Trump no longer echoes Hitler; he channels him.
Bryan Zepp Jamieson
March 5th 2023
I guess it was only a matter of time before Trump started sounding like the Big Bad in a poorly translated anime series. The demagoguery and megalomania reached Hitlerian proportions at his speech at the lightly-attended CPAC convention last night.
“2016 habe ich erklärt: Ich bin deine Stimme, ich bin dein Krieger. Ich bin eure Gerechtigkeit. Und für diejenigen, denen Unrecht getan und betrogen wurde: Ich bin eure Vergeltung.”
OK, Hitler would have screamed it better. He was, after all, a superb orator, even if he did look goofy to non-German eyes. And of course Trump only has a fourth-grade level vocabulary in English; his German is probably limited to whatever he picked up from watching Hogan’s Heroes.
Granted, my own German is little better. I used translate.com above. What Donald actually screamed to his howling band of insurrectionists was “In 2016, I declared: I am your voice. Today, I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution,”
No historian is going to hear that and not immediately think something like, “Oh, holy fuck. If this maniac gets back in office, he’s going to get millions of people killed.” It comes as no surprise that in the past week followers of his have proposed exterminating gays and lesbians, executing doctors who provide gender ID therapy to anyone under 18, and banning opposition political parties.
And Donald wants retribution. Revenge against those forces, within and without, that have betrayed America. Hitler blamed Jews, labor, intellectuals, Communists, socialists, and the media for Germany losing the great war. Trump blames gays, Mexicans, Muslims and the media for him losing the election in 2020. And don’t kid yourself: in his narcissistic mind, him losing an election is as every bit a great tragedy as his nation losing a world war. Perhaps more, because he believes if he fails America will fall because it’s nothing without him.
He went on, “For seven years you and I have been engaged in an epic struggle to rescue our country from the people who hate it and want to absolutely destroy it. We are going to finish what we started. We started something that was a miracle. We’re going to complete the mission, we’re going to see this battle through to ultimate victory. We’re going to make America great again.”
If you read Hitler’s speeches given after his failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 and his ascendancy to power in 1933, you’ll see the same sort of verbiage and rhetorical flourishes. The German word for ‘struggle’ is kampf, as in Mein Kampf. Both had missions to make their country great again, including retribution, extermination, elimination of opposition, and throwing off the (imaginary) yoke of victimhood.
It gets worse: “With you at my side, we will demolish the deep state. We will expel the war mongers… We will drive out the globalists. We will cast out the communists. We will throw off the political class that hates our country … We will beat the Democrats. We will rout the fake news media. We will expose and appropriately deal with the RINOs. We will evict Joe Biden from the White House. And we will liberate America from these villains and scoundrels once and for all…We had a Republican party that was ruled by freaks, neocons, globalists, open border zealots and fools but we are never going back to the party of Paul Ryan, Karl Rove and Jeb Bush.”
The use of “globalists” is interesting. As the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt put it, “Where the term originates from is a reference to Jewish people who are seen as having allegiances not to their countries of origin like the United States, but to some global conspiracy.”
Trump went on, “And you’re going to have world war three, by the way. We’re going to have world war three if something doesn’t happen fast. I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent world war three.” Just like Hitler promised to avoid further wars and undo the damage of The Great War. And about as likely.
He then made the absurd promise, “Before I arrive in the Oval Office, I will have the disastrous war between Russia and Ukraine ended… I know what to say.” OK, so why doesn’t he say it? Even ignoring the hundreds of thousands of people who have died and the vast destruction, there’s the fact that his good buddy Putin has his tail stuck in a crack over this war he started, and if he wasn’t in that position, he would be much more likely to help Donald win like he did in 2016.
He finished with, “We have no choice, this is the final battle. If we don’t do this, our country will be lost forever.”
If he somehow crawls back into power, America will be lost forever, and I, along with most of you reading this, will be dead. Count on it. You can nearly see him building the death camps in his mind as he creates his vision of a Trumpian utopia in which white America takes over the world and only the evangelicals are permitted to vote.
He gave America a warning every bit as clear as the ones Hitler gave prior to 1933. And Germans at that time were better educated and more politically savvy than Americans are today. And still they fell to that madman. Can America do better?
One thing that might save us: Hitler was only 44 when he seized power. Trump will be 78 in 2024. And he’s clearly not in good shape. Nature, rather than resolve, may be what saves America in the end.