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If Trump was literally Hitler

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If Trump was literally Hitler

In today’s hyperbolic political age, the worst of political comparisons are employed. To combat this excessive use of language, it’s best to call people who compare Trump to Hitler out. The “If Series” is a series of articles that explores arguments made by the Left, and evaluates the premises of the conclusions that they draw.

What does that make you?

So you suggest that Trump is Hitler? Surely you’re not being hyperbolic! Yet if Trump were an orange Adolf Hitler, what does that make you? A passive citizen of the Third Reich? Surely the comparison is not accurate. In today’s society, we can look back on Adolf Hitler and numerous other dictators. The German people could not look back and see a “Hitler” prior to their own. Outside of references that are almost exclusive to German history they didn’t really have one. The only real villain in the World War 1 were the Ottomans who massacred Armenians. So because of lack of precedent, today’s American can be held to a higher moral standard because today’s American can more easily recall in history a genocidal dictator. Thus, if Trump is a genocidal dictator, opposing him is critical to saving lives. Failing to oppose this evil is permitting the evil to exist. #Resist is insufficient. Protesting is insufficient. One must take crucial and if necessary, violent steps, to oppose President Donald Trump. This call to action my sound extreme, but if Trump was Hitler, extreme actions are warranted and obligatory for those who care about freedom and their neighbors. We have seen such instances where extremities were necessary. In Syria and Iraq, many ordinary people took up arms to oppose ISIS. If Trump is Hitler, we should respond like so.

Political Scapegoats

Perhaps the item that inspires the most comparison is the premise that Trump is exploiting a political scapegoat. But what group, or groups represent the scapegoats? The most clear cut answer is Muslims and Migrants. The claim to Trump’s holocaust being against Muslims sprang from the suggestion of a travel ban. The Travel ban was a temporary measure that did not include majority of the world’s Muslim population, however? This argument is a stretch and hardly any additional policy formations have arisen.

The idea that illegal immigrants however is a more foundation stance. Trump’s increased rhetoric against illegal immigration does have multiple policies in place or desired. But is Trump’s endgame really annihilation? Adolf Hitler was so devoted to exterminating the Jews, he refused to redirect resources away from his genocidal operation to the war effort. Trump’s obsession with illegal immigration doesn’t lead one to conclude a genocidal result for illegal immigrants. Rather, Trump isn’t even super Conservative. He is actually willing to bend on DACA.

The biggest support for a future Holocaust is the detainment of illegal immigrant families. Though the amount of unaccompanied minors dwarfs the separated migrants, the hyper-focus on a few thousand individuals sure does engender Holocaust comparisons for Trump’s opponents. Yet one is left wondering how illegal immigrants in contemporary America compare to Jews under Nazi Germany. Illegal immigrants are afforded a multitude of rights including due process of law. They have powerful interest groups lobbying on their behalf and protecting them from deportation and discovery. The Jews never posed a real drain on the German government or society, nor is there data that shows they committed violent crime disproportionate to gentiles. But after contrasting Jews and illegal immigrants, one could suppose that this is motivation for Trump’s holocaust but only after a logical yoga class session.

Military Ambitions

Trump has ambitions to enlarge and maintain the strength of the US military. It is welknown that Adolf Hitler sought to make Germany’s military the most powerful force ever created. Trump has this same goal in mind and has acted on it accordingly. He is in the process of launching the Space Force, a sixth military service branch that no other nation possesses. Trump has also flexed military muscles on numerous occasions, in Syria, Afghanistan, and other places abroad. On the diplomatic front, Trump is no friend of Iran and has insisted the US allies quit freeloading on America’s strength. The biggest contrast in these military ambitions is conquest. America has no plans to conquer Canada. Mexico can get a free pass, like Sweden, because its so poorly managed it would be too much work to annex. So while Trump and Hitler both cared about their respective military strengths, their end goals are different. But this remains the strongest ground of comparison, although military ambition was also the least evil thing about Hitler’s regime.

Political Rivals

Nazi Germany was widely known for a revolving door of generals when the tide of war was changing. Hitler dismissed generals left and right for defying his orders or experiencing failure in executing them. Trump on the other hand is very lax, if not overly lax with political rivals. His election opponent, Hillary Clinton remains free and uncharged. James Comey wasn’t immediately fired, nor were McCabe or Strzok. In fact, Trump naively allowed many creatures of the Obama administration to remain in their positions of power. Most notably, they are all still alive, which is more than what we can say for all of Hillary Clinton’s defectors.

Trump also has a unique rival compared to any other US President: the media. But can Trump’s tweets and skipping out on the Whitehouse Correspondent’s Dinner really amount to Gestapo tactics of Hitler’s regime? Trump hasn’t even pulled any press credentials. Hitler also had greater control over information the public could obtain. Trump’s cabinet started out as a sieve. But overall, Trump is generous to his rivals in comparison to Hitler.

Governance

Hitler’s policies killed millions of people. However, it is proving difficult to measure the casualties of pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, implementing tax cuts, and rescinding Net Neutrality requirements. Hysteria aside, lets break down what each governance was. Hitler represented the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. His regime was fascist, which is a form of socialism with a high emphasis on nationalism.

Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. Within American politics, the Republicans favor nationalism, but in no way are they a “worker’s party” or socialist. But his nationalist leaning must invite similarities to Hitler? They would if Trump’s presidency was closer to totalitarianism. Scaling back regulations like Net Neutrality is quite the opposite of totalitarian. Taking steps to protect religious liberties, as Trump has, is also the opposite of what Hitler did.

There is common ground to be had with transgenders in the military. However, transgenderism wasn’t a thing in World War 2, but one can speculate that Hitler also would not have allowed transgenders to enlist. Other similarities include wanting to expand infrastructure. Hitler gave Germany a New Deal that actually worked. Trump has yet to accomplish his infrastructure ambitions, but would if he could which is allowable for this comparison.

Perhaps the most telling is that when Trump’s political opponent demanded that Trump pass gun restrictions, Trump largely refused. Dictatorship 101 would suggest that totalitarian dictators don’t want an armed opposition, yet Trump not only allows an armed (peaceful) opposition, he allows a vocal opposition as well.

Final Thoughts

A complete contrast of Trump and Hitler would be a lengthy book, but even in attempting to formulate the best comparison of Trump being a modern day Hitler fails to measure up. In governance, Trump is nothing close to Hitler. He’s not even on the same side of the political spectrum as Hitler. Perhaps when someone calls Trump Hitler, its best to follow their hyperbole by challenging their inaction. If Trump is Hitler, they are morally accountable for doing so little to stop him. But perhaps people should learn history and not employ such ridiculous comparisons because they can’t control their feelings or formulate an argument.

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Conspiracy Theory

Alternative History: If FDR wasn’t reelected

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Alternative History If FDR wasnt reelected

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is one of the most overrated leaders in world history. What would have happened if America saw this and in 1936 voted for Alfred Landon instead? Taking office in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, FDR oversaw the poor economy until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. Majority of historians would agree that the Great Depression ended because of World War.

In stricter economic terms the economy improved only to have a relapse in 1937. But it wasn’t until the war, or really after the war, did Americans see good economic times. We’re going to get into the alternative history, but first the Great Depression needs to be put in comparison to past economic crises in order to set up the event which changes the alternate timeline.

Recessions, Banking Crises, Federal Reserve, Economic History

Jeffrey Hummel, professor of economics at San Jose State University, constructed this chart using methodology detailed here. In American history, recessions generally did not last more than two years. This one lasted nearly four years on paper. In this timeline, Americans realize that recessions should not last this long and change management like a sports team firing their coach after a few losing seasons. The year is 1936, and FDR loses his reelection to Republican Alfred M. Landon.

Unfortunately for America at this time Alfred Landon, would have made a mediocre, at best, president. Alfred Landon campaigned on lowering taxes and balancing the budget, but also supported numerous pieces of Roosevelt’s new deal. He was a politically successful Republican holdout from the Democrat victories in 1932 as governor of Kansas. The biggest contrast between FDR and FDR-lite candidate, Alfred Landon, would have been social security, or at least how social security was implemented. Landon vehemently opposed the Social Security Act. So in 1937, the Social Security Act is repealed shortly after taking effect.

Being a progressive would ultimately have negated the fiscal hawkish nature of Landon, as it typically does in other politicians. But the area of taxation is where we do see a difference. Being an economic novice, FDR increased government spending and wanted to pay for it by increasing taxes. He never knew about the Laffer CurveFDR at one point fought for a 100% income tax for the highest earners, a move today’s left apparently lauds. The Foundation For Economic Education writes:

In 1935, with FDR’s push, the top marginal tax rate hit 79 percent. Few paid that rate, but thousands of Americans were in the 50-percent bracket. Entrepreneurs had to hand over more than half of any income above a certain level.

Facing disincentives to make capital investments, many entrepreneurs used their wealth cautiously—investing in tax-exempt bonds, art collections, and foreign banks. Little wealth went into creating jobs, so high unemployment persisted. During World War II FDR raised taxes further, to 94 percent on all income over $200,000.

President Landon, instead pushes for tax cuts and receives them. While spending remains elevated, government revenue increases. The economy improves, mitigating the relapse. However President Landon issues his new version of the Social Security Act, one that seems to be more of a welfare program than the more separated behemoth that is the SSA. In this timeline, it is likely that the Great Depression ends around World War 2 as well.

SCOTUS

A key factor at play is Landon’s less hostile view towards separation of powers. The Supreme Court, thanks in large part to Calvin Coolidge’s rather conservative appointees, struck down numerous chunks of the New Deal. FDR sought to pack the courts in response. After this failure, FDR finally intimidated his way into a vacancy. In fact, a floodgate of nominations opened. He nominated Senator Hugo Black, a ardent New Deal supporter and member of the Ku Klux Klan. Justice Black was a widely influential judge authoring the Korematsu v United States 1944 (6-3) decision, one where 6 of 8 justices appointed by Roosevelt voted for internment camps.

Most appointees did not outlast the 1940s. Justice William Douglas was one of two Democrats that voted for the infamous Roe v Wade decision. But Republicans are to blame for the judges who rendered that decision. But the trajectory of SCOTUS nominees is now impossible to calculate, in terms of who would have been nominated, how long they would have lasted, and the distribution of vacant seats in the future presidencies.

World War 2

Does President Landon win a second term? Most Presidents with recent exceptions such as Hoover and Roosevelt win a second term. This term, beginning in 1941, would have overseen the start of US involvement in World War 2. President Landon was more than certainly a weaker presence to have in the Oval Office in a time of war. However the United States generals would largely remain unchanged in this timeline, as America would have selected its top officers. Japan was doomed to fail due to their technological inferiority.

The Manhattan Project would have commenced, and the next President would surely have dropped the bomb, as it was the rational thing to do. Alfred Landon was more isolationist at heart. However he would have given aid to Britain while rejecting the neutrality.

Closing The Gap

Interestingly enough, this timeline closes. While Truman likely doesn’t become President, Dwight Eisenhower does. As the successful general in the European Theater, he would win due to sheer popularity and qualifications. It’s hard from Eisenhower to assert that the chain of Presidents would have been different. President Trump would be number 46, as the United States would have had a President that didn’t serve four terms. That being said, the 22nd Amendment likely wouldn’t exist.

Presidents, like Obama, would still have tried to use government intervention to fix the economy because there was no free market solutions put in place in the 1930s to show that the market would correct itself and faster if the government allowed it too. Social security would exist but the collection of funds would likely be different, much like the differences between Obamacare and Romneycare. The only severe difference from the lack of a FDR second term is the Supreme Court. Roosevelt replaced all but one judge on a court which began hostile to his New Deal. In the alternative history, he appoints zero.

The lack of clear differences between Alfred Landon and FDR make this thought exercise truly underwhelming. Essentially this exercise replaced a radical Democrat with a progressive Republican. The 1936 presidential election bares many similarities to the 2012 election. Party establishment rammed a candidate that hardly opposed the incumbent. That candidate runs a poor campaign and gets crushed accordingly. In the end, the biggest known change in this alternative history is legacy. FDR’s rating as a top President would be nonexistent. While the alternative is disappointing, it seems, at a glance, more than nominally superior than the actual course of events.

Further Reference: Alfred Landon’s Acceptance Speech at the 1936 RNC

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Entertainment and Sports

Hey Kansas: If you get Les Miles, the funny quotes come free

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Hey Kansas If you get Les Miles, the funny quotes come free

The Kansas Jayhawks have had a rough football season. They’ve had several rough football seasons. Today’s loss to the Oklahoma Sooners showed a spark of offense for a team that may not be as bad as their record indicates. They also got some good news on the coaching front.

Les Miles may be coming to Lawrence.

The coach that won a national championship with LSU and helped put Oklahoma State on the college football map may try to do the same for the Jayhawks if rumors turn out to be correct.

Beyond being a great coach, Miles has built a reputation for saying some of the funniest things to the press. Here’s one of my personal favorites:

“When I wake up in the morning and I turn that film on, it’s like reading a book and it’s exciting. I don’t read books, but if I read books it would be like reading a book.”

I do hope to see Miles coaching at KU. They need him. The Big 12 needs him. Football fans in general need him.

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News

SC voter forced to take off his Trump shirt before voting wasn’t being targeted as a Republican

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SC voter forced to take off his Trump shirt before voting wasnt being targeted as a Republican

You may have heard about the South Carolina man who was ordered to remove his “Trump” shirt before he would be allowed to vote. If you saw it on social media you may have seen it attached to comments about voter suppression or anti-Trump bias.

Here’s the reality. Yes, an unnamed South Carolina voter had to remove a Trump t-shirt and a MAGA hat before he was allowed to vote. It went mildly viral after images emerged of the man exiting the polling station shirtless.

He wasn’t being targeted as a Trump supporter. If he’d worn a Kamala Harris 2020 shirt, he would have received the same instructions. Georgetown County’s Board of Elections prohibits campaign materials from being within 200 feet of a polling precinct or inside a voting location. It doesn’t matter if it’s a shirt, hat, button, sticker, or whatever.

If you vote in Georgetown County, South Carolina, be sure to leave your Trump trousers or Bernie bandana at home.

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