I remember when I was a little kid and first heard stories about the all-time Bad Guy, Hitler. I assumed that to get away with his antics, he must have been a powerful dictator for many decades, exercising complete authority over his country for at least a generation to be able to get them to go along with his schemes. When I learned his great manifesto was written while in prison, I couldn’t quite guess how that fit in to his time line.
But when I finally learned he was appointed chancellor by the president of Germany, just a few years before the outbreak of World War II, I was completely baffled. The rapid rise of Hitler and the subsequent rapid descent of Germany into fascism, was very confusing to me — in fact, it always has been. Folks tried to explain it to me: “Well, the Germans were really down in the dumps; World War I left them in a shambles; the economy stank; they felt marginalized in the world. Hitler was very charismatic; he made them feel good about themselves again; said exciting things that the people liked to hear; and gave them a common enemy to blame for all their woes.”
That sounded plausible, but I still could not picture it actually happening. Until 2016. Now I am watching exactly this same scenario unfolding before my horrified eyes. No, I would never say “Trump is the next Hitler!” How rude. I can’t see the future, nor a man’s heart; and besides, my religion prohibits passing judgement.
So no, Trump is not Hitler. But then, in 1932, Hitler wasn’t Hitler either. Trump is no Hitler; just a fascist. That’s how I see it, anyway.