Michael Brown on Comparing Trump to Hitler is an Insult to the American People

If we are to believe that Donald Trump has used the same tactics that Adolf Hitler used, then we must also believe that Americans today are largely similar to the Germans then. Frankly, the comparison does not work.

In his 2019 book When at Times the Mob Is Swayed: A Citizen’s Guide to Defending Our Republic, Burt Neuborne, a Civil Rights attorney and law professor, is careful to distinguish between the person of Trump and the person of Hitler. As noted in a lengthy article by Steven Rosenfeld, “The author repeatedly says his goal is not ‘equating’ the men — as ‘it trivializes Hitler’s obscene crimes to compare them to Trump’s often pathetic foibles.’” (Since the book was released in August 2019, we can now better evaluate its arguments.)

Neuborne, however, does accept the claim made in divorce filings by Trump’s first wife that Trump “kept and studied a book translating and annotating Adolf Hitler’s pre-World War II speeches in a locked bedside cabinet.”

And, he writes, “Watching Trump work his crowds . . . I see a dangerously manipulative narcissist unleashing the demagogic spells that he learned from studying Hitler’s speeches — spells that he cannot control and that are capable of eroding the fabric of American democracy. You see, we’ve seen what these rhetorical techniques can do. Much of Trump’s rhetoric — as a candidate and in office — mirrors the strategies, even the language, used by Adolf Hitler in the early 1930s to erode German democracy.”

Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 25 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire.

Putting aside the claim about Trump’s alleged study of Hitler’s pre-World War II speeches – I have not heard this before and cannot verify or refute it – Neuborne is not the first academic to compare Trump’s methodology to that of Hitler.

I devoted a whole chapter in Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? to the International Bonhoeffer Society’s call for Christians to abandon their support of Trump. They too pointed to dangerous, alleged parallels between our era and that of Hitler.

Another chapter in the book was titled, “The Cult of Trump or Trump Derangement Syndrome,” and there I addressed the question of whether there really was a cult-like devotion to Trump, even among (or especially among) Christian conservatives.

In all candor, some of that devotion is scary, in keeping with Trump’s (in)famous line that he could shoot someone in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue and not lose any supporters.

Trump does know how to push the right buttons, and I find it amazing (and quite disconcerting) when his supporters seem oblivious to his obvious flaws. (To cite one example, a Christian Trump supporter recently challenged me to cite a single lie that Trump ever told. She was convinced that never once did he stretch the truth.)

That’s why, as a two-time Trump voter, I have continued to ask the question if the relationship between Trump and Christian conservatives is a match made in heaven or a marriage with hell.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Brown

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