Part 4: The Nazi Conscience Chapter 2: The Politics of Virtue

Content note for antisemitism, Trump, eliminationist rhetoric.

Once Hitler realized he’d need to dial back the antisemitic rhetoric in order win power, he began glorifying the Volk and calling Germans to unify instead. But of course Jews were not part of that Volk. He’d perfected the art of the dog whistle. Even a Jewish woman who went to one of his rallies heard “nothing even against the Jews.”

But, like Trump, Hitler managed to speak for hours without saying much of anything at all. She could have been describing a Trump rally: “[He] put up sham accusations, only to refute them, used slogans by the hour, and said nothing else than praise of himself…” Yet his admirers ate it all up. It’s so similar to Trump and his fans it’s terrifying.

Many people tried to wave away Hitler’s antisemitism, just like many people today try to pretend Trump and the Republicans aren’t bigoted scumlords. But a quick glance at either party’s platform quickly reveals the truth. The proof is in the planks. When your planks consist of racist, bigoted bullshit, your protestations that you’re not a bigoted racist can only be believed by those who need to pretend they’re not with you because of your most vile beliefs.

One particular Nazi Party Program Plank is horribly similar to things Trump is doing to our own Muslim immigrants: “‘non-Germans’ who had immigrated after 1914 would be expelled from Germany.”

And, like Hitler, Trump is leaving open racism to his surrogates while he proclaims himself to be the least racist person on the planet. Folks: When someone supports racist party planks and appoints virulent racists to high positions, that person is a fucking racist. The mask will come off the second he’s deceived enough of you so that he no longer needs it. Believe his actions, not his words.

The smaller commonalities between Trump and Hitler are also jarring. Both used the third person to refer to themselves, for instance. Both unsuccessfully ran for election before winning power. Both have a taste for grandiosity.

And both tenuously rose to power on a wave of hate. We’ll be analyzing that next.

Image is the cover of The Nazi Conscience. It shows a brown-uniformed man digging while a man in traditional German folk costume holds a pole that has a swastika banner on it.
We’re studying The Nazi Conscience as a way to prepare for what’s happening now. If you want to read along, you can pick up an inexpensive used copy at Amazon. Buying through that link also supports my blogging, so thank you!

Intro • Prologue1.1

Part 4: The Nazi Conscience Chapter 2: The Politics of Virtue