Who is more like Hitler: Trump or those who maintain he is like Hitler?

Nearly three years after assuming office, the "Trump is like Hitler" chant continues.  A Washington Post headline reads: "It's not wrong to compare Trump's America to the Holocaust.  Here's why."  The article continues that Trump is racist and authoritarian, therefore he is like Hitler.  Another headline reads, "Donald Trump Enters the Eccentric Dictator Phase of His Presidency."  It argues that that Trump cares nothing for laws and elections.  In spite of the fact that elections continue as scheduled, his political opponents (even within the Republican Party) remain alive, no one has been sent to concentration camps, the Democratic Party still exists, and the media relentlessly criticize him, Trump continues to be compared with the world's dictators.  But this delusional way of thinking is just one of several ways that Trump's biggest haters resemble Hitler, too.

Those who maintain that Trump resembles Hitler distort reality, as Hitler did.  For example, Hitler argued that Jews controlled world governments.  Some evidence could be found to support this contention, but it was mostly false, like the argument that Trump is like Hitler.  Instead of seeing the whole picture, Hitler and Trump's biggest haters see only what suits their minds.  Everything else gets ignored, making them close-minded.

Hitler was also close-minded.  Biographer Ian Kershaw writes, "Doubtless Hitler did read much.  However, reading for him had purely an instrumental purpose.  He read not for knowledge or enlightenment, but for confirmation of his own preconceptions."  If you study those who compare Trump and Hitler, you will learn that they read, but it merely serves their preconceived (far-left-wing) notions.  They read left-wing websites like Vox and HuffPo, left-wing newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times and left-wing books, like Michelle Obama's autobiography, a must-read for Trump-haters.  Reading merely reinforces pre-existing beliefs.  Learning is secondary.

If you listen to those who compare Trump and Hitler, you will note that they view Republicans the same way Hitler viewed Jews: as inherently evil and incapable of good.  Find someone who thinks Trump is like Hitler, and you will see someone who despises the whole Republican Party.  Their hatred extends far beyond Trump (and, like with Hitler, this hatred probably has a deeper, non-political origin).  Republicans and Jews get dehumanized, as if they were inferior people.  The fact that Republicans have done good things can't be comprehended.  Evidence and logical reasoning get subordinated.  Like in George Orwell's 1984, facts aren't facts, except when they serve a certain purpose that corresponds with what one's mind wants to be true.

Hatred and rage (as opposed to love and tolerance) also characterize those who compare Hitler and Trump.  They are guided not by facts, evidence, or reason, but by a vitriolic hatred toward a specific group.  There are plenty of good Republicans in D.C., but those who compare Trump and Hitler can't bring themselves to see this.  Respectfully disagreeing is not part of their way of thinking, like Hitler.  They hate Republicans in the collective, although they may have Republican friends (Hitler liked specific Jews, too).

Emotions and selective usage of facts lead to some demonstrably false arguments that go something like this: all dictators attack the media, therefore if one attacks the media, he is a dictator.  That is illogical.  It is like saying all Christians believe in God, therefore, if you believe in God, you are a Christian.  Hitler used similar reasoning in Mein Kampf when he mistakenly reasoned that since Jews were disproportionately communists, most communists were Jews.  Again, truth gets subordinated.  The whole picture must be examined, not just selective pieces.

People are often more similar to than different from those they hate the most.  (The psychological explanations for this lie outside the scope of this work.)  Communists and Nazis resemble each other more than they do centrist, independent-minded people.  The latter, more objective people who don't compare Trump and Hitler (and this is most Americans) tend to have a better grasp on reality.  They are less hateful and more tolerant.  They are liberal, in the actual sense of the word.

On big, important issues, neither Trump nor those who associate him with Hitler are like Hitler.  Neither party seeks to end elections, or ban opposition parties, or send those different from its own members to concentration camps.  However, on some smaller issues, both bear a striking resemblance to Hitler.  Trump has lied, he glorifies the military, and he routinely attacks his political opponents.  But those who compare Trump with Hitler are guilty of hatred, intolerance, dehumanizing "the other," delusions, and irrational arguments.  If Trump is like Hitler, then so are they.

David Byrne earned his Ph.D. in history from Claremont Graduate University.  His book Ronald Reagan: An Intellectual Biography can be purchased here.  His Twitter account is here.

Image: Louis P. Hirshman via Wikimedia Commons.

Nearly three years after assuming office, the "Trump is like Hitler" chant continues.  A Washington Post headline reads: "It's not wrong to compare Trump's America to the Holocaust.  Here's why."  The article continues that Trump is racist and authoritarian, therefore he is like Hitler.  Another headline reads, "Donald Trump Enters the Eccentric Dictator Phase of His Presidency."  It argues that that Trump cares nothing for laws and elections.  In spite of the fact that elections continue as scheduled, his political opponents (even within the Republican Party) remain alive, no one has been sent to concentration camps, the Democratic Party still exists, and the media relentlessly criticize him, Trump continues to be compared with the world's dictators.  But this delusional way of thinking is just one of several ways that Trump's biggest haters resemble Hitler, too.

Those who maintain that Trump resembles Hitler distort reality, as Hitler did.  For example, Hitler argued that Jews controlled world governments.  Some evidence could be found to support this contention, but it was mostly false, like the argument that Trump is like Hitler.  Instead of seeing the whole picture, Hitler and Trump's biggest haters see only what suits their minds.  Everything else gets ignored, making them close-minded.

Hitler was also close-minded.  Biographer Ian Kershaw writes, "Doubtless Hitler did read much.  However, reading for him had purely an instrumental purpose.  He read not for knowledge or enlightenment, but for confirmation of his own preconceptions."  If you study those who compare Trump and Hitler, you will learn that they read, but it merely serves their preconceived (far-left-wing) notions.  They read left-wing websites like Vox and HuffPo, left-wing newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times and left-wing books, like Michelle Obama's autobiography, a must-read for Trump-haters.  Reading merely reinforces pre-existing beliefs.  Learning is secondary.

If you listen to those who compare Trump and Hitler, you will note that they view Republicans the same way Hitler viewed Jews: as inherently evil and incapable of good.  Find someone who thinks Trump is like Hitler, and you will see someone who despises the whole Republican Party.  Their hatred extends far beyond Trump (and, like with Hitler, this hatred probably has a deeper, non-political origin).  Republicans and Jews get dehumanized, as if they were inferior people.  The fact that Republicans have done good things can't be comprehended.  Evidence and logical reasoning get subordinated.  Like in George Orwell's 1984, facts aren't facts, except when they serve a certain purpose that corresponds with what one's mind wants to be true.

Hatred and rage (as opposed to love and tolerance) also characterize those who compare Hitler and Trump.  They are guided not by facts, evidence, or reason, but by a vitriolic hatred toward a specific group.  There are plenty of good Republicans in D.C., but those who compare Trump and Hitler can't bring themselves to see this.  Respectfully disagreeing is not part of their way of thinking, like Hitler.  They hate Republicans in the collective, although they may have Republican friends (Hitler liked specific Jews, too).

Emotions and selective usage of facts lead to some demonstrably false arguments that go something like this: all dictators attack the media, therefore if one attacks the media, he is a dictator.  That is illogical.  It is like saying all Christians believe in God, therefore, if you believe in God, you are a Christian.  Hitler used similar reasoning in Mein Kampf when he mistakenly reasoned that since Jews were disproportionately communists, most communists were Jews.  Again, truth gets subordinated.  The whole picture must be examined, not just selective pieces.

People are often more similar to than different from those they hate the most.  (The psychological explanations for this lie outside the scope of this work.)  Communists and Nazis resemble each other more than they do centrist, independent-minded people.  The latter, more objective people who don't compare Trump and Hitler (and this is most Americans) tend to have a better grasp on reality.  They are less hateful and more tolerant.  They are liberal, in the actual sense of the word.

On big, important issues, neither Trump nor those who associate him with Hitler are like Hitler.  Neither party seeks to end elections, or ban opposition parties, or send those different from its own members to concentration camps.  However, on some smaller issues, both bear a striking resemblance to Hitler.  Trump has lied, he glorifies the military, and he routinely attacks his political opponents.  But those who compare Trump with Hitler are guilty of hatred, intolerance, dehumanizing "the other," delusions, and irrational arguments.  If Trump is like Hitler, then so are they.

David Byrne earned his Ph.D. in history from Claremont Graduate University.  His book Ronald Reagan: An Intellectual Biography can be purchased here.  His Twitter account is here.

Image: Louis P. Hirshman via Wikimedia Commons.