This Holocaust Remembrance Day, let’s STOP COMPARING DONALD TRUMP TO HITLER!
We keep doing this. Every politician that we don’t like is inevitably equated with Hitler. This reductio ad Hitlerum kind of minimizes the horribleness of what Hitler was, and I know Trump is pretty terrible, but he’s not Hitler.
I mean, sure, he galvanized his base by fomenting fear of a minority group wresting jobs from erstwhile hard working Americans, just like Hitler did in demonizing Jews, but still, Trump isn’t like Hitler.
And yes, he made it seem like Muslim immigrants were a threat to national security, even though Muslim immigrants were refugees of war themselves, which is something Hitler did to Eastern European immigrants just looking for work, but come on!
Yeah, he speaks of “religious freedom” as a cover to justify people discriminating against LGBTQ+ people, and Hitler DID use Christianity as a cudgel, even having “Gott mit uns” (“God with Us) emblazoned on Nazi uniform belts, but it’s not quite the same, right?
All right, He also signed an executive order to publish crimes committed by immigrants on a weekly basis, which is a policy that Nazi Germany did to make Jews look more prone to crime before floating the whole concentration camp thing, but that’s just coincidence!
Ok, ok, Trump keeps hammering at journalism, and keeps depicting media that says things he doesn’t like as purveyors of false propaganda, all while pushing his own false propaganda. And journalists who covered dissent during the inauguration were jailed and are facing felony charges. Hitler was a pro at false propaganda and silencing journalists he didn’t like, but that’s where the comparison ends!
Sure, you can point to all the times Trump outright lied to the media, or claimed something to be true even though evidence to the contrary is easily accessible and in before everyone’s eyes, or retweeted grotesquely racist charts to demonize others, and when he was questioned on it, he’d plead ignorance or or gloss over it or just not acknowledge said evidence. It is kind of like when Berlin hosted the Olympics, and Owens dominated, blowing away Hitler’s talk of white people being superior in every way, but come on! Trump hasn’t resided while there was an Olympic event yet!
Except…Trump’s administration DID put a gag order on the government’s scientists and government workers, ordering them to not tweet, publish reports, or talk to the public in any way without his administration’s review and approval, especially if their research goes against an idea that he has. As a practice, Nazi Germany silenced its scientists and thinkers quite brutally for the same reason. But, I mean, that can be seen in a LOT of countries!
So hate crimes spiked the day after the election, and throughout the year, hate crimes have gone up since his announcement that he was running. He has said that he would “restore law and order” by reinstating Stop and Frisk and using federal agents to take over a city. Yes, that is exactly like the type of rhetoric that Hitler used to justify over-policing Jewish neighborhoods and arresting non-whites and immigrants. But…but…
Shit…This isn’t looking good…
OK, maybe there ARE a lot of comparisons to Hitler that can be made, BUT…
What about all the times the American government demonized indigenous people, or Mexican immigrants, or WWI and WWII refugees, or Japanese people?
The Chinese were the first immigrants that were LEGALLY banned from entering the country, writ into law. In fact, add-ons were later put to bar Chinese people who LEFT the US temporarily to return. So families were split apart based on government xenophobia. China was not a military or terrorist threat in any way. The Chinese who came here just wanted to work and get attain a better life! Sound familiar?
Our economy was built on the backs of people who we constitutionally deemed inferior and prone to lechery and crime! Black people were treated like animals and forced to work and mate like workhorses, and thanks to them, we became a superpower. The side effect is that we’re stereotyped as lecherous war-beasts, regularly compared to gorillas, chimpanzees, and other dark colored animals who can kill humans. And if you were to believe Birth of a Nation (the rapey one, not the rapey one), you’d think that black people are going to corrupt every precious white woman and child and then take over the entire nation! Yes, Jewish people were depicted as controlling everything, because they usually administered banks, but that is because back in the day, Catholics were doctrinally prohibited from taking advantage of people from loans, and working at a bank was dangerously close to that! Remember Circle 7 of Dante’s Inferno, where the usurers were? So the Jews were demonized for doing work that others just would not do and then getting shit for it, something the US had been doing since even before we were the US.
Yes, Hitler was a master of propaganda that spewed lies throughout Germany and beyond, but we went into the Spanish-American War based on actual fake news! That was in the 1898. In fact, we made caricatures of nearly every single person who wasn’t white Anglo-Saxon Protestant. The “lazy Mexican” schtick was us. We also used fake news, propaganda, fake science, and twisted religion to excuse taking over Guam, the Philipines, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, yet still not afford them all the rights of American citizens, and we used doublespeak so that we can get away with not calling them what they are: colonies. But if we’re talking just war propaganda...
We used anti-Japanese propaganda to justify putting Japanese citizens in camps, and we used all sorts of pseudoscience justify forcing hard work on black slaves and Mexican workers, all while curtailing their freedom because they were “dangerous”. It helped to depict them as less-than human so that we could experiment on them without their permission.
We used twisted interpretations of religion to justify killing and/or forcibly relocating entire Native American nations, invading and burning down villages. We haven’t yet had a Kristalnacht moment under Trump, but we have plenty of times when invading Native homes and shipping them somewhere so that we could take over their land. “Ledernacht” predates Kristalnacht. Given that officials are bulldozing and burning tents and tipis at Standing Rock, we’re still doing it. The Germans stopped.
See? Trump isn’t like Hitler and Nazi Germany! Trump is just being American AF. America has just had more times that we were like Hitler and Nazi Germany than we care to admit! He’s making America “great” again by reliving the darkest stains in our history of treating people like shit...so the entire history of the US. So let’s stop pretending we were always angels!
…Let’s also use our energy to fight against this fucktrumpetry so that we can be even less like Nazi Germany or Old America than ever before.