Comparison between America’s president Donald Trump and Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler has been the bedrock of the anti-Trump movement since the beginning of his presidential campaign. At first, it seemed extreme to insinuate that Trump’s presidency would even come close to embodying the fascist strategies employed by Hitler to build the Third Reich. However, each moment spent under the current political climate is proving such scepticism wishful thinking. This paper will attempt to show the similarity between Donald Trump’s political strategies and the fascist ideology used by Hitler to build the Third Reich.
Similarities between Donald Trump’s Political Strategies and the Fascist Ideology Used by Hitler to Build the Third Reich
Donald Trump’s strategy of complete irresponsibility coupled with state-sanctioned propaganda to destroy the credibility of independent media houses is quite similar to Adolf Hitler’s idea of Lugenpresse. Hitler was particularly averse to anyone who attempted to impose any form of institutional or legal restrictions upon his authority. His propagandist idea of Lugenpresse (Lying press) was frequently used to attack news outlets that were still trying to report on facts in Nazi Germany.
This strategy is quite similar to Trump’s idea of “Fake News”. It is no secret that Trump’s presidency has been plagued by an array of controversial events, scandals and allegations of outright misconduct from the president. Trump himself maintains a strategy of complete irresponsibility. However, the problem with maintaining such innocence is that the world is full of facts. Hence Trump’s hostility towards Journalism.
Today in the United States, journalists who go the extra mile to seek truth and facts receive scathing indictments from the president himself. In the bizarre “Fake News Awards”, Donald Trump labelled news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC. The Washington Post, Time et al. excluding Fox News as the most dishonest and corrupt media houses. According to Trump, credible reports about Russian interference in the 2016 elections are the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. Furthermore, any attempt to initiate checks and balance upon the presidency has been viewed as disloyalty and met with severe criticism.
One of the most apparent strategies shared by Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump is scapegoating. In Nazi Germany, the Jews were blamed for Germany’s failing economy. At the top of Hitler’s ideology was restoring the Reich to great power and status coupled with complete racial domination. It was on this platform that Hitler gained the popularity. In the case of Trump, it was to “Make America Great Again” with immigration strategies aimed at protecting American workers and restoring safety and prosperity in America. They can only be accomplished through a “complete shutdown” of illegal and some legal immigration. Donald Trump’s desire for complete white domination may not be as open as Hitler’s. However, his negative portrayal of and policy decisions regarding non-white immigrants in the United States do embody fascist scapegoating strategies.
Though Trump may not be calculating enough to eliminate minorities form society as was the case in Nazi Germany, he has increased vetting and obstacles for legal immigration, enhance immigration enforcement and effectively put a stop to DACA. Behind these drastic strategies is Trumps’ idea that immigrants are responsible for all crime, drug trafficking and terrorist activity in the United States. In his speeches, Donald Trump is keen to focus on all the drawbacks that come with diversity. This aversion to the positive aspects of immigration is a testament to his desire to transform the United States into a homogenous society.
The defining hallmarks of Trump’s presidency bear close similarities with Hitler’s fascist ideology. This similarity is evident in the strategies he chooses to employ to achieve his goals and the propagandist slogans he uses to advance his vision in public. While the probability of a Nazi America is unlikely, it is unwise to view the future of Trump’s presidency with complete confidence as one would any other president.