propaganda arm of the government and need to be destroyed. This has been the most enjoyable election in my lifetime, watching Trump play the media like a fiddle and they can’t resist reporting on him. This article details why most people are supporting Trump http://takimag.com/article/donald_you_ignorant_slut_joe_bob_briggs/print#axzz4Gffh64qT

Joseph
Joseph
August 21, 2016 5:39 pm

You are dillusional, you must be talking about HC asking the Chinese and Saudis for money through the Clinton Global initiative, the Clinton family fund and the new muslim extremist who will be her chief of staff. China is threatening the US in the south China sea over their created islands from dumped sand. Over 75% of Asian trading goes through the sea. Get a Clue!

mark mcafee
Mark Mcafee
August 22, 2016 1:35 am

Well done David…..

The list of words I could use to describe Trump is long and well….it is very long. Narcissistic, bully, arrogant, violent, traitor, ego centric, racist, greedy, uber nationalist, self centered capitalistic opportunist, “word whore” ( words and or the truth mean nothing to him….and he can’t speak in full sentences ) ….need I go on.

Scariest of all is that any American would listen to one word from this Hitlerish ass….or that the media would give him one minute of time. He is truly the worst of this world that somehow has appealed to the lowest levels of angry poorly educated inhumanity found in America.

Gordon Watson
Gordon Watson
August 22, 2016 7:12 pm

Mark McAffee = have you ever met Donald Trump, in person? I thought not. Then your impression of him is composed of half-truths and outright fabrications, funnelled-through the very same media outfalls, as have given REAL MILK such a bad rap. Consider the source : The apparatchik swine-class hates Trump because they realize what he says resonates with the core values of white Christian America. First and last, he’s a nationalist, while his opponents do their damnedest to deliver this nation over to one-world government. Which side of that equation are you on? He may be a demagogue, but he’s our demagogue. George Wallace was on his way to being President. It took a bullet to stop him. Is that what you prefer in this election? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree : Hilary Rodham sat at the feet of communist Saul Alinsky. Socialists like Alinsky and her are just communists without the guns

mark mcafee
Mark Mcafee
August 22, 2016 11:38 pm

Gordy…..just tellin the truth as I see it, hear it and smell it.
Another reason why I do not speak of religion, gun rights, or anything political when I speak about or teach about raw milk….gonna piss somebody off.

Love all, serve all and feed all is my motto. However….when it comes to Trump, I consider it my patriotic duty to assure that he does not get anywhere near the nuclear codes.

Diana Gumpert Douglas
Diana Gumpert Douglas
Today 9:53 am

I would suggest viewing the 60 minutes episode from August 13 on the Catholic Priest who is searching for mass graves in Eastern Europe from the Holocaust. We all have the capacity for
peace and to live peacefully together. I personally think that the United States is great. I have
freedom of speech (as I write). I have been able to pursue a new career later in life. I have the
hard won right to vote in an election ( as a woman). We have affordable health care. I can continue
for many words. I urge careful thought.

Gordon Watson
Gordon Watson
Today 2:30 pm
Diana Gumpert Douglas ? perhaps you meant to say the mass graves of the Ukrainians who were genocided in the Holomordr of 1932- 1933, as part of the genocide perpetrated by Stalin and his pals, liquidating their “class enemies” = the kulaks = White Christians who resisted collectivization? At the time, those atrocities were carefully hidden from the English-speaking countries, but, the Germans … only a couple hundred miles away = heard the rumours and took the threat of invasion by the Red Army, very seriously. Who can blame the government of the Third Reich for incarcerating anyone who sided with the enemy? We did it here in Canada/ the US. No doubt David Gumpert’s Dad – then 19 in Germany and a communist – had the sense to get out while he still could. >>>> For your further edification on this ( utmost controversial) topic – I recommend you read the record of the Zundel trial in the Supreme Court of Canada, 1985. My friend, lawyer Douglas Christie, cross-examined some of the experts on this topic. Put to the test in a court of law, the Zionists could not produce hard evidence of such “mass graves”. Perhaps they’ll be… Read more »
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