Trump is Deep into Hitler’s Play Book

Anyone who has ever read any of the well researched books on the life and times of Adolf Hitler will easily recognize that Trump is deep into the little Bavarian’s play book, except that Trump is starting out his quest for absolute power from a much stronger position.

For a strongman takeover of a major nation to be possible, the first thing he needs is for the times to be right. For Hitler, Germany’s humiliating defeat in World War One followed by depression created what Eric Hoffer so aptly described as the “new poor,” a class of folks having recently lost economic viability, making their white hot resentment at their downward circumstances particularly ripe for exploitation. Trump has thirty years of Wall Street’s outsourcing of well-paying jobs, having created his pool of “new poor” to exploit.

Next a crafty would be dictator needs an internal enemy to harangue. It is important that it be a group, or groups, that can be found almost everywhere and that is relatively weak, though he will raise them up in the eyes of his followers as some kind of malevolent, national threat. Of course Hitler had the Jews, which he sarcastically quipped that he would have had to invent them had they not already existed. For Trump it is those “rapists, killing Mexicans and Moslem terrorists” to rant against.

Lastly it is not enough for a takeover artist just to play to the fears and hatreds of his core admirers, he needs to clearly demonstrate an utter capacity to say terrible things and act ruthlessly. Hiller accomplished this by his endlless public diatribes of hatred and turning loose his Brown Shirt thugs on the defenseless as well as on would be opponents. The point being that the establishment, in Hitler’s situation that being the German industrialists, must realize that if they didn’t play ball with him very bad things might soon come their way. For his part Trump likes to entertain his followers at meetings by saying such things, as protesters, whom he calls hecklers and might actually be Trump plants, ought to be carried off on stretchers.

With Trump’s nonstop rants, we are already seeing intimidated, big-time donors beginning to bulk at funding a desperate, last minute campaign to stop his march to power. For those who are well schooled in political history, fear is mounting.

Naturally bad men have other bad men with which to contend for power. Hitler had his one time friend and political ally, Ernst Roehm, leader of the Brown Shirts, to fend off. Once Hitler learned that Roehm was about to make a move against him, Hitler, with his SS bodyguards in tow, quickly moved to exterminate Roehm and his chief lieutenants in what has been called the Night of the Long Knives.

Some may think that Marko Rubio is Trump’s biggest contender, but he will be sweep away along with the collapsing establishment. The only one crafty and hardnosed enough to hang in against Trump is terrible Ted Cruz. Cruz may be able to hold out all the way to the convention, so that if Trump needs a few hundred votes to put him over the top, Cruz could be in position to cut a deal with the dealmaker.

Many sober minds are now hoping that Trump’s vicious talk is just meant as election intimidation talk, and that if nominated, and heaven forbid he is elected president; he will greatly moderate his ways. On this score, however, one must keep in mind the days when German industrialist clung to the same hope about another big mouth that ended up turning their nation to ashes.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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