A fair question to ask about me is “Who the Hell Am I for my views to be trusted by anyone when I state that Donald Trump is a ‘Hitler“ in the making?” While I could justify myself by presenting my curriculum vitae, such proffers have little meaning when you consider that George W. Bush was Governor of Texas and had degrees from Harvard and Yale. The only way for you to even give a little credence to my political judgment, is if you can see some indication that I’ve shown some insight over time. The following links will give you the many posts I’ve written on the subject of the similarities between Trump and Hitler Here and Also Here. Many though would dismiss my Trump=Hitler comparisons because of a popular meme that is known as:
“Godwin’s Law” which is: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches , that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.
That spurious “Law” has had such a reach that its’ connotations have kept many a commentator, or pundit from invoking a Trump=Hitler comparison for fear of ridicule. We even have this Huffpost article by a Jason Crotty from February 2016 criticizing anyone who would make the Trump=Hitler comparison: Comparing Trump to Hitler Is Worst Kind of Hate Speech I wonder how proud Mr. Crotty is of his article now? I see this refusal to acknowledge what is actually happening as a problem since every day, to my mind at least, our country is moving towards Fascism and that movement is specifically because we have a Trump Presidency. More than a year ago, way before Trump even received the Republican nomination, I wrote this piece on the speciousness of “Godwin’s Law” and the dangers of Donald Trump. Perhaps it might add to my credibility in tandem with the fact that we have so many more examples of where the Trump Administration is heading.
March 3, 2016
There is a problem with the oft-quoted “Godwin’s Law” which is: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches , that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.
Promulgated by American attorney and author Mike Godwin in 1990, Godwin’s law originally referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions. It is now applied to any threaded online discussion, such as Internet forums, chat rooms, and comment threads, as well as to speeches, articles, and other rhetoric.
In 2012, “Godwin’s law” became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. ”
The problem as I see it is that this meme has become merely another way of terming someone, or something, “politically correct”, thereby untrustworthy, or insincere. You will note that Donald Trump constantly uses the PC formulation as an explanation of his bombast and proudly asserts that he is not “politically correct”. Used in the wrong way the expression PC serves as a cover for all manner of bigotry and racial stereotyping. It serves as a rhetorical “get out of jail free” card for those engaging in bigoted bloviation and in that respect is there a more famous bigoted bloviator at the moment than Donald Trump? Back to Mike Godwin though: “Godwin has stated that he introduced Godwin’s law in 1990 as an experiment in memetics. Godwin’s law does not claim to articulate a fallacy; it is instead framed as a memetic tool to reduce the incidence of inappropriate hyperbolic comparisons. “Although deliberately framed as if it were a law of nature or of mathematics, its purpose has always been rhetorical and pedagogical: I wanted folks who glibly compared someone else to Hitler or to Nazis to think a bit harder about the Holocaust“, Godwin has written. In December 2015, Godwin cited several articles on Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump for their Nazi and Fascist comparisons.”
Notice the last sentence though where Mr. Godwin asserts that comparisons of Trump to NAZI’s, or Fascists are hyperbole. For those who weren’t aware, Godwin is an important cog in the wheel of the “R Street Institute”, which “is an American conservative and libertarian think tank headquartered Washington, D.C..” Godwin’s Law is but another version of clever usage by Republican/Conservatives of PC, as a way to deflect the fact that since the inception of Nixon’s Southern Strategy in 1968, the GOP has been the “Grand Old Party of Racism and Bigotry”. Well I am about to cross the line of Mr. Godwin’s phony law and show that Donald Trump is indeed aptly compared to the rise of Nazism in Germany and let me begin with the first New York Times article on that young, rising German politician Adolph Hitler.
If you follow this link you will come upon this article from the NY Times from November 21, 1922 titled: “New Popular Idol Rises in Bavaria” subtitled: “Hitler credited with extraordinary powers of swaying crowds to his will”. Since the article is in PDF format I can’t directly copy its words, but I can paraphrase them and you can go to the original to see if my paraphrasing is accurate. The meat of the article comes towards its climax, when while admitting that Hitler’s anti-semitism is virulent and violent, then goes on to say that ” several reliable, informed sources” tell the writer that Hitler’s anti-antisemitism was not as it seemed, but merely was being used as clever “bait” to catch masses of followers with a simplistic message, because the masses are simplistic people. It also quotes a “sophisticated politician” who credits Hitler with “political cleverness for laying emphasis and over emphasis on Anti-Semitism, because you can’t expect the masses to appreciate your finer real aims. You must feed the masses with cruder morsels and ideas like anti-semitism. It would be politically all wrong to tell them the truth about where you are really leading them”. The upshot is that Hitler was really a German Nationalist who sought to rebuild his country and make sure it regained its rightful place in the world.
Trump made headlines at the beginning of his campaign when he decried Latino immigration to the U.S. and characterized Mexican “illegals” as murderers, thieves and rapists of White woman. Trump then opined that we should not allow anyone of Islamic faith to visit the U.S. and further made the implication that we should look closely at any of our citizens who followed Islam. His rhetoric also was that of an American Nationalist, who was going to make our country great again and yes there were some who opined that Trump was merely using the anti-immigrant rhetoric as a means of rousing the base, when his real message was one of strengthening our country. Though Hitler and Trump came from far different backgrounds, their verbal crudity of speech, their use of stereotyping scapegoats and their messages of jingoistic nationalism seem frighteningly similar. Let’s look at some more examples, but first let’s understand how Trumps’ rise is directly attributable to our Mainstream Media making money on his controversial campaign.
Let’s look at the opinion of Leslie Moonves the Chairman and CEO of the CBS Television Network: “Leslie Moonves can appreciate a Donald Trump candidacy. Not that the CBS executive chairman and CEO might vote for the Republican presidential frontrunner, but he likes the ad money Trump and his competitors are bringing to the network.
“It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS,” he said of the presidential race.
Moonves called the campaign for president a “circus” full of “bomb throwing,” and he hopes it continues.
“Most of the ads are not about issues. They’re sort of like the debates,” he said.
“Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? … The money’s rolling in and this is fun,” he said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going,” said Moonves. “Donald’s place in this election is a good thing,” he said Monday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco. “There’s a lot of money in the marketplace,” the exec said of political advertising so far this presidential season.”
In the past, when it was a respected news outlet, CBS News was independent of the scrutiny of CBS Entertainment executives. It’s journalistic stars were of the likes of Edward R. Murrow, who had the courage to take on and bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy. During the Vietnam era, CBS’ Editor in Chief and Nightly News anchor, Walter Cronkite, had the courage to take on the President and present a true picture of the failure that was the Vietnam War. True Journalism no longer exists at the Major TV news sources, who all are making huge profits from the Trump Circus, because of greedy, cynical men like Les Moonves, who are overseeing network news. Moonves could care less about the fate of America, because he and his bosses are quite wealthy and feel they’re above the masses of Americans. In the end he is merely another “hollow man”, willing to make a buck without thought for the consequences of his actions. He and his cohort of top TV network executives, bear direct responsibility for the rise of American Fascist, Donald Trump. Am I violating the benighted Mr. Godwin’s “Law” yet?
At Salon.com chauncey DeVega writes: “Donald Trump is the preferred candidate of white supremacists. Online and in other spaces, they have anointed him their champion in the 2016 presidential race. When asked about this on CNN, Donald Trump deflected, bobbed, weaved and dissembled: “Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, OK?” Trump said. Trump was pressed three times on whether he’d distance himself from the Ku Klux Klan — but never mentioned the group in his answers.“I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists,” he said. “So I don’t know. I don’t know — did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists…” Despite what he said Sunday, Trump apparently did know Duke in 2000 — citing him, as well as Pat Buchanan and Lenora Fulani — in a statement that year explaining why he had decided to end his brief flirtation with a Reform Party presidential campaign. “The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep,” Trump said in a statement reported then by The New York Times. …After his appearance on “State of the Union,” Trump highlighted that Friday comment in a tweet, saying he does disavow Duke.”
DeVega goes on: “The facts are not always kind. In reality, the relationship between the Republican Party and white supremacy–and yes, the Ku Klux Klan–is much deeper and more problematic than the comments by .. other Republicans would suggest.” DeVega goes on to explain his meaning and states: “The post-civil rights era Republican Party is the United States’ largest white identity organization, one in which conservatism and racism are now one and the same thing.”
“In the 2012 election, 89 percent of Republican voters were white. While the Republican Party routinely anoints a professional “best black friend” (Herman Cain in 2012; Ben Carson in 2016; Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele in 2009) who serves in the role as human chaff to deflect charges of racism, non-whites are a minuscule part of the GOP’s electoral coalition and base. This is reflected by how Republican voters are much more likely to be racially resentful toward black Americans and also manifest what is known as “modern” or “symbolic racism.”
Even more troubling, research by Brown University political scientist Michael Tesler demonstrates that “old-fashioned racism” has actually increased among Republican voters since the election of Barack Obama. Once thought to be a relative non-factor in contemporary politics, this, the more primitive and retrograde racism of Jim and Jane Crow America, is now such a potent force that it is directly correlated with party identification: individuals who are “old-fashioned racists” are more likely to support the Republican Party.
Since the end of the African-American civil rights movement, the electoral strategy of the Republican Party has relied on the use of racially coded appeals and “dog whistle” politics to win over white voters. This tactic — what would come to be known as the “Southern Strategy” — was outlined by Lee Atwater, mentor to Karl Rove, as:”
Lee Atwater’s Strategy:
“You start out in 1954 by saying, “N****r, n****r, n****r.” By 1968 you can’t say “n****r”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N****r, n****r.”
“Atwater’s approach for mobilizing white American voters has dominated Republican electoral strategy for at least four decades. It was the basis for Ronald Reagan’s “law and order” and black “welfare queen” narratives. George H.W. Bush summoned it with his Willie Horton, “black beast criminal rapist” campaign ad in 1988. The Southern Strategy was desperately deployed against the United States’ first black president, Barack Obama. From “birtherism” to claims that Obama is “traitor” who “hates Americans,” the rampant disrespect and obstructionism that Republicans have shown toward him, as well as the panoply of both overt and subtle racist attacks by conservatives against Obama’s person (and family) are all outgrowths of the Southern Strategy.
The Southern Strategy, with its mix of coded and overt anti-black and brown racism, is also a script that is closely adhered to by the broader right-wing news entertainment propaganda machine.
The Age of Obama also gave rise to the Tea Party movement. As an extreme wing within an already extremist and revanchist Republican Party, Tea Party members and their sympathizers were/are extremely hostile to Barack Obama and the symbolic power of a black man leading “their” White America. The Tea Party demand that “they want their country back” is both a direct claim of white privilege and constitutes a worldview where whiteness is taken to be synonymous with being a “real American.”
Researchers have also found that Tea Party membership and activity was a “racializing” experience for white people, which encouraged them to think in terms of white group interests. In all, the Tea Party and other right-wing organizations are ripe territory for converting white conservatives from being “modern racists” to a more “old-fashioned” type of racism and white supremacy.
Policies and outcomes are also an invaluable barometer for assessing the relationship between the Republican Party, racism and white supremacy. The modern Republican Party has consistently opposed civil rights protections for African-Americans and other people of color. The Republican Party in the Age of Obama has also undermined the won in blood and lives victories of the black freedom struggle and civil rights movement by gutting the Voting Rights Act and allowing states to put in place programs that deter civic participation by African-Americans, young people, the elderly and the poor. Many of the public policy goals advocated for (and advanced) by the contemporary Republican Party are racist and white supremacist both in terms of their disparate impact across the color line, as well as the malicious intent behind them.
One of the most fascinating stories in American political history is how the Republican Party, once the home of the “Great Emancipator” Abraham Lincoln, was able to “flip” the states of the former slaveholding Confederacy to their side. The Southern Strategy, hostility to African-Americans and the civil rights movement, a sophisticated right-wing media campaign, generational replacement, Christian Evangelicals and their investment in the Jim Crow order, abortion and “values voting” are all part of that story.
While little known, the relationship between the Ku Klux Klan and increasing support among white Southern voters for the Republican Party is also a critically important part of how the Republican Party won over the former Confederacy.”
Given this accurate history of the Republican Party dominating the South and becoming in fact the “White People’s Party”, I look in bemusement at all of the calls to “Stop Trump,” by his, primary opponents and by the Grandees of Republicanism. Why are they so upset with him and why do they view him as a danger, if in fact he is preaching to the same choir of White Christian America that they have preached to for the last forty years? The answer goes back to the Atwater strategy of subtly using a racist message, while doing it in coded terms, so that there was the patina of deniability of bigotry. At the same time of course, the coded message to the racists of White America came through loud and clear. Now it is also true that since the election of Barack Obama the racism of his opposition has become far more strident and far less subtle. That stridency and lack of subtlety, however, was fended off by charges of political correctness and its corollary Mike Godwin’s Law.
Trump has upset the apple-cart of the subtle racism that has provided the Republican Party with its’ power base since Richard Nixon’s election. He has in his wake energized the most disreputable elements of American Conservatism such as the Ku Klux Klan and the White Supremacist Movement. Trump has brought into the open naked hatred for Muslims, Latino’s and even now is also looking to demonize all people of color. Jews are even leaking into Donald’s targets and Jews are definitely targets of many Trump supporters. He has become a quintessential Fascist in the making and his technique is directly akin to the same messaging technique that Adolph Hitler used in his rise to power. If you think, as someone like Mike Godwin might think, that I’m being hyperbolic, let’s look at some of the evidence below.
“Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump often speaks as though he’d gladly punch a journalist if he could get away with it. And hell, maybe he could — in the eyes of his supporters, at least.
On Monday, a Secret Service agent was filmed choke-slamming a photographer at a Trump campaign rally in Radford, Virginia. Online, many were quick to claim that Christopher Morris, a photojournalist for Time magazine, was asking for it.
With much of Trump’s campaign revolving around his near-constant demonization of reporters, restrictions on the media and appeals to callous authoritarianism, perhaps this response shouldn’t be surprising. But it reflects an environment in which people feel comfortable saying it’s OK to use physical violence — and perhaps even violate someone’s rights — to put those who would challenge authority in their place.”
“Last week, voters across Vermont and Minnesota received robocalls from the white nationalist William Johnson, who has founded the American National Super PAC to support Donald Trump. “The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called racist,” Johnson said on the calls. “This is our mindset … It’s OK to give away our country for immigration, but don’t call me a racist. It’s OK that few schools anymore have beautiful white children as a majority, but don’t call me racist.” Others fear the taint of racism, Johnson said, but Trump does not. “Don’t vote for a Cuban, vote for Donald Trump,” his message concluded. He gave a phone number that listeners could call for more information.
Johnson is the chairman of the white supremacist American Freedom Party; according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, it was founded by a group of racist California skinheads in 2009. He has called for the deportation of Americans with any “ascertainable trace of Negro blood” or more than one-eighth “Mongolian, Asian, Asia Minor, Middle Eastern, Semitic, Near Eastern, American Indian, Malay or other non-European or non-white blood.” When he is not working toward creating what he calls “separate white ethno-states,” Johnson farms and practices corporate law in Southern California.”
“Donald Trump’s campaign is denying having told the Secret Service to remove 30 black students from a Monday rally they were attempting to attend quietly and peacefully, but Secret Service agents say they kicked out the students at Trump’s request. Either way, it’s disgusting: The sight of the students, who were visibly upset, being led outside by law enforcement officials created a stir at a university that was a whites-only campus until 1963.“We didn’t plan to do anything,” said a tearful Tahjila Davis, a 19-year-old mass media major, who was among the Valdosta State University students who was removed. “They said, ‘This is Trump’s property; it’s a private event.’ But I paid my tuition to be here.” […] “I don’t understand why they would do something like that,” Davis said. “I have not experienced any racism on this campus until now.”How’s that for a preview of President Trump’s America? He can bring new racism to a place that was whites-only until 1963.”
In the interest of brevity I’ll just list the 9 examples, but you can follow the link to see the documentation about each:
- The Justice Department sued his company — twice — for not renting to black people
- He refused to condemn the white supremacists who are campaigning for him
- He questions whether President Obama was born in the United States
- He treats racial groups as monoliths
- He trashed Native Americans, too
- He encouraged the mob justice that resulted in the wrongful imprisonment of the Central Park Five
- He condoned the beating of a Black Lives Matter protester
- He called supporters who beat up a homeless Latino man “passionate”
- He stereotyped Jews as good negotiators — and political masterminds
Then there is this sent to me by my friend and long time commenter Anonymously Yours:
Edwards talked to the real estate mogul’s eldest son and campaign surrogate, Donald Trump, Jr., last Saturday for his “pro-white” radio show, “The Political Cesspool.” Previous guests on the show have included Neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and Ku Klux Klan leaders.
Edwards heralded the 20-minute interview in a blog post flagged by Little Green Footballs, that boasted about his access inside a Trump rally in Memphis, Tennessee, last Saturday, where Edwards was broadcasting his show live. He said Trump’s campaign gave Edwards and his co-hosts full press credentials and “VIP” parking near the event.
“We’re watching history in the making,” Edwards said at the start of his three-hour broadcast from the press area of the Memphis Trump rally. “Donald Trump will be the first Republican nominee that I have ever voted for.”
Edwards said he and his co-hosts have attended three different Trump rallies in recent months: One in Illinois, one in Arkansas, and the rally in Memphis. With press credentials from Trump, the white supremacists feel “every bit as legit” as members of the traditional media, he added.”
Those who’ve followed my writings know that I’m concerned with what I see as the “Authoritarian Personality” which I first wrote about in
The author Professor Bob Altemeyer has spent his career studying the “Authoritarian Personality” and how this mindset affects the voting patterns in America. The post supplies a link where you can download the Professors detailed book and this is why Bob Altemeyer thinks you should read it:
“But why should you even bother reading this book? I would offer three reasons. First, if you are concerned about what has happened in America since a radical right-wing segment of the population began taking control of the government about a dozen years ago, I think you’ll find a lot in this book that says your fears are well founded. As many have pointed out, the Republic is once again passing through perilous times. The concept of a constitutional democracy has been under attack–and by the American government no less!
The second reason I can offer for reading what follows is that it is not chock full of opinions, but experimental evidence.
The last reason why you might be interested in the hereafter is that you might want more than just facts about authoritarians, but understanding and insight into why they act the way they do. Which is often mind-boggling. How can they revere those who gave their lives defending freedom and then support moves to take that freedom away? How can they go on believing things that have been disproved over and over again, and disbelieve things that are well established? How can they think they are the best people in the world, when so much of what they do ought to show them they are not? Why do their leaders so often turn out to be crooks and hypocrites? Why are both the followers and the leaders so aggressive that hostility is practically their trademark?”
The book “The Authoritarians” was written more than 8 years ago and yet it seems even more relevant today as an explanation of why Donald Trump seems poised to become the Republican Presidential Candidate. While the Professor’s book was the first I’d read in terms of the study of the “Authoritarian Personality”, the academic study of authoritarianism has been a fertile field. My last link of the day is from a VOX piece titled: “The Rise of American Authoritarianism”. “the GOP, by positioning itself as the party of traditional values and law and order, had unknowingly attracted what would turn out to be a vast and previously bipartisan population of Americans with authoritarian tendencies.
This trend had been accelerated in recent years by demographic and economic changes such as immigration, which “activated” authoritarian tendencies, leading many Americans to seek out a strongman leader who would preserve a status quo they feel is under threat and impose order on a world they perceive as increasingly alien.
These Americans with authoritarian views, they found, were sorting into the GOP, driving polarization. But they were also creating a divide within the party, at first latent, between traditional Republican voters and this group whose views were simultaneously less orthodox and, often, more extreme.”
An argument can be made that Germany was among the most stable, innovative and well educated Country’s over the 19th and early 20th Century. While it was a homogeneous nation ethnically, it was a cosmopolitan nation as well. The tradition in Germany though was an authoritarian one of follow the leader, who in the 19th and early 20th Centuries was a King called The Kaiser. He with the assistance of a wealthy Military elite, led the country and the good Germans followed these leaders into a disastrous World War I debacle, that left the country struggling. Germany became a country torn by strife between its Left Wing and its Right Wing. As pointed out in that NY Times article from 1922, into that maelstrom of political strife there arose a leader that appealed to the Authoritarian Personality. That leader, Adolph Hitler, used the scapegoating of Jews and Leftists, to arouse the German people, inculcate them with fear and distrust of a minority and eventually become Germany’s Supreme Leader. The authoritarian personalities following him ultimately followed him to their own ruin, but not before they followed him to perpetrate one of the great crimes of recent history.
I’ve provided evidence that Donald Trump is a “Hitlerian” copycat in methodology. He behaves as a Fascist, is Fascistic in his approach use violence against those he disagrees with and shows a Fascist’s disregard for any laws other than the use of naked aggression. Although Trump is to the “manor born” he presents a thuggish personality that seems to awe and appeal to those following him. Mr. Godwin can blow smoke out of his rear end as much as he’d like, but in his small way he is complicit in the rise of this NAZI-like figure. This is ironic because Godwin is himself Jewish. Also complicit is the Republican Party Establishment, which has played so long on the edge of racism and misogyny that it has finally teetered into the abyss. God Damn them all for what they have unleashed upon this country.