In the months leading up to the election of Barack Obama as president, Sean Hannity frequently exclaimed, “Journalism died in 2008,” citing the “Obama mania media” that proclaimed the far-left radical to be America’s political messiah.
Fast-forward eight years. If journalism died in 2008, then during the 2016 election cycle it has sprung back to life – “Walking Dead”-style – with crazed pseudo-journalists staggering around, flailing their arms, making ghastly noises and attempting to destroy Donald Trump and his supporters in a wild orgy of grisly attacks.
Case in point: The Washington Post.
It started last February when Post columnist Danielle Allen threw down the gauntlet with a widely cited article dramatically headlined, “The moment of truth: We must stop Trump.”
Naturally, she went directly to the Hitler comparison.
“Like any number of us raised in the late 20th century,” Allen wrote, “I have spent my life perplexed about exactly how Hitler could have come to power in Germany. Watching Donald Trump’s rise, I now understand. Leave aside whether a direct comparison of Trump to Hitler is accurate. That is not my point. My point rather is about how a demagogic opportunist can exploit a divided country.”
But the Post was just warming up.
On June 14, the newspaper featured left-leaning historian Eric Rauchway in an article maligning Trump’s “America First” theme. It was headlined, “Donald Trump’s new favorite slogan was invented for Nazi sympathizers.”
Trump, explained Rauchway …
has made this slogan a theme for his campaign, and he has begun using it to contrast himself with President Obama, whose criticism of Trump’s rhetoric on Tuesday was answered with a Trump statement promising, “When I am president, it will always be America first.”
He wasn’t quite promising “America über alles,” but it comes close. “America First” was the motto of Nazi-friendly Americans in the 1930s, and Trump has more than just a catchphrase in common with them.
Allow me to summarize: Since Trump is making “America First” one of his themes, he is Hitler. Any questions?
A month later, on July 25, the Post published a piece by Peter Ross Range, a longtime mainstream newsmagazine writer, titled “The theory of political leadership that Donald Trump shares with Adolf Hitler.”
“Hitler,” wrote Range, who authored the book “1924: The Year That Made Hitler,” “saw himself as singularly endowed to avert Armageddon and reach national greatness.”
He expounds on this theme and applies it to Trump:
For Hitler, there was no middle ground between the “total downfall” threatening Germany at the hands of a Jewish-Bolshevik world conspiracy and his vision of a renewed German glory – a vision of an instant “leap from despair to utopia,” as historian Fritz Stern put it. Trump, too, posits a pending American cataclysm that can be averted only through his election, which will lead directly to reclaimed greatness. …
Trump speaks as though on a mountaintop, holding carved tablets, when he says: “I am your voice.” Hitler climbed to the mountaintop in the very first paragraph of “Mein Kampf.” In his opening words, he invoked Providence to describe the moment and place of his birth. Providence, frequently cited, was Hitler’s surrogate for God throughout the more than 700-page book. “Personality” was his euphemism for the characteristics that mark the Great Man.
“Personality cannot be replaced,” Hitler wrote. “It is not mechanically trained, but inborn by God’s grace.”
This is the core of a messianic complex and the central pillar of the Führer myth – that Hitler was born with the magic wand. By shifting to the magical realism of God-given prescience, Hitler made it easier for people to discard skepticism, shelve their demands for actual solutions and excuse all of the coarseness they saw in the candidate. If this guy has the secret potion – he says he does! – I’m going with him.
So with Trump. After conjuring a nation in utter peril last week and blithely announcing the end of crime and violence was at hand next Jan. 20, he gave doubters the final push they might need to suspend disbelief and take the leap: “I alone can fix it.”
Although Trump may know nothing of Hitler’s techniques, his instincts are uncannily reminiscent of them. As in the 1930s, voters are invited into Wonderland, and desperate ones might feel the urge to go.
Again, to summarize Range’s erudite analysis: Donald Trump is very confident in his abilities to get big things done – a confidence based solely on his half-century of experience in getting big things done. Ergo, Trump equals Hitler.
Then there was author and essayist Shalom Auslander, whose Sept. 13 Washington Post column was headlined: “Don’t compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. It belittles Hitler.” His subtitle:
“One was a psychopath who believed his raving rants. The other is a con man.”
“If you absolutely had to find just one thing to say about Hitler that was positive,” writes Auslander, “– if you could somehow siphon out all the festering, maggot-infested sewage that filled his soul to reveal one razor-thin sliver to point to in his favor – you could possibly say, well, at least he believed what he said. Which you can’t say about Donald Trump.”
Oh well, at least Trump isn’t a psychopath, just a con man, right? I mean, that’s what the headline said. Except that later in his column, Asulander concludes: “Is Trump a megalomaniacal demagogue? Yes. Is he a sociopath? Undoubtedly. Is he dangerous? Maybe.”
A week later, on Sept. 19, the Post published a controversial article by Richard Cohen, a weekly political columnist who has been with the paper for almost five decades, since 1968. It bore the chilling headline, “Trump’s Hitlerian disregard for the truth.”
“While Trump is neither an anti-Semite nor does he have designs on neighboring countries,” Cohen magnanimously allows, “he is Hitlerian in his thinking. He thinks the truth is what he says it is.”
“Soon after becoming chancellor,” explains the veteran Post commentator, “Hitler announced that the Jews had declared war on Germany. It was a preposterous statement because Jews were less than 1 percent of Germany’s population and had neither the numbers nor the power to make war on anything. In fact, in sheer preposterousness, it compares to Trump’s insistence that Barack Obama was not born in the United States – a position he tenaciously held even after Obama released his Hawaiian birth certificate.”
Wow. Speaking of “sheer preposterousness,” just how preposterous is it to equate Hitler’s scapegoating and eventual mass murder of millions of innocent Jews with Trump’s questioning of Barack Obama’s birthplace and constitutional eligibility to serve as president?
“Germany was not some weird place,” Cohen assures us. “At the advent of the Hitler era, it was a democracy, an advanced nation, culturally rich and scientifically advanced. It had a unique history – its defeat in World War I, the hyperinflation of the 1920s – so it cannot easily be likened to the contemporary United States. But it was not all that different, either. In 1933, it chose a sociopathic liar as its leader. If the polls are to be believed, we may do the same.”
There you have it. Hitler murdered millions; Trump questioned Obama’s natural-born citizenship. Obviously, Trump equals Hitler.
But what about the crematoria, mass graves and ‘horrible medical experiments’?
What can one say to a newspaper that repeatedly compares a gutsy, outspoken billionaire businessman-turned-presidential candidate to a mass-murdering monster?
Jewish blogger Jeff Dunetz offered a powerful response titled “September is ‘Trump is Hitler Month’ at the Washington Post.” Here’s how Dunetz, who serves as editor and publisher of The Lid, and also writes for the Jewish Star, TruthRevolt, Breitbart and others, answered the Post’s fixation with likening Donald Trump to one of the most hated and evil men in history.
“Allow me to explain the only cases where comparisons between Donald Trump and the Holocaust are appropriate,” wrote Dunetz:
The reference would be appropriate if Donald Trump forced people to tattoo numbers on their arms. Hitler chose that method of identifying the Jews because tattooing is prohibited in the Jewish faith. (He didn’t realize that people couldn’t be punished for forced tattooing.) Either way, if Trump never forced people to tattoo numbers on their arms, then he probably isn’t Hitler.
If Trump murdered people, cremated their remains and buried them in mass graves, the analogy would make sense. I never met some of my family because the Nazis killed them, buried them in mass graves, and/or cremated their bodies. If Trump never killed, cremated and buried people in mass graves, then the Hitler comparison is probably not accurate.
Hitler wrote a book called “Mein Kampf” in which he spoke of his hatred toward Jews and previewed his “final solution”: “The black-haired Jewish youth lies in wait for hours on end, satanically glaring at and spying on the unsuspicious girl whom he plans to seduce, adulterating her blood and removing her from the bosom of her own people. The Jew uses every possible means to undermine the racial foundations of a subjugated people … the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew. … And so he [the Jew] advances on his fatal road until another force comes forth to oppose him, and in a mighty struggle hurls the heaven-stormer back to Lucifer. … Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: ‘by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.'”
… [I read] “The Art of the Deal,” which contained no anti-Semitism, nor did it foreshadow a mass genocide of any group. If any of the other books [by Trump] contained quotes such as the ones by Hitler above which talked about the destruction of one group, I guarantee you that they would have been fodder during the primary season. Therefore, since Trump never wrote a book about destroying a race or ethnic group, it isn’t realistic to call him Hitler.
The Nazis conducted horrible, painful medical experimentation on humans. Perhaps the most well-known of these were the experiments that Josef Mengele conducted on twins and other victims at Auschwitz, through which he hoped to prove the superiority of the Aryan race. He experimented on over 1,500 pairs of twins and other Jews and Gypsies, injecting dye into their eyes blinding them, or chloroform into their hearts killing them, sewing twins together trying to create conjoined twins, forcing them into freezing water, and other experiments too horrible to mention.
Did Donald Trump authorize horrible medical experimentation on people like Mengele did? If he was doing that, believe me it would be on the front page of the Washington Post. Therefore, unless the Post is covering up the experimentation, he is not like Hitler. …
And what of the camps? Does Donald Trump round up people he doesn’t like, force them into box cars like cattle and deliver them to concentration camps? Because if he did, I would be the first to compare him to Hitler.
… Until there is evidence of the above, any comparison of Donald Trump to Hitler and/or the Nazis is not only false, inappropriate, and an example of careless writing. It also cheapens the memory of my relatives and the families of other the people who suffered during the Holocaust at the hands of Hitler.
After thus chastising the Post, Dunetz expresses what, to all decent people, is the obvious and overriding truth of the matter: “If you do decide to call [Trump] names, leave the Holocaust out of it. An inappropriate reference to the Holocaust is a disservice to your readers, and more importantly, a disservice to the memory of the suffering of the real victims of the real Hitler.”
The Washington Post has fallen a long way since its legendary Watergate coverage in the 1970s, when a couple of young reporters named Woodward and Bernstein brought down a corrupt president and “All the President’s Men” inspired a generation of young people to enter journalism. Newsflash: The Clintons are far more corrupt than Richard Nixon ever was.
One final consideration. There were at least 16 different plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler, including most famously “Operation Valkyrie” (the so-called “20 July Plot”), which was made into a blockbuster movie starring Tom Cruise as the heroic German army officer, Col. Claus von Stauffenberg. Even the revered Lutheran pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was executed by German authorities for his role in this particular plot. The people who attempted to assassinate Hitler – to slay a psychopathic monster, to stop a genocide, to end a terrible war – are rightly regarded as patriots and heroes.
So, what does this say about the Washington Post – and others in the “mainstream media” who consider themselves America’s arbiters of truth – continually comparing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with Hitler? Does such “journalism” legitimize threats and violent attacks on Trump and his supporters?
If someone, God forbid – convinced he is a modern-day von Stauffenberg, heroically attempting to rid the world of this generation’s Hitler – were to shoot Donald Trump, would the Washington Post deserve any of the blame?
I say yes.