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Swap a name game, It's Fun or Scary

Years before the rise of Trump a book was written about a historical figure people know by name. If you look at a book published and its 2013 reviewed and swap out the name, his party affiliation & country of origin, it becomes chilling to examine. That historical figure was Hitler, his party the Nazi’s and the country Germany.

As you read through the review, change the name Trump for Hitler, Trumpian’s for Nazi’s and America for Germany and you will hear an echo in history.

The Book in review, Hitler: Ascent, 1889–1939 By Volker Ullrich (German Historian)

There are more ways of destroying a democracy than sending troops into the streets, storming the radio stations, and arresting the politicians, Hitler before he rose to power had been a political nonentity.

Many people in Germany thought that Hitler once in control would be a normal head of government. Some, leaders thought that they’d be able to control him, because they were more experienced and formed the majority in the government. Others thought that the responsibilities of office would tame and steer him in a more conventional direction. They were all wrong.

Hitler offered voters a vision of a better future, he contrasted with the policies of the other parties. The lower-middle classes, the unorganized workers, the rural masses, older traditionalists and Evangelicals who wanted a moral restoration of the nation switched their votes from the mainstream right-wing and gave them to Hitler. The Evangelicals forgave Hitler’s past transgressions and shamelessly turned a blind eye to numerous stories which would normally negatively impact any other candidate.

Hitler projected purpose and dynamism. Hitler would regularly speak of the book he wrote and how it was his road map to his success when addressing crowds at his rallies. He would say it was his personal manifesto and an unsurpassed literary master piece.

Hitler toured the country by air on his personal plane during the election & he issued a stream of slogans to win supporters over. He would repeatedly say at rallies that he would “Make Germany Great Again”. He would give Germans work once more by taking jobs back from the hands of illegal immigrants. He would put “Germany First”. He would revive the nation’s industries and bring back jobs lost to other nations. He would crush the ideologies of socialism and liberalism that were undermining the country’s will.

Hitler’s speeches, used the cheapest references. Hitler’s language never seemed measured, but like something merely expulsed. Hitler prepared his speeches. Seemingly spontaneous, they were in fact calculated. Full of allegations and stereotypes, they were used to gain attention from the media and reaction from the crowds. When he said that the judicial branches were of no use against opponents whom he called criminals & traitors, his followers chanted “Incarceration!” & “lock them up.”

Hitler exploited tribal hatreds; he used lie upon lie to success. Liberal newspapers that criticized Hitler were, the “lying press.” That the media was deceiving the public with “fake news” in order to push a liberal agenda.

Few took Hitler seriously or thought that he would actually put his threats against the country’s minorities, his rants against feminists, left-wing politicians, pacifists, and liberal newspapers, into effect. But after taking office history shows, he did all of these things & more.

The Nazi regime was run by men: Only white males, the Nazis thought, had the lack of emotional connection to make the right calls. Hitler openly mocked disabled people, he railed against what he called the criminal elites who were destroying law and order. Illegal immigrants were systematically rounded up and deported.

Germany tore up treaties, dismantling international cooperation. The Nazis’ declaration of “our departure from the community of nations,” strengthened Hitler’s assurance that he would “rather die” than stay trapped by or sign anything that was not in the interests of Germany.

The Nazis shut down one by one, the country’s democratic institutions, destroyed the freedom of its press and media, created a one-party state in which opposition was punishable by imprisonment, banishment, & finally death. Hitler’s radical changes were easy to perpetrate.

Nazi leaders gave clear warnings about what they planned to do. But too few people saw them as a threat before they came to power. Hitler often claimed in his speeches that the critical press was an “enemy of the people”.

The media was weakened repeatedly by the Nazi government. Editors were forced out, reporters were subjected to personal threats and later disciplined or imprisoned, leaving only a press that confined itself to parroting the “news” issued by the government.

Hitler refused a pay as head of the German government, but he earned royalties on his name and likeness which brought him enormous wealth & propelled him to be one of the richest men in Germany. While he was one of the wealthiest men in all of Germany, he evaded any responsibility to pay the rightful taxes he owed.

By the time Hitler began his rise to power, Germany, possessed a robust constitutional and legal structures that were designed to frustrate any attempt to undermine or circumvent democracy. Judges were independent, as were police and prosecutors. But Hitler simply ignored this.

The courts were carefully disregarded. Hitler’s government was able to govern by executive order. Hitler exploited conditions in the Constitution that permitted him to rule by decree. Hitler would pardon those he personally found fit or would simply decree that it was a privileged conversation that effected the nation to protect himself & his administration.

Hitler ignored requests by oversite committees & called subpoenas harassment by a deep state & investigations were brought by traitors. The Nazi seizure of power was carried out step-by-step, each step a seemingly legal act. They repeatedly dismissed those deemed political opponents from state employment. Culminating in a law to establish a one-party state and then, a law to declare Hitler dictator for life.

Hitler packed the Supreme Court with pro-Nazi judges. The vast majority of the legal profession and law-enforcement agencies went along with the party, even as the Nazis passed new treason laws and transferred the task of enforcing political rule to the police, the courts, and then the prison system.

There were Germans who disapproved of these measures: Hitler didn’t attain supreme power on a wave of popular acclamation. In the last free elections, the Democrats won more seats in the parliament than the Nazis did. Hitler made sure they were fatally divided. Their rhetoric was feeble in comparison with his, their supporters less fanatical and their electoral propaganda less powerful.

The concentration of political and legislative power outside the cabinet didn’t last long. Hitler appointed his own cronies and disciples to new positions and simply pushed out opposition. The men who ruled Germany did not do so because they were constitutionally acting ministers but because they were Hitler’s allies.

Hitler demanded personal loyalty. He didn’t want loyalty to Germany but directly to him. He required anyone who worked for him to swear allegiance to him and only him. In time he made the parliament swear oath to him, then the military and finally the public in general.

His program for “Making Germany Great Again” included a new aggressive attitude in international affairs. Hitler’s seizure and remaking of the state was reinforced by a wholesale reorganization of the education system and an effort to redefine German culture.

The objective of Nazi education and culture was, to distract people from issues of importance; it was used to instill a new sense of patriotism. The moto of “Germany First” became a hallmark. Hitler when asked would claim his rule as the best Germany had & that on a grading scale Hitler would say he was worthy of an A+ rating. Hitler at rallies claimed “I am the best leader in Germany’s history, believe me”.

The regime constantly targeted minorities as a way of mobilizing approval and support. The Nazis may have dominated state power, but this wasn’t the kind of dictatorship that depended solely on repression, important though it was.

A key part of the process was the vilification of political opponents. The moderately progressive Democrats, who enjoyed widespread support, were damned as “traitors”.

Nazi media heaped abuse on democrats and harassed them at every turn. In speech after speech, Hitler and the other leading Nazis attacked them as liberals. In his day, Hitler was a conspiracy theorist without equal.

Minorities targeted by Hitler were obstacles to Germany’s renewal; they weakened the race and undermined its will. Hitler deprived them of citizenship, robbed them of their livelihoods, stripped them of possessions & forced as many of them as he could to leave.

Rather than sending armed and uniformed squads onto the streets, Hitler would rely on harassment and persecution carried out by a captive media, a militant sector of the population and only, if opposition persisted, on the state power of the military and the law-enforcement agencies to crush it.

Hitler was a media figure who gained popularity and controlled his country through speeches and publicity. Far from being a consistent and undeviatingly purposeful politician, he was temperamental, changeable, insecure, allergic to criticism, and often indecisive and uncertain in a crisis.

The bottom line is, Hitler did not seize power it was given to him.
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