A U.S. congressman has compared GOP presidential front-runner to the most hated and feared despot in modern history, Nazi Germany ruler Adolf Hitler. Instead of just making a lazy comparison, however, Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts listed several reasons for the analogy (video below).
During a Mar. 23 sit-down with The Boston Globe, Moulton said that comparing Trump to Hitler was not such a dramatic stretch of the imagination.
“People should read the history of how Germans elected Hitler … and just try to understand the analogies,” Moulton said, according to Mass Live. “I’m not saying Donald Trump is necessarily Hitler … But you ought to understand how an unbelievably educated, advanced society can elect a demagogue and how bad it can get as a result.”
It is not just politicians voicing concerns that Trump is a demagogue. In January, Irene Weiss, an 85-year-old, Czech-born Holocaust survivor, told The Washington Post that Trump’s rise in 2016 “has echoes [of Nazi-era Germany], and maybe more so to me than to native-born Americans.”
Al Munzer, another Holocaust survivor whose family was murdered by the Nazi regime, warned, “Thinking that Germany was somehow unique is wrong.”
Trump’s controversial rhetoric has angered American Muslims, Latinos, African Americans and women. He has advocated torture methods that are more extreme than water-boarding, suggested making examples out of the families of terrorists, and has not ruled out using nuclear weapons against the Islamic State (ISIS).
On Jan. 17, a poll conducted by the University of Massachusetts found that the most unifying trait of Trump supporters was an attraction to authoritarianism, Politico reports.
“Authoritarians obey,” the survey’s author, political science teacher Matthew MacWilliams of UMass, wrote. “They rally to and follow strong leaders. And they respond aggressively to outsiders, especially when they feel threatened. ... Trump is playing directly to authoritarian inclinations.”
Moulton, a former Marine who served in the Iraq War, blasted Trump’s policy proposals as not just immoral but ineffective.
“He has absolutely no idea how to fight terrorists without creating more terrorists in the process,” Moulton told The Boston Globe. “His ideas are not only radical, ridiculous and immoral; they’re also really stupid.”
The Massachusetts representative had a 30-second pitch for why Trump was incompatible with American values.
“We are not a racist country,” Moulton said. “We are not a country that just says to hell with the Constitution. ... Unlawful detentions, targeting specific religious or ethnic beliefs, not following the Geneva Convention on torture. These are not American values.”
Finally, Moulton referenced a New York Times article written in 1922 that described a fledgling Hitler before he came into power, UMass notes. The story revealed that the popular perception of Hitler at the time was that his anti-Semitic rhetoric was just political bluster and that he was not actually a racist. The author predicted that he would moderate his rhetoric and policies once elected.
“I think we’ve got to be really concerned when someone, regardless of his stature as a reality TV star or whatever else, says things that are fundamentally opposed to our values and to who we are as Americans,” Moulton concluded. “It’s dangerous.”