When it comes to the rise of authoritarian, nationalist and xenophobic leaders, Germany could be considered as having some experience with that.
A German man living in San Diego wrote a letter to Americans comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler.
“Go ahead, vote for the guy with the loud voice who hates minorities, threatens to imprison his opponents, doesn’t give a f*** about democracy, and claims he alone can fix everything,” he wrote under the online pseudonym Johan Franklin. “What could possibly go wrong?”
The letter, signed from “the people of Germany,” concludes with “good luck” and the hashtag #beentheredonethat.
The letter which was posted on Twitter, was written by a 44-year-old IT consultant who said that he felt “physically sick” at the thought of a Trump presidency.
The post immediately went viral with media institutions such as the New York Times, The Washington Post and the Huffington Post were quick to pick it up.
He told the Huffington Post UK that the response has been overwhelming. The Twitter post has since been re-tweeted over a thousand times and was even re-tweeted by Harry Potter author J.K Rowling, while some other Twitter users threatened his life.
As the noted spread like wildfire across the internet, ‘Franklin’ posted another tweet to clarify that he did not work for the Clinton campaign, but the he would vote for if he could.
“I can’t. I’m German. Pay attention,” he added.
Soon after Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States — where he called Mexicans rapists — his rhetoric has, for many, recalled the rise of Hitler.
Keith Olbermann, a former MSNBC anchor and the host of GQ‘s The Closer YouTube series, has regularly contrasted the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign with the Nazi Party in the early 1930s given Trump’s proclivity for racism and his anti-immigrant rhetoric.
While such comparison’s can on the surface seem applicable, there is a danger of trivializing what Nazism actually was.
This kind of argument triggers what is known as “Godwin’s Law” — the sarcastic notion that any online discussion will eventually end up comparing someone or something to Hitler or Nazis.
It is a rule illustrated by the long history of Hitler comparisons deployed against both conservative and liberal politicians in America.
In fact, Trump is not the only presidential candidate who’s been likened to the German dictator. Ted Cruz has been called a potential Hitler
, as well as Marco Rubio. Even lovable John Kasich has been compared to Hitler, who also compared Trump to Hitler during his campaign.
But is it fair to say that, for people like Franklin, Trump’s proposed policies and rhetoric reminds them of Hitlarian tendencies? Possibly so.
Banner Photo: Reuters