Donald Trump, current GOP front-runner and guy who said he wanted "more information" before he would disavow the support of former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke (a snafu he blamed on a "very bad earpiece"), has been spouting eyebrow-raising rhetoric since he entered the presidential race in June. He's called Mexican immigrants drug runners and "rapists," he's intimated Muslims should be banned from the country, and he doesn't have the greatest record when it comes to women, either.
Nevertheless, Trump's campaign continues to gain traction. More frightening still, people actually agree with him. And interestingly, his rise is reminiscent of another politician who spoke of reforming a country in peril. As Justin Green, the politics editor for the Independent Journal Review, pointed out on Twitter, the way we're talking about Trump now is eerily similar to the way the New York Times first described Adolf Hitler back in 1922.
The description reads:
But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch messes of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.
A sophisticated politician credited Hitler with peculiar political cleverness for laying emphasis and over-emphasis on anti-Semitism, saying: “You can’t expect the masses to understand or appreciate your finer real aims. You must feed the masses with cruder morsels and ideas like anti-Semitism. It would be politically all wrong to tell them the truth about where you are really leading them.”
In his early stages, the Führer sounds a lot like Trump: flashy, novel, and full of promise, especially to the "messes of followers" he's managed to attract. The Times article was written a full 11 years before Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. Perhaps Tump's rhetoric is something we should take a little more seriously.