That’s right. Donald Trump isn’t the originator of #MAGA. That would be Adolf Hitler, who, if he never made it a slogan, did make the idea “Make Germany Great Again” a central theme of his political movement.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette preserves in its January 4, 1934 issue, a syndicated biopic (“Uncle Ray’s Corner”) of the German leader, which stated:
People laughed at him, and thought he was of little importance.
He told people that he would make Germany great again. He blamed Jews, Socialists, Communists, and others for the troubles of the land. His blazing speeches gained followers for his “cause.”
Here is the entire column:
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? After all, Donald Trump couldn’t even keep it out of his Thanksgiving wishes to the nation, tweeting :
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. We will, together, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2016
So too do the circumstances of Hitler’s rise to power seem familiar. The New York Times‘ Berlin bureau chief, Cyril Brown, covered Hitler for the paper, writing in a piece published on Nov. 21, 1922 that,
“His program consists chiefly of half a dozen negative ideas clothed in generalities… He probably does not know himself just what he wants to accomplish.”
Again, this sounds a lot like Trump. A half dozen negative ideas clothed in generalities really says it all. As does this:
“He talks rough, shaggy, sound horse sense, and according to… public opinion, a strong, active leader equipped with horse sense is the need of the hour.”
This is precisely how Donald Trump has presented himself and been received by his followers, and as with Hitler, his blunt talk has been mistaken for honestly, as though a pathological liar cannot speak bluntly.
And this “Make Germany Great Again” line was no more a one-off for Hitler than for Trump. The St. Louis Star and Times carried a Hitler speech in 1940 where the Fuhrer said,
“Nationalism and Socialism had to be redefined and they had to be blended into one strong new idea to carry new strength which would make Germany great again.”
People can attempt to downplay the eerie similarities between Adolf Hitler and the man who, according to an ex-wife, sleeps with a copy of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, but that’s all they can do, because the similarities are real, and possibly even intentional.
And yes, people thought Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitism was a put-on as well.
Just as an aside, you might take something from the fact that while Trump hates Hamilton, he is a big fan of the play Evita, which is about the fascist Eva Perón.
All the signs are there: The racism is real, the anti-Semitism is real, the conspiracy theory of betrayal is just as pronounced, and Trump and his followers have even given us the Hitler salute and personal oaths of loyalty.
Worse, Trump has not failed to denounce the support of Neo-Nazis, he (with the help of the mainstream media) has mainstreamed and normalized it.
Make your country great again? Been there, done that, and look where it got the Germans and all the minorities the Nazis trampled along the way.
Photos: Screen capture Newspapers.com
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.