What Will It Take?

COURTESY OF LA REVIEW OF BOOKS

I’ve lost several fb friends and many followers here because of my relentless fixation on Trump’s autocratic aspirations and the similarities between his rise to power with Hitler’s.

I ain’t gonna lie to you — I’ve often in the past second-guessed myself and wondered if I, in fact, wasn’t just being too alarmist and snowflake-like in my regard for Trump and his rise to power like many have accused me of being.

But I stopped all that second-guessing and wondering long ago as the similarities in tactics between the two just keep getting more and more profound.

In a powerful, condemning, LARB essay, yet another Hitler historian, Ron Rosenbaum, comes out strong with the Trump/Hitler comparisons…

From the essay:

What I want to suggest is an actual comparison with Hitler that deserves thought. It’s what you might call the secret technique, a kind of rhetorical control that both Hitler and Trump used on their opponents, especially the media. And they’re not joking. If you’d received the threatening words and pictures I did during the campaign (one Tweet simply read “I gas Jews”), as did so many Jewish reporters and people of color, the sick bloodthirsty lust to terrify is unmistakably sincere. The playbook is Mein Kampf.

I mean… c’mon.

What in the heck will it take to make Trump’s radical supporters see the FACTS of history glaring at us straight in the face through the eyes of Trump?

There is so much to digest in the essay — how the Munich Post fought to the end to prevent the normalization of Hitler; how Hitler intentionally played the easy-to-dismiss Chaplinesque buffoon to facilitate his power grab; how he leveraged the extremists hate for the Jews to rally support and intimidate, and kill, his opponents; how Trump allegedly kept Hitler’s speeches by his bedside; and on and on.

Really, folks…

What will it take?

#resistrelentlessy

 

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14 Replies to “What Will It Take?”

  1. Kurt, you are telling it the way it is. Let’s not forget that Roy Cohn was Trump’s mentor, and we know what his history was. One of the problems is, as Santyana said, that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. We older ones who lived during WW11 have not forgotten, but no one listens to us simply because we are old. There was a time when elders received respect, but not any more. So, we cry into the wilderness. You, and other concerned younger citizens, have to march under the banner of Truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I understand your alarm. Everyone should be. I’m of the mind that the effort shouldn’t be to convince #45 supporters because they are the people who followed Hitler. Those who should be targeted are the “so called patriotic conservatives” who are silent in this moment when America needs them the most.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Unfortunately, they are much more difficult to target than the belligerent supporters.

      I’m surprised I’ve seen very little in the news or on social media of supporters coming out publicly to declare they’ve changed their minds.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true. His supporters seem to be either stuck in this alternate reality or to ashamed to admit their mistake. I heard a woman on a talk show say she voted for Trump but that doesn’t mean she supports him. Huh? This is a problem.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “What will it take?” Good question.

    Wish I knew. Both regarding Trump’s active supporters AND regarding those who recoil from looking like sore losers more than they recoil from the prospect of fascism behind a democratic facade. The parallels with Hitler’s rise keep getting worse, but many otherwise sensible people still advocate seeking common ground, waiting to see how the umpteenth incarnation of zombie economics works out, blah blah blah. While patience is often a virtue, waiting until it is too late is not.

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  4. I have to say that I have people in my extended circle that I know voted for Lord Dampnut and having talked to them, they *do* live in an alternate reality because they honestly don’t understand what the fuss is all about. They don’t know why everyone is frightened, they don’t understand what people are upset about, and they really and truly think that everyone is in a tizzy over nothing. To them, it’s just business as usual. If I try to explain it to them, they say that I’m exaggerating and even being hyperbolic about “everything”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And before anyone asks why I don’t cut them out of my life, I’ll say this now, I don’t cut people out of my life for having different political views (or religious views, &c….) if I did that, I’d be as bad as any other racist.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I tried to remain stoic after the election, trusting in our checks and balances to keep him from doing too much harm. However the longer it goes, the more apparent he and his supporters have no respect for checks and balances and will do whatever they can to circumvent them. It’s terrifying, and as you said, what will it take for people to open their eyes?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I share your concerns. People are not only ignorant of history but often choose to deny that they are susceptible to the same sort of mistakes. Watching Trump stir up his base is frightening, to say the least. I don’t necessarily believe that he has nefarious political motives so much as he’s obsessed with empowering the failing corporate state. Playing on ignorance and fear is just a tool. Hitler used it when he convinced the German people that Jews and Russians would destroy them and Trump is doing the same with immigrants and ISIS. Those of us who see it need to stay vigilant because half the population seems to be turning a blind eye in the hopes that they will somehow reap the benefits of this “New World.” I hope they wake up from the delusion before it’s too late.

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  7. What it will take is direct impact.

    Once something you relied on is gone, all this “stuff” becomes much more important. Until then, a lot of it doesn’t sound all that bad to people – because nothing in THEIR worlds has been rocked to the core. Yet.

    We are often a selfish lot.

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