Archive for November, 2017

I was Right About Trump and Hitler!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags , on November 18, 2017 by playthell

“Only I can Save America!”

A Vanity Fair Writer Revealed Trump was Hitler Fan

While watching MSNBC’s Morning Joe I heard Tina Brown – the British import from the London tabloid world who became wildly successful as the Senior Editor of Vanity Fair – recalled an article she published on Donald Trump where the writer,  Marie Brenner,  quoted his first wife Ivana who said the Trump kept a collection of Hitler’s speeches titled “My Order” by his bedside! This revelation hit me like a lightning bolt because it supplied further evidence for my argument that the two men have much in common regarding their vision of the strong leader, as well as their approach to leadership.

Although I recognized the hazards of comparing any American politician to Hitler, the similarities between the character, personality flaws and political style of Donald Trump and Herr Hitler was so striking that I felt compelled to write about it.  The things I analyzed in the two essays I wrote on the subject – “Is Donald Trump a Uniquely American Fascist?” and “Drumpf and Hitler: Bird’s of a Feather?”- were based upon my observation of the man in action.  I had no inside knowledge of what Donald Drumpf personally thought of Hitler, or if he was even aware of the traits they shared in common.

Furthermore, I didn’t consider it particularly germane to my analysis because I was concerned with exploring the authoritarian personality as a class of phenomenon.  And it turns out that Trump bears a striking resemblance to the European Fascist leaders that rose to power in the aftermath of World War I – namely Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler.  Trump even adopted the slogan of the Italian Fascist: “Make Italy Great Again!”  And he aroused the same kind volatile nationalistic passions in white Americans who feel powerless and displaced by the dramatic advancement of women and “alien” elements of the population that are less deserving than them: Muslims, Hispanics, Blacks, Jews, et al.

And they were joined by members of the elite who seek to use the charisma of Trump with the masses in order to defeat their adversaries on the left, seize control of the instruments of state power, and enact their own policy agenda.   Alas, just like the German elite, they mistakenly thought that once Trump was in power they could control him.  Instead Trump has gone his own way, trashing much of what the Republicans have long stood for. Like Hitler, Trump demands personal loyalty to him above party or the national constitution.

Generally, when comparisons between Hitler and an American politician is made, the analyst is dismissed with observations like “there are no jack booted, goose stepping storm troopers marching down Pennsylvania Avenue and the nation’s Capital is not awash in giant Swastika’s.”  But these things are superficial, a matter of national character. And as I point out in my essay Trump is a uniquely American fascist.   Still, he had only tepid criticism when home grown white Neo-Nazi’s held a mass night march through the streets of Charlottesville Virginia, bearing raised torches and shouting: “Blood and Soil!” Which is a slogan borrowed directly from the German Nazi’s.

When they were not shouting “Blood and Soil” they were chanting “Jews will not replace us!” An idea also borrowed from the German Fascist but, based on his close associations with Jews it is a sentiment that Trump does not share.  However, one does not have to be anti-Semitic in order to qualify as a fascist. Mussolini was not an anti-Semite and according to the Jewish scholar Lenni Brenner in his pathbreaking book “Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, there were Jews among the founding members of the Italian Fascist party.

Like Hitler, Trump hates a free press that criticizes him and would destroy them if he could.  He also despises the independent judiciary and all other institutions that serve as checks on his power.  Furthermore, he is a racist, and believes his success in life is due to his German blood, which is a belief central to the identity of and justification for the Third Reich.

But what distinguishes the political style of both of Hitler and Drumpf is that they are given to hyperbolic language, extreme egotism in asserting their claim to leadership – only I can save the nation – a great reliance on charisma, the constant targeting of “enemies,” whether foreign or domestic, and constant denunciation of the previous government.  For Hitler it was the “October Criminals” who sold Germany out by signing the Versailles Treaty, which saddled German with a tremendous post-war debt for instigating World War I, and for Trump is was the “horrible” international trade deals negotiated by previous administrations and the “disastrous” Affordable Health Care Act, signed into law by President Obama, for whom Trump has an irrational envy and hatred.

The way Trump uses provocative oratory, loaded with nationalistic jingoism to incite mindless passion in his followers is reminiscent of the way Hitler built the Nazi movement.   “It is the spoken word not the written word that drives men to action!” Hitler pronounced.  And he well understood that projecting himself as an unbending strong man had great appeal to a group of lost and confused losers.

They become estatic when he talks of crushing “enemies” in other countries, even when he issues threats of nuclear destruction to an unoffending of North Korea because he disagrees with their policies for national defense.  They cheer such threats just as the German mobs cheered Hitler’s threats to destroy Russia…even through a nuclear attack on North Korea would surpass all of hitlers war crimes!   But Trump understands well the power of military bravado combined with nationalist rhetoric to incite a crowd.

These are lessons that could be well learned from Hitler’s speeches, especially the earlier ones that are collected in this book, “My New Order.” When asked about the book my s subsequent journalist who had read about it, Trump was curiously defensive. “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”  Yeah right!

Neo-Nazi Trumpanzese Wilding in the Streets!

Since we know from several fact checkers, the New York Times among them, that Trump is the biggest liar in American public life, I don’t believe a word of it. I think he is lying his silly as off!  In any case, Albert Einstein’s reply to the Rabbi’s that asked if he claimed to show how God made the universe in his work, to wit Einstein replied, well I know that he could have made it that way,” is equally applicable to Trump’s debt to Hitler’s speeches.   That’s why the Neo-Nazi types are so mesmeried by him!

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Observe the Elements of Trump’s Style as Mass Orator Interacting with crowd

Watch the Crowds Cheer the “Great Leader.”

 

Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 18, 2017

Flirting with Disaster!

Posted in On Donald Trump with tags on November 7, 2017 by playthell

A Megalomaniacal Paranoid with Nuclear Codes

The Danger Zone is Everywhere!

As I write Donald Dimwit is on his way to Asia, a region of the world where he seems intent upon provoking a nuclear war by constant insults against North Korea.  This rhetoric is backed up by conducting threatening military exercises in the ocean seas just off their coast and invading their air space with ominous American bombers.  It is a volatile situation that is a direct consequence of Americans having elected an incompetent, ignorant, verbose, belligerent, amoral, compulsive liar and buffoon to the Oval Office; the most powerful office in the world, and no one can confidently say what the final outcome of his tenure there will be.

I, however, am reminded of the lines from the wise old bluesman Percy Mayfield: “The whole world is in trouble and the danger zone is everywhere.”  These words ring especially true when a pugnacious dunce is the leader of a nuclear armed nation that views itself as both “exceptional” and a “global power.”   Such a self-definition predisposes the US to believe that any conflict anywhere in the world can pose a threat to American interests. And thus, we have the right to intervene with military forces to set things right.  North Korea, Iran, several countries on the African continent, and Venezuela are all in their sights.

These countries span the globe many miles from America’s shores, and all of them are small poor countries compared to the USA; yet we are told that they threaten our “national security.”  According to recent opinion polls, a majority of Americans now believe this hysterical nonsense, despite the fact that North Korean forces are 8,000 miles from the USA, but our military forces are stationed 30 miles from North Korea’s borders!

And although none of these countries have soldiers or military bases outside of their national boundaries, and the USA have bases around the world and soldiers on the ground in 176 countries, we are told that Iran and North Korea are the threats to global stability and world peace.

It is highly questionable whether Trump fully understands the geo-political issues that should guide our foreign policy, pompous ignoramus that he is.  But his political rhetoric regarding foreign affairs dose not inspire confidence.  The evidence to support this claim is so abundant, the careful observer will find an embarrassment of riches.  However, two examples will suffice.

When asked by reporters about the failure to appoint undersecretaries and other critical diplomatic personnel at the State Department, Donnie Dimwit looked into the cameras with an earnest expression and announced that it didn’t matter because in the end “I am the only one that really matters.”  This explains why he had no a undersecretary for East Asian Affairs nor an ambassador to South Korea as the situation deteriorates and the US drifts closer to a nuclear war with North Korea that would wipe out South Korea and Japan, and Australia could also receive a devastating blow.

In fact, the North Koreans have warned the Aussies of just such a possibility if the US attacks their homeland. Apparently oblivious to the fact that less diplomats generally means more soldiers, as well as the reasoning behind the Founders decision to place the military under civilian control, Trump has surrounded himself with generals in civilian cabinet positions.  And since his head is empty with a mind like a blank slate on questions of foreign relations, we are at the mercy of the generals in matters of war and peace.

Alas, based on his recent public statements and behavior, it is shockingly clear that Dumb Donnie Dimwit’s understanding of the powers of the president in civilian affairs is as confused as his understanding of his role as Commander-In-Chief.  It is also clear that the root of all his confusion is his shallow understanding of the Constitution, from whence his powers derive.  It is so obvious that one commentator suggested that his advisors should insist that he sit while they read and explain the Constitution since he shown no interest in reading it himself, or is unable to understand it if he has read it.

This suspicion arises from the fact that Trump continues to behave in ways that undermine constitutional norms and comes dangerously close to violating his oath to defend it; in the opinion of some lawyers and constitutional scholars he has already crossed the line.  Trump constantly attacks the very legitimacy the free press, calling them “fake news” in an open attempt to impugn their integrity, and has even threatened to use the Federal Communications Commission to take away the license of major networks because he does not like there reportage on his policies and criticism of him.

He even went so far as the publicly lament the fact that the press can “write whatever they want.” Donnie Dimwit appears to have no understanding that the reason the architects of the Constitution guaranteed the freedom of the press is precisely so that they could serve as a watchdog over those who govern us.  And for that reason the press must remain free from the intimidation and manipulation of politicians – on all levels.

Trump’s ignorance and contempt for the role of the free press in our political system is matched by his disdain for the independence of the judiciary.  He has had constant clashes with the Courts, even questioning the integrity of judges based on their race and ethnicity. His attitude toward Congress further suggests that he does not fully appreciate their role as a co-equal branch of government.  Taken as a whole these attitudes reflect a hostility toward all the institutions that are essential to our system of checks and balances spelled out in the Constitution.

Added to all this and perhaps most disturbing of all because it clearly exposes Trump’s authoritarian mindset and dictatorial tendencies, is his attitude toward the proper relationship between the president, the Department of Justice and the FBI.  In a candid outburst a few days ago – inspired by the indictments against three officials from Trump’s presidential campaign staff issued by Independent Counsel Robert Mueller – Trump lamented the fact that he is unable to order the DOJ and FBI to investigate and indict whoever he wants whenever he wants.  Those are the attitudes of fascists…Hitler and Mussilini both demanded the personal loyalty of the police and the army!

This conception of the powers of the presidency is what makes him so dangerous, and is a great part of the reason that a growing number of observers believe that Trump is headed for impeachment.  The sooner the better I say, because every day he remains the Commander-In-Chief of the US armed forces, and has access to the nuclear codes, we are flirting with disaster!

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 5, 2017