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Obama, Hitler, and Trump

By  |  February 24, 2017, 04:45am  |  @ewerickson

It was a historic moment. He swept into office on promises of hope and change. He intended to overcome years of conservative governance and, in its place, promised a progressive paradise.

The platform adopted at the party convention called for universal healthcare, increased taxes on the rich to pay for social welfare programs, equal rights for all, and more government oversight of corporations he and his party thought had gained too much control.

Once in office, an administration aide advocated “annual ethical-impact reports” from corporations. Another advocated better diets for the citizens. “Nutrition is not a private matter!” read one government publication.

In fact, after Mr. Hope and Change got elected, one government official went so far as to blame “capitalist special interests” for the decline in public nutrition. The government set about creating standards for organic foods and encouraging people to both buy local and buy organic. Schools were encouraged to have the students grow vegetables for food. Some in the government wanted to actively encourage vegetarianism.

As part of their much debated universal healthcare plan, they intended that individuals should take control of their health through better nutrition and occasional monitoring to make sure the citizens were educated on proper diets. Doing that would save money on healthcare in the long run.

The government also wanted to make college more affordable. In the party platform adopted at their convention — the convention where they redacted God from the platform and ran promotions that the state is the only thing we all belong to — they declared that “the state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious [person] to obtain higher education.”

Yes, once in office, Hitler’s first order of business was an economic stimulus plan to spur on the Germany economy, and he moved quickly to adopt a universal, government-funded healthcare plan. His major ministers advocated organic farming and a reduction in chemical pesticides. They blamed major corporations for a decline in quality food. They wanted to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund greater social welfare programs for the poor and needy. They wanted to provide more affordable, if not free, access to college education.

Just like Barack Obama.

I am not honestly saying Barack Obama is comparable to Adolph Hitler. But I bring this up because as the American left, including some here in Middle Georgia, lose their minds over Donald Trump, they are more and more likely to compare him to Adolph Hitler. I was intrigued recently as I read how Donald Trump’s inaugural address sounded just like a Hitler speech. Now it is Trump’s twittering is like Hitler’s use of technology. As I noted above, Hitler’s Nazi Party platform sounded much like the Democrat Party platform in the Obama era.

Not to be too trite, but which is more Hitler-like, giving a speech or implementing similar policies on healthcare, education, food, social welfare, and corporatist regulations? The truth is that neither Donald Trump nor Barack Obama is Adolph Hitler and to say they are is to cheapen the monstrousness of Hitler. Frankly, it cheapens evil.

You may not like Donald Trump, but the descent into hyperbole and bad historic comparisons crumble your credibility. Donald Trump could rise so far so fast because so many people had cried wolf so many times about prior Republicans that no one believed the cries this time. Screaming “Hitler” because you don’t like Trump is crying wolf all over again. One day you really may need to speak up, but no one is going to believe you.