Vail Daily letter: Trump’s speeches reminiscent of Hitler |

Vail Daily letter: Trump’s speeches reminiscent of Hitler

Sen. John McCain’s heartfelt speech to the full Senate made me proud to count him as a friend. He has been one of my heroes for years and reaffirmed that place in my mind last week. His comments to the Senate were right on the mark.

The Senator’s comments are in great contrast to the comments coming from Donald Trump on a near daily basis that make it difficult to believe they come from the same political party. The Senator’s comments reflect the best our country has to offer in terms of honor and true democracy supporting political leadership, while Trump’s comments remind me of those more commonly uttered by dictators.

The contrast, coupled with Trump’s comments at the Boy Scout Jamboree and his decision to stop allowing transgendered individuals to serve in the military, reminded me of the actions of one of the most infamous dictators ever. That person is Adolf Hitler. Maybe I should not be surprised by the similarity, but it feels increasingly like it might be a valid comparison.

I remember from the campaign that Trump’s first wife, Ivana, told Vanity Fair magazine that Trump kept a copy of Hitler’s “My New Order” collection of speeches on his bed stand. Trump gave a halfhearted denial when asked about the book. But his actions suggest that he read the speeches very closely. His statements ring with the bigotry that Hitler used as a tool to build his power.

Trump picks on minorities with his ban on Muslims; name calling Mexicans as rapists and murderers; and his pumped-up statements that he will get Mexico to pay for the wall. He suggests that women who have abortions should be punished and now targets transgender people with a ban on military service.

He summarily denounces, insults and fires people who disagree with him. He is treading a fine line that seems incredibly close to obstruction of justice. He openly threatens people who do not do his bidding. He repeatedly supported violence at his campaign rallies and even offered the possibility that he might pay for the legal defense.

He cozies up to, and possibly colludes with, Vladimir Putin, who has the same level of power in Russia that Joseph Stalin did. He openly admires and develops relationships with dictators around the world, just as Hitler did. He bullies his subordinates and even attempts to bully Congress by attacking the House and the Senate and recently even his own party. Now at the Boy Scout Jamboree, he requested similar types of political assistance from the Scouts in attendance as Hitler once did from his Youth Brigades.

The similarities in Trump’s approach to Hitler are too many and too forcefully pushed by him to be ignored. We seem to be going down a difficult and treacherous road reminiscent of one that plunged the world into World War II. As a country, we need to recognize that it could happen here. We cannot allow that to happen.

Sen. McCain was on point in his speech. Whatever our position is on the various issues facing our country, we should all agree that our basic democratic principles need to be protected and supported. We cannot let a dictatorship, in fact or even just in style, determine the direction of our country. We need to push the discourse that makes democracy effective and ignore or change the megalomaniac foolishness emanating from the White House.

Steve Pope


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