"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, January 2, 2023

Hitler, Trump, And Historical Ignorance–The Invidious Attempts To Compare The Two

A perfectly pleasant dinner party was ruined after one of the guests remarked how Donald Trump’s demagoguery regarding the troubles of January 6th was no different than Hitler’s incendiary call to the Brown Shirts, Storm Troopers, Gestapo and SS to arm for violent action.  The Thousand Year Reich said Hitler, was only possible in the hands of those who would stop at nothing to achieve it.

Adolf Hitler: This children's book features him among 'great leaders'

Hitler was an orator like no other, and his stage management in the hands of Albert Speer and Goering was nothing short of genius.  Since the spectacles of the Roman Coliseum, there was nothing to match his torchlight parades, massive flags, and impressive backdrops.  Thousands of Germans filled Alexander Platz roaring their approval of the Fuhrer, wild with anticipation, chanting in one, loud voice, the glory of Germany’s patriotic destiny.

The Nazi Rise to Power Through the Eyes of Sebastian Haffner

Hitler’s political machine was built to rule with absolute control, its cadres were the avant garde of the Nazi empire, and every corner of German life was filled with the ethos of Aryan superiority, Nazi supremacy, and German destiny.  There were no neighborhoods, communities, or households which dared to challenge the Reich, but as Hitler came to power and promised retribution for the humiliating punishments exacted at Versailles and the rise of a new, supreme, and glorious German nation, there were few dissenters.  The crowd at Hitler’s skillfully orchestrated nighttime events was a grand, unified, patriotic and militant one.

Of course there were pockets of dissenters, but they were quickly disbanded by the Gestapo.  No challenge to a cause so mighty, so universally important, and so insistently right could be tolerated; but in the main the German people saw in Hitler a hero who would rebuild Germany to its former glory, a great man standing on the rubble of the First War’s destruction and challenging all to recognize the Third Reich.

By the time of the first Anschluss into Austria and later incursions and into Poland and Czechoslovakia the German nation was united, strong, reconfigured as a militantly aggressive state.  Such a state was a decade in coming – from Hitler’s early rise to power in the 20s to his appointment as Chancellor in 1933 to his first military excursions beginning in 1938.  It was perhaps history’s purest example of the rise of a totalitarian state.

The circumstances of the Third Reich, not only the annexation of its neighbors but the persecution and eventual extermination of the Jews and the brutal war inflicted on Western Europe, are well-known history.  It was a unique, unconscionably brutal and murderous regime the likes of which Europe had never seen.  Territorial conquest was one thing, but the calculated, methodical, institutional genocide of the Jews was another altogether.  The Third Reich would not only conquer Europe but would purify it.  The Thousand Year Reich would be politically absolute and racially pure.

The attempts to compare Donald Trump with Adolph Hitler are ludicrous, uninformed, petty, and self-serving.  The assault on the Capitol, no matter how insidious and threatening, was no Anschluss, no well-planned first incursion as part of calculated, coordinated, well-managed attempt to overthrow the government and install a dictator in a new totalitarian regime.  It was vandalism, hoodlums on the loose, dressed in Halloween costumes out to show the country that even they – crazy, wild, untamed, political barbarians - mattered and meant something.  Even if they had the tacit support of Donald Trump, alleged but never proven, it would only have been an outrageous, unjustifiable support; and far from the active, involved, managerial support of a coup leader.

Donald Trump to sue Univision for dropping Miss USA pageant: lawyer |  Reuters.com

To even suggest that this wild, hairy, backwoods bunch of crackers, ne’er-do-wells, social misfits, and adolescent miscreants constituted anything like a coup – let alone an Anschluss orchestrated by a Hitler is absurd.

So why would this Northwest Washington matron, former Senior Vice President of an important K Street firm, nicely retired to book clubs, Sierra Club adventures, and a little painting even suggest such a thing?  Had she read no history? No accounts of the rise to power of Hitler and the Third Reich? No information about the planned, calculated barbarity of Hitler and his henchmen?

The answer is groupthink – the pervasive, insidious, infections spread of virulent anti-Trump hatred.  Trump from his very first foray into national politics had been branded by the Left as evil – not just a devious, dangerous politician who threatened the received wisdom of radical progressivism, but the Devil incarnate; a man of such an amoral, oppressive, hateful mentality that he could only exist beyond politics and in the Dark Realm.  Who but a man of evil could so hate women and black men? Attempt to turn back the clock to a day of pure whiteness, ignorant simplicity, and capitalist rule?

Animal Farm - Audiobook, by George Orwell | Chirp

From two years before the election, to his four years in office to the two since, the drumbeat of anti-Trump rhetoric – calumny, scurrilous personal attacks which would never be tolerated had been anyone other than a white man – has grown even louder. After so much time Trump haters and their progressive claques have automatically assumed that one man of evil, Donald Trump, could be of the same villainous character as another, Adolph Hitler. 

The dinner party guest said what she did with a knowing shaking of her head, assuming that the rest of the soiree would applaud her insights.  It was only because her remarks came after coffee and because she was a longtime colleague of the host’s wife did the host keep quiet – too much propriety in his upbringing to let politics be the ruin of a nice evening.

But seethe he did, not only at the absurdity of the claim but of the nonchalant assumption that everyone around the table was of like mind – who could not hate Donald Trump, be a partisan to the Utopian visions of the progressive Left? Who could not hate capitalism? Deify the black man? Understand the existential threat of global warming?  It was a community cabal of one-thought neighbors, no dissenters, discussions could start and end with one cause or another and a pat on the back.

The dinner host had thought he had heard it all – the most idiotic assumptions about Trump-caused disease, death, and disaster and the absurdity of a godless, treacly, engineered progressive social reform – but when the name of Hitler was raised, he knew that the depths of ignorance had no bottom.  Hitler, the name bandied around like ‘racist’, a catch all for political dopes who don’t get it and never will was the j’accuse of the most ignorant. 

He had agreed to his wife’s invitation to the Hitler woman for old times sake, refilling the social calendar after COVID, and showing off the new Jose Andres recipe; but never again. “Well, she has a right to her own opinion”, said his wife in a tepid justification of her colleague; but not in this case, he replied.  She is no different from the hairy crazies on their way up the steps of the Capitol on January 6th.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.