Currently, #1 in the JYT is “Trump’s Weimar America” by Roger Cohen (ahem).
It’s part of the expanding journalistic universe known as the ‘Trump is a Fascist’ meme. The NYT’s strategy for discussing a political candidate charged with hyperbole, you see, is to engage in… hyperbole.
Let the Hitler comparisons continue!
NEW YORK — Welcome to Weimar America: It’s getting restive in the beer halls. People are sick of politics as usual. They want blunt talk. They want answers.
Welcome to an angry nation stung by two lost wars, its politics veering to the extremes, its mood vengeful, beset by decades of stagnant real wages for most people, tempted by a strongman who would keep all Muslims out and vows to restore American greatness…
Trump is a clown. No, he is not. He is in earnest. And he’s onto something. It is foolish not to take him seriously.
Cohen believes we are seeing a “Europeanization of American politics is unmistakable”, which I would concur with, and adds:
The Europeanization of American politics is also the Europeanization of American political risk. The unthinkable has happened in Europe. It is not impossible in America.
I believe we are seeing the Europeanization of American politics, where a corrupted liberal-RINO center is imploding and giving way to more radical right-wing and left-wing voices.
Cue the ominous ‘Darth Vader’ leitmotif for Cohen’s conclusion:
It would be wrong not to take Trump very seriously. It would be irresponsible. It would be to forget European history, from whose fascist example he borrows. In Weimar America politics are not what they were. The establishment looks tired. The establishment has not understood the fact-lite theater of the contemporary world.
The Weimar Republic ended with a clown’s ascent to power, a high-energy buffoon who shouted loudest, a bully from the beer halls, a racist and a bigot. He was an outsider given to theatrics and pageantry. He seduced the nation of Beethoven. He took the world down with him.
To portray Hitler as a ‘clown’ seems to me a strange way to portray Hitler.
Hitler was anything but a clown.
Furthermore, it is the very definition of an ad hominem logical fallacy to argue:
- Trump believes X, and
- Hitler believed X,
- Therefore: Trump is Hitler
Whether the “X” is something benign (i.e., believing “2 + 2 =4”) or something more loaded with human intentionality (e.g., “America has lost its soul”), that logical fallacy holds.
The Weimar comparisons do not in any way disprove the validity of individual theses and beliefs, such as:
- The U.S. may, in fact, have an ‘enemy within’, in the the form of Muslim extremists & political correctness.
- The U.S. may, in fact, be going through a profound identity crisis, similar to what is happening in every Western European nation.
- As multiculturalism in America increases (and its racial homogeneity decreases), ethnic conflicts and ethnic-oriented, spoils-system, power struggles may ensue.
And why isn’t the Left outraged at the Trump-Hitler comparison? Doesn’t such a comparison trivialize The Holocaust?