In Hitler’s footsteps: From Auschwitz to America

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By Perry Diaz

Little did Donald J. Trump realize that by preaching the gospel of hate, it would bring him to the pinnacle of power in America.  Or, could it be that he was aware that hate was what dictators use to achieve power and exercise total control over their people?  Take Adolf Hitler for one, who arguably was the most despicable of these tyrants who didn’t see any value on the human lives that he put to death.  In a short time, he systematically exterminated more than six million Jews during World War II.

Seven decades after the end of World War II, the specter of another Hitlerian era looms in America, right under the torch held high by Lady Liberty who keeps vigil at the Liberty Island in New York Harbor. But the threat to Americans’ freedom today does not come from without; it comes from within the tarnished soul of America, its purity poisoned by the promises of a snake oil salesman – Donald J. Trump — who lives not too far from where the vigilant Lady Liberty stands.

Hitler’s Germany

Two months from now, Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the U.S.  But his ascension to power is fraught with danger. For the fourth time in the history of the U.S., Trump won the electoral vote — and thus the presidency — although he lost the popular vote.  It’s a quirk in the U.S. electoral system, which is anachronistic and, in my opinion, should be reformed.  But that is not where the danger lies, it’s what Trump promised the American people, which many believe ran eerily in parallel to the pathway that Hitler took to achieve control of the political system of Germany. On that day, January 30, 1933, the German President Paul von Hindenburg named Hitler as Chancellor of Germany (equivalent to Prime Minister).

Hitler’s meteoric rise was spurred by the German people’s dissatisfaction with the economic conditions caused in large part to Germany’s defeat in World War I.  Hitler, a fiery and charismatic speaker, took advantage of the German people’s discontent with their government and directed their anger at Germany’s Jewish community whom he blamed for all the malaise and suffering of Germany’s majority “Aryan” race.

Hitler’s emergence as Germany’s undisputed leader marked a pivotal turning point for Germany… and ultimately, the world.  He immediately expanded the state police – the Gestapo – and put Hermann Goring in charge over it.     

Trump’s America

With the succession of Trump to the presidency, it’s déjà vu all over again or so it seems.  There are uncanny similarities between Trump and Hitler.  Take for instance, Trump’s favorite slogan.  On June 14, 2016, Trump greeted America’s Flag Day on his Twitter account with the words “AMERICA FIRST!”  And throughout the campaign, Trump repeatedly said, “When I am president, it will always be America first.”  But while there is no doubt – and it was an effective campaign slogan—that it was patriotic in every sense, what Trump had in mind was quite different when he said, “America first.”

That same day in Atlanta, Trump told the audience at a rally that his “America first” slogan was different from Ronald Reagan’s.  He defined it as the “America” he wants to put “first” by saying those who don’t properly belong in it.  “That definition does not include certain people of foreign descent born in the United States, who are to him still foreigners and whom he labels accordingly (in the past few weeks, Trump has referred to native-born Americans as ‘Mexican’ or ‘Afghan’).  It does not include Muslim residents, whom he would ‘certainly’ and ‘absolutely’ force to register their presence with the U.S. government (asked how this proposed policy differs from Nazi laws regarding Jews, Trump replied, ‘You tell me’).  Trump wants his exclusionary America to cower behind walls. He would erect metaphorical barriers against immigrants and exclude Muslims from entering the United States until they can be ‘properly and perfectly’ screened.” (Washington Post/Reuters)

Trump and Hitler

While Trump denied that he didn’t steal the “America First” slogan from Reagan, the provenance of “America First” is traced to the Nazi-friendly Americans in the 1930s.  “During the early 1930s,” the Washington Post article said, “as the Nazis consolidated control over Germany, the U.S. media baron William Randolph Hearst began touting the slogan ‘America First’ against President Franklin Roosevelt, whom he saw as dangerously likely to ‘allow the international bankers and the other big influences that have gambled with your prosperity to gamble with your politics.’ Hearst regarded Roosevelt’s New Deal as ‘un-American to the core’ and ‘more communistic than the communists’ — unlike Nazism, which he believed had won a great victory for ‘liberty-loving people’ everywhere in defeating communism.”

During the 2016 presidential campaign there were many published articles showing similarities between Hitler and Trump.  One article posted on the Nairaland Forum’s website shows uncanny similarities between Hitler and Trump, to wit:

Adolf Hitler:                                                                 Donald Trump:

  1. Used racism to rise to power. 1.  Uses racism to rise to power.
  1. Promised to make Germany              2.  Promises to make America

great again.                                                    great again.

  1. Anti-Jew Fascist.                                       3.  Anti-Muslim Fascist.
  1. Blamed Jews for Germany’s problems. 4.  Blames Muslims for U.S.’s problems.
  1. Forced Jews to wear special IDs. 5.  Wants Muslims to register.
  1. Proposed mass deportations.                  6.  Proposes mass deportation.

Transition period

With the transition period now in progress, Trump’s nominees to his national security team have raised eyebrows and created anxiety among libertarians.  With Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser, and Rep. Mike Pompeo as Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), there is a lot of apprehension about how they are going to implement Trump’s scary national security agenda.

Sessions as Attorney General will hold a key post in national security.  When Reagan nominated him to a federal judge in 1986, the Republican-controlled Senate rejected Sessions “out of concern” based on devastating testimony by former colleagues who accused him of being a racist.  The question is: Would the intervening 30 years change his racist past?

Trump’s nominee for National Security Adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was controversial in so many ways.  He was fired as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) under the Obama administration.  Accused of sexism and harboring anti-Muslim sentiments, Flynn believes that Islamist militancy poses an existential threat to the U.S.  The question is: Would his extremist views on Islam become the underlying motivation to require Muslim-Americans to register?

Trump’s nominee for Director of CIA, Rep. Mike Pompeo, lacks the experience to head the CIA.  He had been accused of being anti-Muslim and had participated in a “racist political campaign,” which makes one wonder if he’d inject racism in safeguarding the nation’s security?

With Trump’s national security team consisting of people with extremist views on race, sex, and national origin, is America going the way of Hitler’s Germany? And is Trump following in Hitler’s footsteps?  Are we seeing a pathway from the Auschwitz concentration camps to America’s walled bastion where Americans who don’t fit in Trump’s “America First” don’t belong in America?

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