During my daily talk radio show in Chicago, a Donald Trump supporter called to ask me if it was fair to compare The Donald to Adolf Hitler. I replied that it depended on which Hitler he was referring to. It was wrong, I said, to compare Trump to 1933-45 Hitler. Trump has not hunted down, rounded up, and slaughtered millions of people.
However, it is fair to compare Trump to 1920’s Hitler in Munich. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: “The SA (brown shirts) was founded in Munich by Hitler in 1921 out of various roughneck elements that had attached themselves to the fledgling Nazi movement. It drew its early membership largely from the Freikorps (Free Corps), armed freebooter groups, made up largely of ex-soldiers, that battled leftists in the streets in the early days of the Weimar Republic. Outfitted in brown uniforms after the fashion of Mussolini’s Fascist Blackshirts in Italy, the SA men protected Party meetings, marched in Nazi rallies, and physically assaulted political opponents…. During the early days of the Nazi regime, the SA carried out unchecked street violence against Jews and Nazi opponents.”
This certainly does seem to describe the inchoate outlines of Trump’s increasingly thuggish campaign. The narcissist is calling on his no-nothing Neanderthals to inflict terror against those who have the gall to speak out against his disjointed, capricious ideas masquerading as a platform.
The hate violence began in late August in Boston after two hoodlums beat up a Hispanic homeless guy. According to CNN, “Donald Trump was right,” the two men said as they beat the man with a metal pipe and then urinated on him. “All these illegals need to be deported.”
Since this alarming incident, the hooliganism has only intensified. At a rally in North Carolina a black protester was sucker punched by Trump follower John McGraw, who later said, “Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”
A man at a Donald Trump rally in Cleveland this week made a Nazi salute to protesters and yelled, “Go to Auschwitz. Go to f….ng Auschwitz.” At a Chicago Trump rally that was cancelled on Friday, Birgitt Peterson of Yorkville, IL was caught on camera with her right arm raised skyward in a Nazi salute. This ignominious behavior is not surprising, considering former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke gave Trump his stamp of approval, followed by the imprimatur of Nation of Islam bigot Louis Farrakhan.
Trump defender Ann Coulter tried to justify the attacks in a pathetic Tweet: “I would like to see a little more violence from the innocent Trump supporters set upon by violent leftist hoodlums.”
In Chicago, two Northwestern University freshmen were accused of spray-painting racist and homophobic messages along with the name of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump inside a nondenominational chapel on the university’s campus. The lowlifes spray-painted an expletive and a slur against African-Americans with a swastika on the chapel hallway. They also spray-painted a disparaging word for gay people on a wall, along with lines spray-painted over photos of Muslim students.
On numerous occasions, Trump has incited the violence. At one rally, in response to a protester, Trump angrily bellowed: “I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks…I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell you.”
The apparatchiks who defend Trump’s menacing behavior have one problem. These vicious scenes aren’t playing out at other political rallies. This violent vaudeville only occurs in the glow of Trump’s radioactive campaign rhetoric. The heinous words spewed by the candidate are more befitting a prisoner than a president.
The Democrats reacted to the ugly onslaught:
“It is clear that Donald Trump is running a very cynical campaign pitting groups of Americans against one another. He is trafficking in hate and fear,” Hillary Clinton said during an event at Ohio State University hosted by CNN and TV One. “He actually incites violence in the way he urges his audience on, talking about punching people, offering to pay legal bills.”
Clinton charged that Trump was guilty of a case of “political arson” by throwing fuel on political divisions in the country. “He has been incredibly bigoted towards so many groups. You don’t make America great by tearing down everything that made America great.”
“I hesitate to say this because I really don’t like to disparage public officials, but Donald Trump is a pathological liar,” Bernie Sanders said. “I would hope Mr. Trump tones it down big time and tells his supporters that violence is not acceptable in the American political process.”
Comparisons to Hitler’s early Munich days are legitimate. Trump is running a fascist campaign that targets opponents for violence. If you disagree, the chances are your shirt is brown.
Wayne Besen is a columnist and author of the book “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth.”