POLITICS ELECTIONS AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNS: CANDIDATES : UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBERTARIANISM : RACISM : BIGOTRY : EXTREMISM : HATE GROUPS : INTOLERANCE : PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: NAMED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: DONALD TRUMP : BLATANT FALSEHOODS: SERIAL LIARS : FRAUD: How Hitlers Rise to Power Explains Why Republicans Accept Donald Trump

David P. Dillard
 

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POLITICS ELECTIONS AND ELECTION CAMPAIGNS: CANDIDATES :

UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY :

INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM :

LIBERTARIANISM :

RACISM :

BIGOTRY :

EXTREMISM :

HATE GROUPS :

INTOLERANCE :

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: NAMED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES: DONALD TRUMP :

BLATANT FALSEHOODS:

SERIAL LIARS :

FRAUD:

How Hitlers Rise to Power Explains Why Republicans Accept Donald Trump

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How Hitlers Rise to Power Explains Why Republicans Accept Donald Trump

By Jonathan Chait

New York News and Politics

Daily Intelligencer

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/ donald-trump-and-hitlers-rise-to-power.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/zcs6b8x

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To watch Donald Trump rant and rave uncontrollably on the stump and on Twitter praising Saddam Hussein for his disregard for civil liberties, insisting the anti-Semitic propaganda he inadvertently borrowed from neo-Nazis is as innocent as a Disney poster is to ponder the psychology of a party that would entrust supreme executive authority to a racist, nationalistic, power-worshiping demagogue.

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To be perfectly clear, Trump is not Hitler or a Nazi. Trumps racism is not of the genocidal variety, and he is committed neither to a program of Darwinian racial conquest nor the principled imposition of one-party rule. If President Trump does start a world war, it would probably be as a result of blundering rather than a long-term master plan. But the two figures do have certain traits in common relative to the political environments they inhabit.

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Like Hitler, Trump is a radical, authoritarian figure who lies outside the normal parameters of his countrys conservative governing class. Thus, there is a parallel between the two men's unexpected rise to power that is worth considering: Why would traditional conservatives willingly hand power to a figure so dangerous that he threatened their own political and economic interests? Why, having failed in their halfhearted efforts to nominate an alternative candidate during the primaries, dont they throw themselves behind a convention coup, a third-party candidacy, or defect outright to Hillary Clinton? Why do so many of them consider Trump the lesser rather than the greater evil?

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Hitlers Thirty Days to Power, by the historian Henry Ashby Turner, describes the political machinations that allowed Hitler to seize the chancellorship of Germany. (I stole the idea to read it from Matthew Yglesias, via Twitter.) In January 1933, the Nazi partys vote share had begun to decline, and its party was undergoing a serious internal crisis, with dues falling, members drifting off, and other leaders questioning Hitlers direction. A widely shared belief across the political spectrum at the time held that Hitler would not and could not win the chancellorship, because Germanys revered conservative president, Paul von Hindenburg, had long vowed to deny such a position to Hitler.

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snip

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All this is to say that German conservatives did not see Hitler as Hitler they saw Hitler as Trump. And the reasons they devised to overcome their qualms and accept him as the head of the government would ring familiar to followers of the 2016 campaign. They believed the responsibility of governing would tame Hitler, and that his beliefs were amorphous and could be shaped by advisers once in office. They respected his populist appeal and believed it could serve their own ends. (Hugenberg, writes Turner, recognized that [the Nazis] were far more successful than his party in mobilizing mass support and hoped to harness their movement to destroy the republic and establish a rightist authoritarian regime.) Their myopic concern with specifics of their policy agenda overcame their general sense of unease. (One right-wing landowner was hopeful of relief measures by a Hitler cabinet for the depressed agriculture of the east, and thus concluded the army and the forces of conservatism would suffice to prevent a one-party Nazi dictatorship.) Think of the supply-siders supporting Trump in the hope he can enact major tax cuts, or the social conservatives enthused about his list of potential judges, and youll have a picture of the thought process.


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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Comment to this Article

275 Comments

Laurika 11 hours ago

We don't need to be hypothetical about what Trump might do if he had the power. Look at his life-long pattern of vindictiveness, or cheating, harming or destroying those who criticize or defy him (like the unreasonable people who expected to get paid for their work for him, or have him honor the contracts he signed. Or the way he holds grudges, continuing to attack over even the most minor affronts, where any normal person would have let it go.) It's not hypothetical, he is already a tyrant who has proved he has no respect for honor, law, or the rights of others.

[The comments are well worth reading.]


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