Trump vs. Hitler

[copied from a facebook post]

I’m reading “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” right now, and with all the “Trump is literally Hitler” stuff going around, I thought I’d point out some of the salient differences

* When Hitler rose to power in 1933 he had a personal army in the form of the SA that was 20 times the size of the Wehrmacht.

* When Hitler was named chancellor the SA went on a rampage of brawls, street violence, and targeting attacks and intimidation. When Trump was elected riots and street violence erupted only from the anti-Trump side.

* Hitler operated in an environment of ambient and casual anti-semitism and racism. His rhetoric explicitly raised the hate to psychotic new heights. Trump operates in an environment of taboo against racism, and nibbles at the edges of the taboo with winks and nods.

* Hitler was a consistent ideological fanatic. Trump contradicts himself from sentence to sentence.

* Hitler always said he hated democracy, the republic, and peace. He said he would bring down the republic and replace it with a militaristic, expansionist authoritarian state. Trump says he loves democracy and wants an isolationist foreign policy, but he does sometimes display a disturbing distain for democratic and international norms.

* After the failed Putsch in 1923 Hitler organized the NSDAP into a state within a state, with a capable and ruthless internal bureaucracy that was able to sweep aside and replace the 
institutions of the republic at a moments notice. In 1933 they got their chance and did it. Trump apparently didn’t even know Obama’s White House staff was leaving office on the 20th and he had to make a bunch of hires to replace them.

* Hitler was a component, driven politician that raised himself from being a homeless vagabond to national power over 14 years of relentless effort. Trump is a hotel heir with a flair for self-promotion, who made himself a reality TV star; like Paris Hilton. He parlayed that celebrity into power in a year where many voters wanted change, any change, and the opposition was Hillary Clinton.

* The Weimar Republic was weak and dysfunctional and had little experience with democracy or internal norms and preferences for it. America’s democracy is old and strong.

Trump isn’t Hitler. He’s nothing like Hitler. He’s more like Berlusconi. Which is still quite bad, but like, get some perspective man.

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