Comparison of Donald Trump and Hitler
October 15, 2018Godwin’s Law states “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” I will not trivialize Hitler in this essay, he was objectively one of the evilest people that has ever lived. Hitler among many other things was the mastermind behind mass genocide and used humans in some of the evilest experiments that have ever been conducted. As far as evidence is currently available, Trump has never killed anyone. Trump has never advocated for genocide either. We will compare their use of language, both of their respective governments, and Hitler’s use of special Id’s for Jews so they could be identified to the prospective use of the same on Muslims.
Trump’s language choice is often dehumanizing towards Muslims, or really anyone that isn’t white is a clear similarity to the early stages of Nazi rule when Hitler began demonizing the Jewish people.
We have people coming into the country or trying to come in and we’re stopping a lot of them but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy. Remarks by President Trump at a California Sanctuary State Roundtable www.whitehouse.gov
Dehumanization is the process of taking away positive human qualities from a person or group. Trump is saying that the immigrants coming into our countries are not people and are animals. He is attempting to strip away their humanity, perhaps his end goal is to scapegoat Muslims until the majority of us feel this way about Muslim people too. In 1919 Hitler for the first time responded to the then called Jewish question and described them as “race-tuberculosis of the people.” he then detailed his initial goal of the government to be discriminatory legislation against the Jewish people. Trump’s comments comparing Muslims to an animal, saying they are not human, and Hitler’s comments calling the Jewish people an infectious disease is very similar. Both of these statements aim to dehumanize and cause a rift between non-Muslims and Muslims. They want us to not be able to relate, to highlight our differences and none of our similarities. To make them less them humans in our mind, and those who are less than human, do not have human rights. Trump’s and Hitler’s degrading remarks towards these groups are similar because they both debase the respective group’s humanity and they aim to turn these groups into a scapegoat for all our problems. Trump borrows heavily from Hitler’s language choices and ideas towards Jews when referring those of the Muslim religion.
Fascism is often difficult to define as it can take many different forms. A few criteria that were particular to German Fascism during Hitler’s reign are an encouragement of violence, and the use of propaganda where political opponents are vilified. Part of Trump’s campaign from the beginning is he believes that a lot of the new we consume today is fake. That in itself is not a dangerous opinion but the extremely aggressive and venom laced language he uses towards newscasters may incite violence. In one particular instance on Twitter, the president remarked that Fake News stations were the “enemy” of the people. He continued that they “cause war” and are very “dangerous and sick.” In this scenario, the political opponents of trump are these so-called fake news stations. Saying comments like this without any evidence or root, in reality, is extremely dangerous. Say someone believes these comments, wouldn’t you want to commit violence against the enemies of the people? There have been more and more cases of journalists being attacked in our own country since Donald Trump has been elected. There was even a case at a rally at St. Louis in 2017 where police thew Journalists against walls, zip tied them and almost strangled one of them with the gas mask he was wearing. Hitler encouraged violence against the Jews now we are doing the same thing with Muslims and even Journalists. Hitler also put out propaganda to demonize his political opponents just like we are doing now against our journalists. We are still a Democracy and Donald Trump is not a fascist. Many Jewish people are speaking out saying Donald Trump is the least democratic president we’ve ever had. We are worried that the conditions being set today will eventually mature into a more fascist “democracy”.
In 1939 Germany began to issue special ID’s in the form of passports so that the Jewish community could be easily identified. Soon after all Jews were required to wear a star of David signifying that they were Jewish. Following speculation that Trump wanted Id’s for those of the Muslim religion, an interview was conducted in November of 2015 where Trump said he would not rule out any kind of special identification for the Muslim population. Let’s assume Trump wants to have special identification for the Muslim population and he was going to implement this. It’s really hard to discriminate any religion on a mass scale if you do not have an easily accessible way of identifying them. This was one of the problems Hitler faced. If you cannot identify them easily you run the risk of arresting the wrong people or entirely missing a large swath of the population. Whether or not we like the idea of this form of identification is irrelevant. It is self-evident that identifying a particular group in this way allows discrimination and perhaps even genocide on a massive scale. I do not say this word genocide easily or freely, I say it because I am deeply afraid that the actions of the past will be repeated. Whether it’s Hitler or Trump identifying a certain religion in this way we must be wary of what can happen.
There are plenty of Jewish people online and in the media saying they are fearful of the way Trump speaks because they remind them of a much more evil man. Trump is not Hitler. I am not fearful that Trump will commit genocide. I am fearful that the government that he has molded, and the dehumanizing ideas he throws out so freely may lead to the rise of someone, someday who does commit genocide. Even the idea of Identifying someone in a legal manner by their religion is terrifying. Rhetoric based on fear may be a powerful rallying force, but it leads to violence and hatred. My wish is one day that we won’t look at Muslim people and immediately think Terrorist. I want for a country that celebrates our differences and does not use them as a tool to divide us. I believe in a melting pot in the sense that everyone regardless of religion, sex, economic status, race, or sexual orientation can come together to make something that is so much greater than the sum of these individual parts. I don’t think Trump wants this and certainly, neither did Hitler.
- “Remarks by President Trump at a California Sanctuary State Roundtable.” The White House, The United States Government, 16 May 2018, www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-california-sanctuary-state-roundtable/.