Comparing anyone to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini is fraught with danger and ridicule. At least Fifty million people died during the period leading up to and including World War II. Those were barbaric days when man descended into a very dark place in human history. So in most cases it is a bit of hyperbole to even attempt to compare anyone to Hitler.
Sinclair Lewis even wrote a play entitled ” It Can’t Happen Here.” The thinking being that the United States would be immune from any such attempts to bring a fascist and authoritarian rule to America. There have been warnings given over time to where it has been said that Fascism would come to America wrapped in a flag and holding a Bible. For many Americans born after World War II, the memory of what fascism is has been lost. It is important to remember that fascism is an authoritarian and nationalistic right wing system of government and societal organization.
But in all candor we need to compare and contrast the rise of Adolph Hitler and the emergence of Donald J. Trump as the President of the United States and see what if any similarities exist to warrant the fear that Trump might in fact be a fascist, authoritarian personality that might cause America to descend into a fascist state. Are we seeing the rise of Fascism in America?
How did the rise and victory of fascism occur in the Democratic State of Germany?
The Great Depression gave Adolph Hitler the opportunity to install a fascist state in Germany. The pain and misery that beset the German people was so great it is understandable that they turned to a man who gave the people simple answers and solutions to the problems that everyday Germans faced. Revolutionaries take advantage of difficult times and the difficulties give rise to opportunists who play on the misery of people. What was unique was that Hitler was determined to win by constitutional means, via the ballot box, which therefore gave Hitler credibility.
Hitler then convinced the majority of the German people that he alone could rescue Germany from their predicament.
After the German stock market crash, over 6 million people were out of work. The bread lines stretched for miles, and the factories were closed. Personal despair and the feeling of hopelessness were part of the every day emotions of the people. Hitler transformed these feelings into political support, which therefore fed into his own personal ambitions.
The people demanded a way out of their troubles. Millions of people wanted jobs, and those who had businesses needed help. Four million young people were thirsty for jobs as they came of age during these troubled times. The youth wanted a reason to hope for their futures.
Hitler promised to make Germany great again. He was going to give them their pride back, by repudiating the hated Versailles Treaty. He offered to end corruption and bring the money barons in line. He promised to give every German a job and therefore put food on their collective tables. He promised to give Germany what they wanted.
After the election of 1930, his party grew in popularity at a substantial clip. The earlier election saw his party garner around 810,00 votes. His party’s votes grew to 6.4 million.
His next task was to win over the capitalist world and to gain strength among the military if he was going to be the Fuehrer.
The rise of Trump has seen a similar pattern. In the post Great Recession world, many people have not seen their own situations improve economically. In a world which has seen the impact of globalization hit the middle class the hardest with manufacturing jobs suffering the most. Trump has promised to make America great again, and he has promised to bring back the jobs that have been lost. Will he succeed and can he succeed in bringing what for many is order out of chaos? Some Americans would probably like to be told what to do. It is easier that way, you are willing to do the unthinkable if you can improve your own lives financially. He feeds on greed and selfishness. He is relying on man’s natural wish to be led and to sacrifice common sense for the promise of money.
There are other huge similarities, in which both leaders, Hitler and Trump have made it clear that Germany and America are first with all else being second in order of priority. With such a degree of nationalism only the state matters. America first is the popular hymn of the day. Hitler and his henchmen, used symbolism as well, with the use of lights and other tools of propaganda being use to excite the masses to advance his cause. Everything German was to be exalted and praised.
For Germany, Hitler became their leader, their God. It is remains to be seen if Donald J. Trump can succeed and whether or not he can bring Fascism to America.