By Elizabeth White
President Donald Trump’s rise to power has many similarities to the rise of Adolf Hitler.
Jewish leaders are warning Americans, saying that they recognize “all too well the horrors of individuals using hate as a political platform and deploying language, implicit and explicit, that tears society apart,” according to Kira Goldenberg at The Guardian.
Hitler occasionally used the phrase, “make Germany great again” promising to bring Germany back to greatness. Trump’s slogan is similar, promising to “Make America Great Again”. Both have the same message and both leaders glorified the pasts of their respective countries.
Dr. Joseph Goebbels led The Nazi Propaganda Ministry which controlled all forms of communication in Germany, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“Viewpoints in any way threatening to Nazi beliefs or to the regime were censored or eliminated from all media,” according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Trump’s rhetoric also points to fascism, which is defined as “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism,” according to Dictionary.com.
Trump has also criticized the “dishonest” media, calling them “disgusting” and “scum”.
At a Texas rally in Feb. 2016, Trump said, “I’m going to open up our libel laws so when [journalists] write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” according to Mike Segar at Reuters.
On Trump’s first full day in office, he sent out Press Secretary Sean Spicer to reprimand reporters and claim that they had “deliberately misstated the size of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s inauguration on Friday in an attempt to sow divisions at a time when Mr. Trump was trying to unify the country, warning that the new administration would hold them to account,” according to Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Matthew Rosenberg of The New York Times.
These examples are not the first or last times he has tried to suppress and discredit the American media and raise a cause for concern.
In addition, in both eras there has been violation of human rights. In Germany, there were concentration camps where Jewish people were tortured, gassed and killed. In the present day, America is similarly ignoring “one of the greatest human rights crises of our time” by refusing to allow Syrian refugees to enter the country, according to Kira Goldenberg at The Guardian.
The refusal to allow goes directly against what America was founded upon. It is inscribed into the Statue of Liberty that welcomes immigrants into America: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” according to the National Park Services.
But perhaps the most alarming similarities come into play when looking at the strategies of Trump and Hitler.
Both used emotional strategies in order to evoke feelings of pride, fear and anger in their people. In Nazi Germany, Hitler’s crisis that he used to create paranoia was “the notion that the German people were facing cultural and perhaps racial extinction,” according to Nicholas O’Shaughnessy at Raw Story.
A tactic of the Nazis was scapegoating, which was used to “blame minority groups for policy failures and the weak economy” according to Sebastian Schutte of The Washington Post. “Hitler used the threat of terrorism and foreign aggression to justify sweeping autocratic policies.”
Trump instigated this paranoia by stating that immigrants are the reason that the American way is threatened, and that the country must be brought back to its prior greatness. He has also blamed foreigners for American’s problems, saying that they are taking away jobs and killing Americans.
Only time can tell what President Trump will do for America.