May 22, 2024

Trump Has the Reich Stuff

By Glenn

The Trump campaign propelled discussions of NAZIs into the news again.  It released a video with a fake newspaper reporting a fictional Trump landslide and the future “creation of a unified Reich.” Overtly mimicking NAZI language is essential to Donald Trump’s appeal. Many Americans don’t want to face this reality.

What then is a NAZI?  You need to look no farther than the words of Adolf Hitler.  Hitler created the National Socialist Party and explained its platform in Mein Kampf (My Struggle, 1923). He wrote Mein Kampf in prison after he was convicted of leading a failed coup against the Weimar Republic.

Hitler designed National Socialism to destroy the Weimar Republic.  The Weimar Republic was a representative, parliamentary democracy.  It rose from the ashes of World War One. 

The Second German Empire (Deutsches Reich) had committed suicide by joining Austria’s war against Serbia in 1914.  The Reich found itself trapped between Russia and France. The Reich army collapsed under the weight of total war, and the Emperor (Kaiser) fled to the Netherlands.

In 1919 German parliamentary leaders were left to pick up the pieces and created a new constitution for a defeated Germany.  The new constitution rested on multiparty elections, freedom of speech/press, and religious toleration.  Feminists also gained rights for women to vote, earn money outside the home, and overall legal equality with men.

Hitler hated the Weimar Republic.  His NAZI party sought to restore the traditional German Reich, a Third Reich.  Restoration required National Socialism.  Hitler’s “socialism”, however, had little in common with the Marxist idea of public ownership of resources, production, and distribution.  In fact, Hitler blamed the Marxists and the Socialists for the collapse of the Empire in the First World War.

Hitler redefined “socialism” by combining it with “nationalism”.  His definition is pretty simple to understand.  It had nothing to do with economics and everything to do with racial purity.  

“National-Socialists, there is only one doctrine: PEOPLE AND FATHERLAND.  What we have to fight for is the necessary security for the existence and increase of our race and people, the subsistence of its children and the maintenance of our racial stock unmixed, the freedom and independence of the Fatherland; so that our people may be enabled to fulfil the mission assigned to it by the Creator.”

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1923

Donald Trump’s lies about immigration tap directly into this NAZI rhetoric.  Trump’s language is the Reich Stuff.

“They let — I think the real number is 15, 16 million people into our country. When they do that, we got a lot of work to do. They’re poisoning the blood of our country…That’s what they’ve done. They poison mental institutions and prisons all over the world, not just in South America, not just to three or four countries that we think about, but all over the world. They’re coming into our country from Africa, from Asia, all over the world.”

Donald Trump, December 2023

Trump, like Hitler, hates democratic institutions.  He hates multiparty elections.  He hates freedom of speech. He hates a multiethnic, free America.  Trump scapegoats immigrants.  Trump wants your permission to turn back the clock just like Hitler turned back the clock.  Will you let him?

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