I used to wonder how Adolf Hitler could have possibly gained power. It still seems inconceivable to look back on what a monster he was and realize millions of Germans backed one of the most horrific creatures to ever walk this Earth.
Then over 62 million people voted for Donald Trump and I finally understood how it happened.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not equating Trump to Hitler. As I’ve said before, unless someone kills millions of people in a mass genocide — while triggering a massive world war — nobody should be directly compared to Hitler.
With that said, there are certainly traits shared between nearly every brutal megalomaniac throughout human history.
Think about it, what are the main traits nearly all dictators share? They typically:
- Vilify some sort of minority group.
- Push nationalism.
- Claim their country’s values are “under attack.”
- Tell their supporters that anyone who criticizes them, debunks their lies, or tries to expose the truth about them are the “enemy” who can’t be trusted — only they can be trusted.
- Try to control what the media is allowed to report.
- Like to set up rallies with crowds of people who they know will cheer for them so they can brag about how much the people love them.
- Often like to “talk tough” to make themselves seem more “powerful.”
Clearly there are more, but those are a few of the main traits nearly all dictators share, that Trump most certainly displays. He’s the most fascist-like “president” this country has ever had. I have absolutely no doubt that if our Constitution didn’t prevent him from being a full-on authoritarian dictator, that’s exactly what he’d be — because that’s who he is.
Look no further than the appalling speech he gave in Arizona on Tuesday night. This wasn’t a “presidential” address to Americans, this was an incoherent, angry pep rally he threw for himself.
This was a 75-minute speech that Katie Couric said made her “afraid for her country,” and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called a “nightmare,” calling into question Trump’s mental stability.
Much of the night Trump spent attacking the media. While not surprising, as Trump often attacks anyone who tells the truth about him, Tuesday evening’s attacks were especially vitriolic.
Though in true Trump fashion, while attacking the credibility of the media, especially in regards to how they covered his comments concerning the violence in Charlottesville, he displayed no credibility in his own comments.
Aside from the disgusting and tragic violence, the big controversy from that shameful spectacle was Trump’s initial comments where he blamed “many sides” for what transpired, while refusing to specifically call out hate groups such as the KKK or neo-Nazis by name. It wasn’t until two days later, after mounting public pressure, that Trump gave another speech where he finally called those groups out by name. However, any good will he built up from those remarks was quickly undone the next day when, once again, he blamed both sides for the violence, insisting that there were some “good people” among the crowds of white nationalists, Nazis, and the KKK. He also went on to compare traitors Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
Naturally, all those details were omitted by Trump on Tuesday night. Instead, he made it seem as if he immediately condemned these hate groups by name, never blamed both sides, and that the “dishonest media” was just out to get him.
He read, supposedly word-for-word, statements he made following the chaos in Charlottesville — yet he specifically omitted the part where he said “many sides” were to blame.
But it’s the media that’s dishonest, right?
He went on to call the media “sick people,” blamed them for promoting hate groups, and questioned whether or not they actually love this country.
Trump also frequently referred to protesters as “thugs,” attacked both Arizona senators, pushed more lies about The New York Times and CNN “failing” (their numbers are actually up), then attacked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos because he also happens to own The Washington Post.
It was sickening and appalling.
Nothing like calling the media a group of “sick, dishonest” people, while simultaneously running down a blatantly dishonest account of what happened and why so many took issue — including many Republicans — with his comments following what took place in Virginia last week.
This speech wasn’t a credible attempt by a “president” to get a message out or urge unity for the nation, it was nothing more than another campaign-style rally where he made bold, unrealistic promises he has no intention on being able to keep so that the crowds of people gullible enough to continue to support him would cheer loudly, feeding his enormous ego.
He said he was probably going to get rid of NAFTA (he won’t), that he would shut the government down if they didn’t build his wall (he might, but it won’t work), and made it clear that he was almost certainly going to pardon disgraced former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted of criminal contempt after ignoring a judge’s orders to stop detaining people based on racial discrimination.
Trump also made one of the most idiotic comments I’ve ever seen when he spoke about clean coal, clearly indicating that he has absolutely no idea what that term actually means:
We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal, and it’s just been announced that a second, brand-new coal mine, where they’re going to take out clean coal — meaning, they’re taking out coal, they’re going to clean it — is opening in the state of Pennsylvania.
I don’t even know what to say to that.
This entire spectacle was terrifying. This was an unhinged, neurotic madman preaching hate, while looking more like a dictator than I’ve ever seen him look.
What I saw Tuesday night wasn’t the behavior of a mentally competent “president” who cares about making this country better for all Americans. This was a self-absorbed megalomaniac, playing to a crowd so that they’d cheer him, going after his enemies, distorting the truth about the things he’s said and done, who only cares about himself and his massive ego.
After last night, I’ve never felt more confident in my belief that Donald Trump would reduce this country to ashes just as long as he felt it would benefit him in some way.