“The more unnatural anything is, the more it is capable of becoming the object of dismal admiration.”
— THOMAS PAINE
May 2024

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Sieg Heil?

So much is coming so fast it’s hard to keep track. Readers of this column already know of my disdain for Donald Trump. But I just dug out some work I circulated years ago, in March 2016, before this Common Sense series, before the U.S. Supreme Court lost its legitimacy, before the Capitol was attacked, indeed before most of what now mesmerizes us had occurred. It was before Donald Trump lost the popular vote in vote 2016 and 2020, the difference being his success in the electoral college in 2016.

Below are quotations I dug out eight years ago, pointing out the similarities between Hitler and Trump. In the years since, the similarities have proliferated. The German people did not see it coming either.

Hitler: All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people.

The doom of a nation can be averted only by a storm of flowing passion, but only those who are passionate themselves can arouse passion in others.

Trump: Without passion you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing.

Speeches are much easier if you read them. I just find when I do that, it’s harder to fire up the crowd.

Hitler: All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.

By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.

How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.

It is not truth that matters, but victory.

Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.

Trump: My whole life is about winning. I don’t lose often. I almost never lose.

People love me. And you know what, I have been very successful. Everybody loves me.

If you get good ratings, they’ll cover you even if you have nothing to say. It’s my life. It just continues to go forward from The Apprentice.

Hitler: If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.

The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.

The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.

Great liars are also great magicians.

Trump: You have to think anyway, so why not think big?

That’s one of the nice things. I mean, part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich. So if I need $600 million, I can put $600 million in myself. That’s a huge advantage. I must tell you, that’s a huge advantage.

I’ve got the hottest brand in the world.

I’m worth far too much money. I don’t need anybody’s money.

Hitler: Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future.

Hate is more lasting than dislike.

Strength lies not in defense but in attack.

Trump: There’s an old German proverb to the effect that “fear makes the wolf bigger than he is,” and that is true.

My motto is: Always get even. When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades.

When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.

Hitler: I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.

Who says I am not under the special protection of God?

Trump: I am your retribution.

Anyone who thinks my story is anywhere near over is sadly mistaken.

The last pre-war German election with multiple political parties was in 1932. Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 by appointment and no free and fair elections were held until after World War II.

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