For Your “Trump is Hitler!” Relatives, a Dose of Reality

 

So, as many other Ricochetti, I have occasional interactions with family members and friends who are on the other side of the aisle politically and a discouragingly large number of these folks are afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome in one degree and form or another. One common form is TiH-mania, “Trump is Hitler”- mania. This is a particular form of psychotic break from reality in which the victim earnestly believes that Donald Trump is in no way to be distinguished from Adolf Hitler.

If you encounter such a person and you think the case is mild enough that the person in question may still be capable of rational thought and may still have contact with objective reality, you should ask that person these questions:

  1. Has Trump ordered the Majority Leaders of the House and Senate to dissolve Congress and replace it with an “Imperial Government of the People”? No? Then he’s not Hitler.
  2. Has he reinstituted the draft for all able-bodied, military-aged people? No? Then he’s not Hitler.
  3. Has he ordered the expansion of American “Lebensraum”- say, into Mexico or Quebec- and the “merciless” Americanisation of the native populaces there? No? Then he’s not Hitler.
  4. Has he placed all press and broadcast media directly under a censorship authority controlled by his party (not the federal government per se, but his party in fact and practical effect)? Has he effectively subjected all public comment on his administration to the veto of his agents? That is, has he placed the editors of the New York Times, the Nation, Slate, Salon, NBC, CBS, PBS, ABC and CNN directly under the authority of a law that will be enforced by Steve Bannon? No? Then he’s not Hitler.
  5. Has Donald Trump forbidden public demonstrations against his administration, policies or personal authority? No? Then he is not Hitler, not by a mile.
  6. Has he recruited 50,000 military aged men to serve as the backbone of an internal police force that will be tasked with beating, assaulting and terrorizing his political enemies in order to insure obedience to the state? No? Then Donald J. Trump is definitely not Adolf Hitler and for that matter he’s not even a minor-league Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez or Nicholas Maduro.
  7. Has Donald Trump secretly ordered his agents to set the Capitol building on fire and then blamed the Democrats for it? No? Then he’s not even an amateurish Hitler wanna-be.
  8. Has he ordered the Bill of Rights to be suspended? No? Has he even suggested that, as some Democrats were suggesting just last year (and the year before that … and the year before that), that the First Amendment in that Bill of Rights should be “re-examined” to allow laws making it illegal to criticize say, the lifestyles of certain politically protected classes of persons or certain politically fashionable ideas? Did his party even advance legislation to bring this about? No? Then he’s not Hitler. For that matter, he’s not even Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton.
  9. Has he dissolved the senates or other deliberative bodies of the several states and placed those state governments directly under the control of his administration? No? Then Donald Trump is most assuredly not Adolf Hitler.
  10. Has he set up anywhere any sort of concentration camp or mass-incarceration prison, say in Madison, Wisconsin, for the express purpose of imprisoning his political enemies? No? Then, good grief, the man is not even an Pol Pot, much less and Adolf Hitler!

I’m stopping the list here only because it covers the defining actions of Adolf Hitler in the first four to six weeks of assuming power. We will be a month into the Trump administration next week, and sane, rational people see nothing even faintly resembling these actions. “But he’s going after illegals!”, said an online interlocutor. “You mean like self-named “Deporter in Chief” Barack Obama?” was my reply. Like Jonah Goldberg, I find plenty to criticize in President Trump but at this time in his first term, I found plenty to criticize about George W. Bush as well. Does anybody else here remember that badly-handled incident with North Korea? In any case, comparing Trump to Hitler or any of the major or minor dictators of recent vintage- is about as thoroughly irrational as a political comparisons get.

There are 64 comments.

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  1. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    No scary moustache? Def not Hitler!

    First name Adolf? No? Again – not Hitler.

    • #1
  2. Patrick McClure Coolidge
    Patrick McClure
    @Patrickb63

    Has anyone told @richardepstein ?

     

    • #2
  3. Brian Wolf Coolidge
    Brian Wolf
    @BrianWolf

    Thinking there could even be a Hitler in America is pretty stupid.  We are not the Wiemar Republic.  Our institutions are stronger, our military has a radically different culture and our people are different.  Hitler would have just ended up in a jail cell in the US.  I have known a lot of veterans and I can’t imagine any of them thinking it was ok not to swear to defend the Constitution but instead swear obedience to a man.

    A wanna be dictator at their best in the US might manage to start a Civil War he would lose far more likely he would just be arrested and put in jail.  Fearing Hitler in America is foolish, think Trump is Hitler is stupid.

    • #3
  4. CM Member
    CM
    @CM

    Now the reincarnated Henry VIII, on the other hand…

    • #4
  5. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    CM (View Comment):
    Now the reincarnated Henry VIII, on the other hand…

    He’d need to have musical and poetic talents which are clearly not in evidence.

    • #5
  6. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    No but Obama was a lot like Mussolini just more subtle for a more complex and resistant country.   We’re already seeing  just how deeply he transformed the bureaucracy into good little fascists.

    • #6
  7. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    In the 1930s, was the opposition to Hitler encouraging Jews to move to Germany?  Because I sure see a lot of the anti-Trumpers doing their best to get Muslims in here.

    Which tells me they don’t really believe their own rhetoric.  Or, in my more cynical moments, that they actually hate Muslims even more than Trump (allegedly) does and are trying to gather them up for him to do his worst…

     

    • #7
  8. Patrick McClure Coolidge
    Patrick McClure
    @Patrickb63

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    CM (View Comment):
    Now the reincarnated Henry VIII, on the other hand…

    He’d need to have musical and poetic talents which are clearly not in evidence.

    And 3 more wives.

    • #8
  9. dittoheadadt Inactive
    dittoheadadt
    @dittoheadadt

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):
    Has anyone told @richardepstein ?

    You’re gonna get in TRUH-bul!

    • #9
  10. dittoheadadt Inactive
    dittoheadadt
    @dittoheadadt

    Yeah, well, Hitler DID say “See you in court!”

    No, wait – the exact opposite of that.

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I would reassure them that after having just survived 8 years of Hitler, that we’ll survive this, too.

    • #11
  12. CM Member
    CM
    @CM

    Patrick McClure (View Comment):

    Hartmann von Aue (View Comment):

    CM (View Comment):
    Now the reincarnated Henry VIII, on the other hand…

    He’d need to have musical and poetic talents which are clearly not in evidence.

    And 3 more wives.

    Lol. I wasn’t totally serious…

    • #12
  13. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Hartmann,

    Thank you for the rational perspective. Just attempting to look at words and narrative as is so common presently fails to give us anything but a momentary blip of light. Your post informs putting in rational perspective just what ‘like Hitler’ really means. Not only should this temper the rhetoric of extreme elements but it should raise the level of debate. Throwing around cheap stereotypes is not the productive debate that should be going on at University. If the productive debate is not going on then the debate requires disciplining not censorship & safe spaces.

    This is the kind of post that should be on main feed.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #13
  14. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    OK, but is he Caligula?

    • #14
  15. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    I Walton (View Comment):
    No but Obama was a lot like Mussolini just more subtle for a more complex and resistant country. We’re already seeing just how deeply he transformed the bureaucracy into good little fascists.

    And they STILL couldn’t make the trains run on time (or build a functioning website, for that matter.)

    • #15
  16. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):
    No but Obama was a lot like Mussolini just more subtle for a more complex and resistant country. We’re already seeing just how deeply he transformed the bureaucracy into good little fascists.

    And they STILL couldn’t make the trains run on time (or build a functioning website, for that matter.)

    The picture on the right looks like he’s smelling his own fart.

     

    • #16
  17. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):
    No but Obama was a lot like Mussolini just more subtle for a more complex and resistant country. We’re already seeing just how deeply he transformed the bureaucracy into good little fascists.

    And they STILL couldn’t make the trains run on time (or build a functioning website, for that matter.)

    The picture on the right looks like he’s smelling his own fart.

    That would make those that surrounded Obama the fart-sniffer’s throne-sniffers :)

    • #17
  18. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The problem with the list in the OP is that the Left looks at those things and says, “Not yet!” They believe Trump will become this, so it is hard to argue with them.

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Good post, Hartmann! Those who throw around the term Nazi are sloppy, ridiculous and hateful. Yup, that about covers it. As you point out, most of them don’t even know what Hitler did. Pathetic.

    • #19
  20. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    In all seriousness (really), how many of those items have parallels in today’s opposition to Trump, free speech, etc. etc.?  And in things that went on in the previous administration?  And in leaks that have to be coming from the executive branch establishment, and are blatant attempts to undermine the current president?

    • #20
  21. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    Can he be Hitler lite?  Buddy Hitler?

    The Hitlersteria has been fascinating.

    • #21
  22. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Scott Adams’ prediction is that by summer the Hitler claim will fade away and instead the drumbeat will be Trump’s incompetence (I’ve already seen a few examples of this shift)

    By late fall the drumbeat will be that he’s competent, but they don’t like what he’s doing.

    As for me? I have about $1,000 in bets out there. $100 even money with anyone who makes a ridiculous claim of what Trump will do.

    Legal immigrants who think they’re going to be deported, gays who think their  marriage will be desolved etc. I don’t have any bets with my Jewish friends – they are all nervous but can’t articulate why

    I offered a bet to @blueyeti that barring assasination or illness Trump would finish his first 4 year term but he says he doesn’t bet with “customers”.

    • #22
  23. Brian McMenomy Inactive
    Brian McMenomy
    @BrianMcMenomy

    Another thing to bring up is that every Republican president going back to Reagan (and maybe farther, to Nixon) has been compared to Hitler; how does it feel to repeat a tired trope that has been inane garbage for 40 years?

    Oh, and fascism is a problem of the left; much more a kissing cousin of Marxism than anything approaching American conservatism.

    • #23
  24. Josh Inactive
    Josh
    @Josh

    The big problem I have with those that would seek to paint Trump as the new Hitler is that they remove all grounds for legitimately criticizing something he does wrong. That, and the obvious fact that they minimize the evil done by Hitler & others like him whenever they seek to compare their actions with Trump’s. But seriously, it makes it increasingly difficult to point out the wrong done by any person in power when you bay at the moon about how they’re a nazi, fascist, etc. every time they do anything. You forfeit your credibility that way. You become the boy that cried wolf, and make it next to impossible to take you seriously ever again.

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Josh (View Comment):
    But seriously, it makes it increasingly difficult to point out the wrong done by any person in power when you bay at the moon about how they’re a nazi, fascist, etc. every time they do anything. You forfeit your credibility that way. You become the boy that cried wolf, and make it next to impossible to take you seriously ever again.

    I don’t think they care whether or not they’re taken seriously, Josh. That’s beside the point, unfortunately.

    • #25
  26. Patrick McClure Coolidge
    Patrick McClure
    @Patrickb63

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Can he be Hitler lite? Buddy Hitler?

    The Hitlersteria has been fascinating.

    Hitlysteria will make you swastika than a dog.

    • #26
  27. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Thanks for all the comments. I especially appreciated Josh, Susan and Brian and think Anne’s bet is probably right.

     

    • #27
  28. SecondBite Member
    SecondBite
    @SecondBite

    Look the other way.  Who is acting like Brownshirts?  Who launched a program of riot and intimidation after the election?  Who has been curtailing speech and demonizing all opposition?  None of it will get anywhere, but all the fascistic behavior is on the left.

    • #28
  29. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Good post, Hartmann! Those who throw around the term Nazi are sloppy, ridiculous and hateful. Yup, that about covers it. As you point out, most of them don’t even know what Hitler did. Pathetic.

    THIS. We all have family/friends who, outside of politics, are good people. However, it has become painful to watch them vomit all over social media like the evil spawn of Sarah Silverman and Michael Moore.

    It’s been said before but the greatest FB invention is the “unfollow’ button. Saving relationships one click at a time.

    • #29
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    SecondBite (View Comment):
    Look the other way. Who is acting like Brownshirts? Who launched a program of riot and intimidation after the election? Who has been curtailing speech and demonizing all opposition? None of it will get anywhere, but all the fascistic behavior is on the left.

    There are a couple of reasons we shouldn’t give serious answers to this namecalling.

    1. By doing so we’re legitimizing their behavior.
    2. We’re letting them put us on the defensive. We should instead ignore those accusations, but bring up legitimate comparisons between Obama/Clinton/et al and Hitler.  Don’t say, “But, but, but Hillary!”  That’s defensive. Just make the comparisons where they’re called for.
    3. Or, since they’re being silly, be silly back at them. But never, ever be defensive about it. Be mocking them.
    • #30
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