Between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler

America which prides herself as the world’s greatest and most enduring democracy has gone through many vicissitudes since her 1788 adoption of a constitution that ‘provides the world’s first formal blueprint for a modern democracy’, each time coming out re-invigorated. Last week’s failed coup attempt by President Trump, an American tragedy described by Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, as ‘deranged, unhinged and dangerous” was just one more test of its resilience.

The victory was not just on account of its strong institutions of democracy –political parties, independent judiciary, independent legislature, free press and virile civil society, all of which have come under severe attack during Trump’s last four years of inept leadership but more because of America’s political ethos which Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) in his “Democracy in America” identifies as the “instinctive adherence to equality and the totality of customs, values, principles, habits ,public opinion and beliefs” all of which celebrate the virtues of American system –stability and majoritarian rule.

Trump like Hitler emerged in 2016 brandishing in one hand the flag of 1865’s defeated 11 southern confederate states that plunged America into civil war to protest Abraham Lincoln anti-slavery policies, while selling an ideology of nationalism that promoted the interest of only the white to the detriment of others in a nation of immigrants. But his ‘politics of fear’ with a divisive battle cry of “let us take our country back” …”We’re going to make America great…” resonated well with the white supremacist movements and leaders including David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon. Trump, because of his politics of fear narrowly won the 2016 election by a razor-thin margin of 80,000 votes in swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin despite losing the popular votes by over three million to Hilary Clinton.

After four years of inept leadership, Trump’s politics of fear and appeal to base instincts failed him in 2020 with Biden defeating him with about 7million popular votes and 306 Electoral College votes to 232. Except Trump and his allies who lost 59 court cases before the electoral college vote last week, the election was adjudged free and fair by stakeholders including Vice President Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell, GOP senate majority leader.

However, following the decision of the two GOP leaders to uphold their allegiance to the American constitution during last week Electoral College vote certification, Trump decided to exploit the innermost fears of his threatened white supremacist base by inviting them to Washington for a “Save America March”. And lionizing them he had said “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol … you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

And as the mob descended on the Congress threatening to “hang Pence” and kill Pelosi, who along with other lawmakers were ferried to safety by the police, Trump reached out to his mob of protesters: “We will never give up. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore… We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” The attempted coup led to five deaths, with many others injured and the symbol of American democracy desecrated by a mob of criminals Trump celebrated with “we love you”.

With last week foiling of Trump’s coup, humanity was probably saved from a Third World war because Trump shares so many parallels with Adolph Hitler, the sick man of Europe, credited with the death of 75million people including 20million soldiers, 40million innocent civilians many of whom died as a result of massacres, genocides, mass bombings and starvation during World War II.

For instance, for Hitler, ‘democracy will in practice lead to the destruction of a people’s true value’. Therefore his strategy as expressed in his ‘Mein Kampf’ was to “destroy democracy with the weapons of democracy”. First acquire power through the democratic process and thereafter renounce participatory democracy. For Trump also, democracy is a means to an end. That explains his efforts at destroying institutions of democracy and his failed coup attempt. Like Hitler the quintessential anti-democrat, a “deranged, unhinged and dangerous” Trump was ready to foist his dangerous views and policies on America and the rest of the world.

Just as Hitler was egged on by sycophants and self-serving leaders who could not stand up for the truth, Trump for four years was also egged on by GOP’s self-serving leaders and Christian evangelicals who compromised their Christian values to support a manipulator, a serial liar and a tax dodger in the task of destroying American democratic ethos.

Like Hitler, Trump has no faith in political parties. Aping Hitler who used Nazism as springboard to take over power, Trump hijacked the Republican Party to secure the presidency and thereafter attacked its core values, replacing Republican Party with ‘Trumpism’, a euphemism for lies, corruption and deceit. Just as Hitler humiliated Nazis’ leaders, Trump humiliated GOP leaders starting with Speaker Paul Ryan who he denied a ticket to re-contest and now VP Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, GOP Senate majority leader and governors that chose to reject his creeping dictatorship.

Hitler had a ‘bastardisation’ policy for children born in Germany but of non-German parents. He believed they were inferior to German children and could not be given citizenship because citizenship was by blood of the Aryan race. Trump like Hitler is against the Fourteenth Amendment which confers citizenship on all children born in America. Trump has spent the last four years trying to deport such children. In 2017, more than 5,400 children of potential immigrants were detained and separated from their parents at the US –Mexico border by Trump. Currently, the parents of 628 children could not be found with a Chicago Tribune’s recent editorial accusing Trump’s officials of withholding critical contact information that could be used to locate their parents.

Just as it was during Hitler’s reign, Trump has been at war with the press in the last four years. If like Hitler, Trump has his way, the state should control the press and use it as instrument for propaganda. It is not for the less endowed Trump, the strong defence of the press by Thomas Jefferson, the American founding father and the principal author of American declaration of independence (1776) that “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter”.

And lastly, Trump like Hitler suffers from a delusion. His ‘I am the only one who can fix America’ …if Democrats win, America will be taken over by Antifa radicals’, ‘countless American lives have been lost because of failure to secure borders’, find parallel in Hitler’s delusion that he was ordained to protect the Aryan race. And just as Hitler blamed the Jews for most of the problems and evils in Germany as well as the world while his men embarked on genocide, Trump blames China and Europe for his ineffective repose to COVID-19 pandemic, banned citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen and later Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan Sudan and Tanzania with his Executive Order 13769 to protect America from foreign terrorist while domestic terrorism sponsored by his right wing supporters festered.

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