IndieDems long ago identified Donald Trump’s rise to power and governance as mirror imaging Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany in the 1930s. The evidence has only mounted as Trump proceeded to adopt patently racist and xenophobic policies and to make ample use of lies and demagoguery to support them. Most notable were his soothing words about neo-Nazis marching through Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us,” talking about Hispanic migrants the way Hitler talked about the Jews, using ethnic slurs, kidnapping children and imprisoning them in wire cages, inciting hi followers to violence, and telling four U.S. Congresswomen of color to “go back where they came from.” And those are the tip of the iceberg.
His latest most Hitler-like act of evil: suddenly abandoning our Kurdish allies to genocide at the hands of the Turks.
But if Trump is Der Fuhrer, who are his Republican supporters? Surely they are the mirror image of those millions of Germans who looked upon Hitler as their savior, the man who would make Germany great again. The Germans who two and one-half years into Hitler’s reign as Chancellor could have had no doubt about Hitler’s character or his agenda. The Republicans who avidly support a lying, bullying, slandering thug and his racist, xenophobic, nativist policies are clones of the Germans who avidly supported the lying, bullying, slandering thug Hitler and his racist, xenophobic, nativist policies.
And surely the Germans worshiping Trump and the Republicans worshiping Trump are pluperfect mirror images of each other when they gather at their respective leader’s public rallies. The more vile and extreme the rhetoric, the louder the masses roar their approval.
Too severe a judgment of our Republicans, you say? Germans in the 1930s screaming their approval of Hitler and the Nazis were an aberration, unlikely to be repeated by any Americans anytime? Much less the average 21st Century Republican.
I introduce two photographs that show the validity of my comparison. This one was taken in 1936, the fourth year of Hitler’s reign.
The portly gentleman on the right is Herman Goering. He is Hitler’s right-hand man, a key player in everything the Nazis did. In 1936, he was also head of the German Luftwaffe. The blood of millions of innocent human beings will eventually be on his hands. In fact, he would be convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials that followed Germany’s defeat in 1945. He escaped the hangman’s noose only by committing suicide with a cyanide pill.
Goering is obviously presenting a ceremonial sword to the man in the center, an honorific award. And who is the young man who is being honored for his services to Nazi Germany? He is the American hero Charles Lindbergh. The woman on the right is his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. They are obviously having a good time. Well they might. Both were well known at the time for their admiration for Hitler’s Nazi regime and for singing its praise.
Back home, Lindbergh became the leader of the America First movement, dedicated to maintaining America’s isolationist policy and, above all, keeping America out of European politics. Since fascism was the growing force at the time, having to come to power in Germany and Italy, “America First” translated into the United States doing nothing to stem the rising tide of fascism in Europe. Many observers considered Lindbergh’s America First movement little more than a pro-Nazi front group.
- From Wikipedia: Lindbergh wrote in 1939 that peace and security depended on Americans banding together “to preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of European blood” and on guarding against “attack by foreign armies and dilution by foreign races.”
- Anne in 1940 wrote a booklet, The Wave of the Future, that supported her husband’s views and argued that something resembling fascism was the “unfortunate” wave of the future.
“If I should die tomorrow, I want you to know this, I am absolutely convinced Lindbergh is a Nazi.” – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1940)
On another visit to Germany in 1938, Goering on behalf of Hitler presented Lindbergh with the Service Cross of the German Eagle as a sign of respect.
L: Charles Lindbergh with Nazi friends. R: His Hitler medal
To sum it up: when I see a Trump campaign rally, I see Americans in the mirror image of Germans attending a Hitler rally. But I don’t mean I’m looking at Nazi SS Storm Troopers putting Jews in gas chambers or guards at a concentration camp.
I’m looking right into the faces of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I’m looking into the faces of those millions of Americans who joined Lindbergh’s American First movement, either uninformed or uncaring of the movement’s racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic leanings–if not its outright agenda.
History has not been kind in its judgment of Lindbergh and his misguided American followers. History will be equally condemning of those present day Republicans who scream their support for Trump, even as his racist and xenophobic policies become more extreme and more pronounced, along with his incompetence and unfitness for office.