An age-old question is often asked — How did Adolf Hitler rise to power? How was he able to convince so many people to do such horrendous things? How on earth did he get people to like him and effectively get him into leadership?
The economy in the late 1920s became very turbulent worldwide. This was when the Great Depression occurred in the United States, but the ripple effect reached far and wide. Many became poor and destitute, and people were seeking a leader to help them in their time of need. And while political climates were similarly shaky in Germany, by 1932, a recently unknown party called the Nazis were somehow able to get 33 percent of the vote (a majority), and Hitler was then appointed head of the German government as chancellor.
The Nazi party and Hitler became wildly popular among German citizenry with the use of endless propaganda that included large amounts of money spent on campaigns filled with Nationalistic slogans. These campaigns were then dispersed via newspapers, posters, leaflets, etc. Anything, really, to rally support behind their lies.
Hitler wanted the nation to return to greatness and be a worldwide force to be reckoned with. And what greater way to rally support than by blaming a minority group for all the nation’s problems, in this case, Jewish individuals? It was an easy cop-out and shifted blame from leadership.
Hitler also started building a huge amount of national defense projects, and recruiting people to serve their nation. This, of course, made unemployment go down, and made Hitler look like an even bigger hero. All the while, he was using these people to push forth a plan that is one of the most devastating in the world’s history.
To combat his political rivals he had the Sturm Abteilung (SA), often called the “Brownshirts.” Their job was to go after all who disagreed with Hitler. Basically, he sent them to do his dirty work.
Hitler was also able to get the press to reveal him in only a positive light. Getting citizens to admire him for his wealth and prosperity, benefiting off a newly founded celebrity culture.
Now that you’ve read all that, let’s fast forward to today.
Many people will often compare politicians to Hitler, because really, who was more evil than a dictator who was steadfast on world domination, and killed off minorities just for the sake of his distaste for them?
However, watching how Donald Trump conducts himself, it’s becoming more and more apparent that he is using some of the same tactics in his quest for power in the United States.
Trump is a celebrity, and he is using that alongside his wealth and prosperity to catapult himself into the limelight, and people are falling for it. Nearly everything Trump has said is a lie. He is selling his supporters lies and propaganda over and over and over. He’s been using catchy slogans such as, “Make America Great Again.” A nationalistic cry that makes people long for an America that existed prior to equality and civil rights. What else could that slogan mean? Because if it means to bring us back from the economic despair of the Bush-era, President Obama has already made America great again.
When Trump decided he would start releasing people’s cell phone numbers, that wasn’t to be funny; those were direct attacks on his opposition. Much like Hitler sent out his Brownshirts to do his dirty work, Trump released phone numbers to his fire-breathing, already angry followers (otherwise known as trolls) to attack his opposition for him. And people did!
As far as the comparison that Trump hates minorities, well, that one should be the clearest comparison of all. He’s already said he’s going to deport all undocumented immigrants, and his clear disdain for the Latino community is disgusting at best. If his followers didn’t already hate Latinos, well, they certainly do now. He’s also put down Asians, African-Americans, women, and the gay community. People are even shouting “White Power” at his rallies, with white supremacists like David Duke rallying behind him.
Trump’s plans also include “building a wall” to help with the defense against people coming across the border, and this wall, this “beautiful” wall will keep out all the Mexican “rapists” and “drug dealers” and it will, of course, help keep and create jobs, or so he implies.
It was also recently revealed that Trump kept a book of Adolf Hitler’s speeches in his bedroom. And with the use of lies and fear tactics it is more than obvious that he’s taken a gander through the pages of that book.
Poynter.org, representing one of the leaders in global journalism, points out some very scary similarities:
Trump’s racist views and his misinformation legitimize those same ideas among a swath of American citizens who fear the changing demographics of the country. Rather than rolling our eyes, let’s take Donald Trump seriously. Treating him as a clown rather than a candidate gives him permission spew hate.[…]
Such speech is a classic ploy to sow divisiveness and generate fear. That his message finds a home at all should be alarming. It’s one thing argue about immigration policies. It’s a completely different thing to condemn an entire ethnic group. (Imagine if Trump were saying these things about Jews?)
And they are urging people not to just laugh Trump off as though he is not any sort of threat. Trump is also using the classic tactic of divide and conquer. He is drawing support from every and any side of the aisle with his scare tactics and bullshit propaganda.
Hitler was able to get people to blame minorities and despise the current government all while rallying behind him. Trump is doing the exact. same. thing.
The writing is on the wall. Let’s wake up before it’s too late. History can only repeat itself if we don’t learn from our mistakes.
Featured image: Gage Skidmore (flickr)