I read a preliminary description of a book as this author has written. I have to wonder, how can he refer to himself as a historian? This book is nothing more than his distorted view of history to fit his politics. Imagine how this would read if the author actually gave a factual explanation of history instead of as a means to bash individuals or political party? I was unable to find this book on Amazon.
When I listen, read or watch someone compare the current political climate in the USA to Nazi Germany, this is when almost all credibility of an individual is lost. Plain and simple, we are not living in a fascist state, nor are we in any immediate danger of that being introduced, not from the Trump administration or the current crop of Congressional GOP. To make such a claim is either incredibly naïve or highly motivated deceptive political misappropriation. In fact I’m amazed this person refers to himself as a historian. Hysterical yes, historian no.
The author’s references and description of current USA politics with respect to Nazi Germany is fallacious. The author claims that United States isolationism of the 1920’s & ’30’s can be compared to conservatism today.
Our current Congress and President has nothing in common with Nazi Germany and Hitler. Making these assertions as if they’re facts isn’t harmful, but taken collectively, incite destructive emotional behavior and a disconnect from reality.
It’s another attempt to tabulate and correlate all of the popular political prejudices. It plays to an audience, like Hitler did in his speeches, with a lack of historical depth to document his incredibly naïve or misleading suppositions.
History is complicated and a detailed topic. I dislike the use of it to portray events and people with incorrect information in order to claim special insight. This author’s technique isn’t unusual, I’ve seen other people take advantage of the lack of knowledge of most people and infuse it with their offbeat pronouncements or comparisons.
The 20th century was one of the worst centuries in recorded history. Scarred by two global conflicts, many violent regime changes, and the displacement of millions of refugees, it was rife with villainy and intrigue. No era, or major human endeavor operates in isolation. In order to dispel some of the myths which this author, Christopher R. Browning begins to weave, I will attempt to explain topics which need much more depth than many will care to read. I’m not going to bother tackling his anti-Trump, anti-GOP, anti-Mitch McConnell statements. To do so really does nothing to get at the core of his writing, and almost anyone that reads this has their mind made up about the GOP and Trump, anyways.
Let’s examine the United States historical position on isolationism. This alone is a huge topic, because much of the stage was set from our previous conflicts, the Civil War, Spanish American War, and World War I.
The United States has been involved with one war or another since its inception. The Civil War was an unavoidable, bloody conflict, leaving the worst human losses for our country to date. I’m not going to spend time on it’s cause or reasons, just know that many older people, including veterans were still living well into the first two decades of the twentieth century. That left an indelible memory for all those who lived through it.
In the closing period of the 19th century we had the brief Spanish American War. That’s one of those conflicts that should have been avoided, but it gave the US some of that false bravado we liked to get caught up in. World War I wasn’t anything like the quick and relatively bloodless Spanish American War. The European war started 3 years before we decided to enter it. From our involvement, we gained a taste of what a world wide conflict could begin to look like, and there were a lot of men that came back from that war damaged physically and mentally.
As a response to the horrors of WWI, and the distant memories of the Civil War, many people in the US wanted nothing to do with the insanity of future international conflicts. Japan was soon engaged in their territorial scuffles, and Spain was in full scale revolt in the ’30’s. We had just put behind us, our memories of the conflict with Spain, and here they were, fighting among themselves, which potentially could start another European war. Germany was using this opportunity to perfect tactics they would use in a few more years in eastern Europe. We wanted nothing to do with another war. So, isolationism was the prevalent disposition in Washington.
Trying to discuss 20th century trade wars, and place them in context with current policies isn’t relevant. What was important, and set the stage for the world wide depression in the late 1920’s and 1930’s is where politics and economics came together and added fuel to the hate cauldron of Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler was the perfect scoundrel to take advantage and replace a broken democratic republic with a fascist regime.
For reasons he doesn’t indicate in this write up (click on link at top of this post for reference), we might see some form of totalitarianism in this country if we continue to add annual deficits. The financial disarray is only part of the conditions which beleaguered post WWI Nazi Germany.
Hitler achieved power and control for several reasons. If you wish to make comparisons to contemporary USA, you would have to understand the vast differences, as well.
1 – Germany was in financial ruin from World War I. The repayments demanded of it through the League of Nations, Treaty of Versailles, plus their own inability to recover through their own initiatives signaled their downward spiral. They diluted the currency, and ended up with hyper inflation. “Quantitative easing” is a favored technique of our central bank and endorsed by elected officials.
Their, “economic easing” began with more Reich Marks put into circulation. This came to a horrible end, as all of these inflationary death spirals do, hastened by over speculation and a collapse in trust of the currency. People were literally using wheel barrows filled with currency to buy bread.
2 – From the ashes of crisis the “savior arises”. As many times as these comparisons emerge, Trump and Hitler are not even close to the same person. So, if you can’t or won’t see the obvious differences, then no amount of reading or reasoning will work for you, and I’m truly sorry. For the rest of those who care to read on… Adolf Hitler came from a broken home. Never really became educated, and usually never finished what he started. He failed at labor, no craftsmanship. He had limited artistic skills, and he seemed to even have problems with obtaining and sustaining male & female relationships. In short, he was a born loser. For all you Trump haters out there, and those of you who want to believe the lopsided view of his business skills or his male & female relationships, he’s really a polar opposite of Hitler. Then, because conditions were just right, Hitler became a phoenix. Germany was a proud state, still had many veterans who believed their country sold them out. Many believed in the myth that the only reasons they lost WWI was due to their political leadership giving in to the people who wanted peace.
3 – This is where we are much different in the USA from Germany in the 1920’s & 30’s. The country was broke, both in spirit and in economics.
Hitler’s behavior was closer to what we see from Antifa, or these other groups protesting with vagina hats. Crazy, rabble rousing behavior. Speaking at first to anyone who would listen in bars. He eventually caught the eye of another dysfunctional but wealthier and more influential man.
Hitler joined the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, later known as the Nazi Party. This political party was formed and developed during the post-World War I era.
It, along with Hitler rose to power very slowly at first throughout the 1920’s. Hitler was even arrested and imprisoned for his participation in a failed coup. The Germany of 1930’s was in a huge mess, and the vacuum of power permitted the Nazi’s to become participants in the national government. It’s difficult for anyone to watch him now, in those old propaganda films, but Hitler was considered a great orator. He knew how to wow the crowd. Yes, Trump has the ability to communicate, but he’s not in the league of spell binding speeches which Adolf Hitler could muster.
4 – Identify scape goats or shift the blame. Current politics in the US is in a free fall. There’s a definite crisis of leadership. I recognized it and saw it in the 2016 election process. If you’re honest, you should have seen both parties brought forth two candidates who for different reasons, should never have been the top of their party’s ticket. Well, that election happened, and despite the constant outcry from the die-hard Democrats, it’s over. They can look forward to midterms and 2020. Each party is blaming the other, and neither is acting in any mode other than trying to make the other team look bad and themselves look good.
None the less this is not Germany in 1933 & ‘34. When Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933, his rise to the top was meteoric. The Enabling Act passed in March 1933 gave Hitler total authority, and thereafter constitutionally exercise dictatorial power without legal objection. He had ultimate executive authority, because of their crisis. This is when and where you can see anyone who isn’t playing dirty with the facts and fails to realize the greater danger in that behavior was on full display with the previous Democrat administration. Here’s what one of them said to his President,
“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”
― Rahm Emanuel
Let that sink in for a moment. While you want to think about ways the third Reich and the GOP are similar, may I suggest you do a lot more reading and consider for a moment that where we are now, isn’t anywhere near to Germany of the 1920’s or ‘30’s. We might find ourselves there at some unpredictable date in the future because of our fiscal irresponsibility. We’re just not there now. We don’t have Brown Shirts (look them up), we don’t have the SS, nor do we have a government as shady as what once was the Clinton administration.