Is It Fair to Compare Donald Trump to Hitler?

I am the son of Holocaust survivors. I grew up listening to their stories of anguish and terror. For that reason, I have always abstained from casual use of the term “Nazi.” In fact, I find such casual use extraordinarily irresponsible, whether it be in the form of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi” or Rush Limbaugh’s “Femi-Nazi.” The first diminishes the seriousness of the meaning of “Nazi” for the sake of a laugh, the second for the sake of a vicious slur. Because I am so fussy about preserving the pristine terror of “Nazi,” I have refrained throughout my life from applying that term to any American politician. Not even Dick Cheney, a bloodthirsty unprincipled plutocrat.

A common trope in recent media commentaries has been to compare America to Germany in the 1930s. Only a few have overtly compared Donald Trump to Hitler. It seems, perhaps, too harsh, too demonizing, for thoughtful persons to say this.

I am a thoughtful person, and I am saying it. Sadly, the comparison is valid in several respects:

Hitler spewed racial and religious hatred to win supporters and gain power. That is Trump’s primary strategy to gain the presidency.

Hitler incited violence and relished the work of Nazi mobs. Listen to Trump inciting violence at his rallies—and offering to pay the legal fees of perpetrators. What Trump is doing could and should serve as the basis of felony charges against him.

Hitler employed what his communications mastermind Goebbels termed the “Big Lie.” If it’s big enough and repeated often enough and loudly, people will believe it. Trump has insisted that he doesn’t incite violence even though there is footage of his doing it several times. He has lied about his religion (serious Presbyterians don’t accept his claim to be a Presbyterian), his racism (disavowing the KKK after a sufficient pause to let the white supremacists know his hand was forced, for now), his business achievements (bankruptcies and fraud galore), and his suitability to be president (he claims he is).

Hitler created a militaristic Third Reich that would provide ‘living space’ for the German nation that had been hemmed in by the terms of the German surrender that ended World War One. Trump dreams of a Fortress America with a wall built and paid for by Mexicans and from which all Muslim refugees and immigrants are banned until they prove themselves worthy by standards that Trump promises to devise. Meanwhile, he seeks to inflame the passions of Islamic terrorists around the world when he speaks of killing them with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood. While Trump orates, the actual burden of fighting terrorism falls upon brave American servicemen and servicewomen (while Trump’s sons are busy shooting elephants and leopards on risk-free guided African safaris). Of the current world leaders, Trump has the highest praise for Vladimir Putin, with whom Trump says he would like to work together. Hitler and Stalin saw each other as mutually useful for a time as well, but alliances between leaders without conscience or character tend to go sour.

One last comparison. Hitler led his nation to military ruin. Check out what the REPUBLICAN National Security Committee has to say about Trump. Think of a world in which Trump bullies nations until the inevitable occurs.

Here is my collage portrait of Donald Trump reassuring his supporters that there is no problem with his penis. Please vote against him.