How Hitler (Trump) Won the 1933 (2016) Election

An American woman visits concentration camps in Germany to see where most of her grandmother’s family died. The tour guide insists that many of the German people at the time did not think Hitler would get so far and did not support him politically. To this, the American scoffs and refuses to believe such a thing. Only, it’s precisely how Donald Trump gets in power, too.

In 1933 (2016), Adolf Hitler (Donald Trump) ran in the federal election. He built a platform on fear after the first world war left Germany in a deep financial crisis (the 2008 recession). Hitler (Trump) wanted to cultivate that fear against other people to limit immigration, expunge non-citizens, and scapegoat the Jews (Muslim and Hispanic population).

He also wanted to get rid of welfare programs, or “income that does not arise from work.” In many ways, this is an ideal of the Republican party anyway that’s not all bad. Research studies support that welfare programs fail to help people out in the long run and cost a lot of money to maintain, but it’s a similarity none-the-less.

Trump supporters may claim that comparing Hitler to Trump is an unfair comparison, but the similarities go beyond poor hairstyle choices. The platform, attitude, and fear-mongering tactics are evident in both campaigns. In the 1920s and early 1930s, many people didn’t view Hitler as a threat, much the way the Republican party didn’t think Trump would get the nomination.

It appears that Trump will get elected into office in a similar manner. When former Republicans or independents say they’re not going to vote for Hilary Clinton, they’re essentially casting a vote for Donald Trump. As the 1933 election illustrates, having too many options leads to the seemingly most unlikely of outcomes.

In 1933 (2016), Adolf Hitler (Donald Trump) does not win the majority of the votes. He earns only 33.09% of the votes for the Nazi Party (Republican Party). This means that nearly 70% of people voted against Hitler. He became Germany’s national leader anyway, much like the modern day tour guide suggested.

Of the other votes, Otto Wels (Hilary Clinton) of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (Democratic Party) earned 20.43%. Ernst Thälmann (Gary Johnson) of the Communist Party (Libertarian Party) earned 16.86%. Ludwig Kaas (Jill Stein) of the Centre Party (Green Party) earned 11.93%. Alfred Hugenberg (Darrell Castle) of the German National People’s Party (Constitution Party) earned 8.34%. Heinrich Held of the Bavarian People’s Party earned 3.09% (voted for cartoon mouse or rabbit). Obviously, the parties don’t line up or the percentages, but it’s easy to see how this can get out of hand.

Whether you believe in “American Exceptionalism” or that America needs to change, the United States has a history of making terrible mistakes. We stole land from Native Americans, purchased slaves, put fellow Americans in internment camps, and forced young men to die fighting for wars they didn’t believe in. While we may have problems we need to overcome, hate, ambivalence, and wanting that “other” choice only leads to further mistakes.

America needs a strong leader capable of earning respect from other countries. If nothing else, we can agree that every other option on the ballot offers this. It takes a lot to get anything passed through the House and Congress. Odds are good that many of the programs and views of individual candidates will have little to do with actual laws getting passed. The candidate can, however, start wars, ruin international relations, and further injure the economy.

Before you cast your ballot this November for a 3rd party or that famous mouse, please consider how you’re really voting for Trump, much the way a vote for Ludwig Kaas was a vote for Hitler.