I've been thinking lately and when Mr.Chompski made the comparison to Hitler yesterday, I began to think I wasn't crazy- it's really there. When in history have we lived where times more resembled 1937 than right here, right now?. The world has an almost canny resemblance to the events and times where my Grandparents cut their teeth and the world hegemonic structure made its last major shift to where we are today. Perhaps the winds of time are backing?
Let's first look at the dark side, Hitler. By German standards, he was a charismatic, cult of personality who spoke to their darkest fears and used economic uncertainty, general angst in the populous. He used the unsaid, inner feelings of prejudice and racism in the zeitgeist to scapegoat a minority population to gel those fears into a national movement that countered the established culture of the day. Oh, and can we mention that he rose out of the shadow of a world war that was started by a terrorist act the destabilized the political system initially? Still want your freedom fries America?
Hitler used the fears of the German people during the great depression that followed WWI that was started when the Arch Duke Ferdinand was assassinated. He scapegoated the jews to the German populous and stirred the populous into a lather of hate, intolerance and eventual genocide.
Now look at Trump, rose to power in the wake of the Great Recession, following the world war on Terror, that began by the attack on the world trade center. He is a charismatic cult of personality even if he does have weird hair and is s a TV icon (Hitler didn't have TV so he wrote Mein Kempf, but he did have weird hair. Imagine if he had TV and The Internet what it might have been like?). He is scapegoating the Mexicans and Muslims and the American people are eating it up like candy. And it is his embodiment of the counter culture in many ways that is causing his meteoric rise to infamy. I wonder if this Trump Tea party crowd thinks about all those similarities when they spout their message of hate and intolerance?
Now let's look at FDR, some may say he is also on the dark side, but I don't think so. A progressive non-conformist viewed as anti-establishment by the voices of the day who rose to power promising relief with all sorts of new government initiatives in response to an economic downturn that was created by a world war that was started by a terrorist act. Oh and he was domestically focused in his initial rise giving start to things like the new deal, social security, and the civilian conservation corp, despite being the leader of one of history's most auspicious international fighting forces that squelched the axis of evil without an ounce of International relations experience.
You see where I am going with this, now let's look at Bernie Sanders. An anti-establishment nonconformist rising to power in response to the Great Recession. Promising all sort of government initiatives in relief to that economic downturn with a decidedly domestic focus and a decidedly liberal persuasion.
The differences are kind of minor but also only work to bolster the argument. Both Sanders and FDR rise on winds of domestic focus and isolationism which gives rise to international destabilization and in FDR's case could explain why Hitler had such success rising because of the world vacuum of power that was created by that isolationism at the close of WWI. That allowed him to focus on domestic issues in the New Deal in relative international peace and quiet. Sanders won't has that luxury of isolationism as Isis is bringing the war to us, and he can't bury his head in the sand the way FDR did to focus on domestic issues left over from the Great Recession. It's not a perfect match up with history, but then again, Isis makes the Nazis look like Childs play.
Between Hitler and Trump, FDR and Sanders, the similarity in themes is uncanny. It was also pointed out yesterday that the graphic design of this image makes it tough to understand whether there is a comparison to made between Trump and Sanders, or between the old and new and I would say yes there is. Both are the Ying and Yang of this anti-establishment fervor that is sweeping the Nation and I would be willing to bet, despite what Democrats and Republicans and the mainstream media would have you believe, one of the two will be our next president. So I say to them and all the Trump people out there, think before you vote.
The truth is, history has a funny way of coming back at us when we least expect it. The 1960s were a resurrection of the Civil war era. The 1990s in a lot of ways looked like the Roaring 20's, and no doubt the breadlines of the 1930s have returned in the late 2000's and early 2010's. And this just gave me chills, the quote, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it" It was written by a guy named Santayana in The Life of Reason in 1905. Winston Churchill dusted it off and took it out for a spin many a time but was noted to have referenced the quote in May of 1935 when talking to the House of Commons about the independence of Austria with respect to France and Italy. Churchhill was the European version of FDR and those words were used to caution about the rise of extremism in pre-WWII Europe. Coincidence? I think not.
America, you are playing with fire right now. This election bodes of things to come that we have not considered since the days when the Third Reich marched on to the scene. We don't have a Hemingway anymore to tell us for whom the bell tolls because he already told us, it tolls for thee. So maybe you will wake up from this delusion of Trump. This inebriated lustful bender you are on to hate and kill your way to the American Dream. I can't believe the American people have fallen from the City on the hill to the Goosestepping posture of the Nazis. I pray that by the time election day rolls around, the Trump followers will wake up and realize that they had a good time partying with The Donald and all their evil little thoughts have been aired out, but now they can wash their face, put on a clean shirt and go to election day with a clean soul and clean hands for redemption. They have to wake up from this bender, don't they?
But that's the beauty of words. When historians look back at what we are about to do, and men with black bags and rifles have long since wiped me from the planet for what I am saying here, these words will remain. History always bears out the truth eventually. That's what time can do. And while I don't truly think The Donald is the new Hitler, (at least I hope he is not), I do hope that Bernie is the new FDR. But then that bears out another thought, how could FDR have become what he became to us, were it not for the rise of Hitler? If Bernie can play his part in this drama, why can't Trump? Vote wisely.