Normalizing Hysteria

Donald Trump is not Adolf Hitler. But that's not the standard.

Trump Convention Speech

My latest for The National Interest, “Normalizing Hysteria,” has posted. The crux of the argument:

Critics of Donald Trump, of which I have long been one, have spent the past sixteen months arguing that he is manifestly unprepared by experience and unsuited by temperament to be President of the United States. The Republican national security establishment, in particular, has been at the forefront of the #NeverTrump movement. Now that he is president-elect, however, I think that constant comparisons of Trump to history’s worst monsters are bound to boomerang. The opponents of Trump say they want to avoid “normalizing” him. In fact their hysterical comparisons accomplish what they profess to want to avoid.

[…]

A New York Times feature noting how badly the Newspaper of Record misdiagnosed the rise of Hitler back in 1922 is again making the rounds.  The lede: “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 masses 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.”

Yet, given that Trump passed for decades on the Manhattan cocktail circuit as a social liberal, it’s quite possible that the vociferous nativism of Trump’s campaign was for show. More importantly, however, the problem with comparing people to Hitler is that, well, nobody else is Hitler. Compared to death camps that slaughter millions, anything that Trump might propose will seem reasonable by comparison. But, surely, Hitler isn’t the left limit of American democracy? (Of course, as Holocaust historian Gavriel Rosenfeld has noted, Hitler himself has been normalized as fodder for humorous Internet memes.)

On a similar note, Esquire‘s Charles Pierce, who has called on the Electoral College to stage a coup and elect Hillary Clinton president despite the election outcome, declared on his Twitter feed, “The hiring of Steve Bannon as a WH policy adviser is exactly the same as hiring David Duke.” He adds the obligatory, “Please don’t normalize this.”

The problem with this is that Duke is the very symbol of racism in modern America. He has been a leader of Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups going back nearly five decades. While he long ago denounced the violence of the Klan and eschewed hoods and bedsheets for suits and ties, he’s remained at the forefront of white nationalist and neo-Nazi movements. Bannon, by contrast, has run a website that gives free reign to white nationalists and hosted a talk show that gives a platform to anti-Semites and Muslim bashers. That’s terrible.  I don’t think Bannon should be the chief political advisor to the president of the United States. But claims that he’s equivalent to David Duke actually serve to make Bannon seem reasonable by comparison. And, again, “well, at least he’s not David Duke” should hardly be the measuring stick for unacceptability.

Whether it’s refusing to release his tax returns; declining to say whether he would accept the outcome of either the Republican primaries or the general election if they didn’t go his way; not answering questions from reporters for months on end; or getting away with dozens of outrageous statements and flubs that would have surely sunk any other campaign, Trump has not played by the rules and he’s seemingly been rewarded for it. That’s infuriating. But the answer isn’t to refuse to normalize the elected president of the United States but to treat him precisely as we normally would a president.

[…]

Trump ran a campaign with no precedent in modern American history and we have reason for deep concern about his presidency. Yet there’s no escaping a modicum of normalization. Rather than crying “Hitler,” we must now be more vigilant. Let’s call Trump out if he puts unqualified or intemperate people into positions of power. Let’s push back on unwise policy proposals or executive orders. And let’s remember that the standard is not whether Trump’s policies resemble those of fascists and totalitarians but whether they’re in the best interests of the United States and our allies.

More at the link.

FILED UNDER: Published Elsewhere, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. SKI says:

    Whether it’s refusing to release his tax returns; declining to say whether he would accept the outcome of either the Republican primaries or the general election if they didn’t go his way; not answering questions from reporters for months on end; or getting away with dozens of outrageous statements and flubs that would have surely sunk any other campaign, Trump has not played by the rules and he’s seemingly been rewarded for it. That’s infuriating. But the answer isn’t to refuse to normalize the elected president of the United States but to treat him precisely as we normally would a president.

    How does the the bulk of this paragraph suggest that the last sentence is in any way correct?

    If he isn’t acting normally, why should we not repeatedly state that – and what its consequences are?

  2. Pch101 says:

    Let’s call Trump out if he puts unqualified or intemperate people into positions of power.

    Hasn’t he already done that?

  3. michael reynolds says:

    Oh for fwck’s sake, how hard is this?

    Hitler 1933. Hitler 1945. NOT THE SAME CONCEPT.

    See, when you say, “He’s not Hitler,” what you’re saying is, “He’s not end-stage Hitler.” It’s like if I said, “Huh, I have a little tumor,” and you said, “Yeah, but it’s nothing as bad as the tumor that killed my uncle.”

    True. And likely to be irrelevant.

    Hitler came to power in January, 1933. The Final Solution was conceived in January, 1942. That would be 9 years later. So reassuring us that he’s not Hitler is silly and ahistorical because Hitler wasn’t ‘Hitler’ in 1933, but he was on the road to being ‘Hitler.’ And Cheeto has already got Fat Goebbels installed as Chief Strategist.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    And by the way, he will never be normalized as far as I’m concerned. He’s the American voter’s appalling error in judgment. In fact not norming this malicious, incompetent buffoon is just the start.

    We should also name and shame any member of the media, the business world, the political world, the entertainment world, the art communities etc…, who collaborate in any way with Trump. Any norming of Trump has to be ruthlessly resisted.

  5. KM says:

    I don’t think Bannon should be the chief political advisor to the president of the United States. But claims that he’s equivalent to David Duke actually serve to make Bannon seem reasonable by comparison. And, again, “well, at least he’s not David Duke” should hardly be the measuring stick for unacceptability.

    So instead of Hitler-level comparisons, we should be calling him Gobbels or Quisling? I know he’s not but my point is Nazi Germany provided a plethora of evil stereotypes and hierarchies to serve a yardstick. Since Hitler is at the top and you want to convey that someone is superlatively evil, he’s the default caricature. Ditto Gobbels for propaganda and Quisling for selling your soul for power. It’s an easy to understand cultural shorthand propagated by decades of media reinforcement; your average invoker probably knows only one or two other examples and then the same problem would apply. We don’t have a measuring scale for horribleness the way we do pain – analogies and metaphors fill the void and most authors go for low hanging fruit.

    Instead, my question is *why* you think Bannon deserves the benefit of the doubt more than Duke. Both spokesman for white nationalism and all its associated garbage, are free with their feelings on their favorite subject, willing promote the same ideology, both have no compunctions getting down and dirty to achieve their goals. The only difference I can truly discern is Bannon’s decided to be more low-key and not run around burning crosses. Instead he’s created an empire with a reach Duke drools over and gets others to burn the cross for him. Bannon is the (barely) polite cover for the toxic garbage Duke espouse but remember, *Duke* was considered the same back in the day. He was considered the fresh-faced guy next door, rarely actually said the n-word but certainly talked his way around it. In fact, Duke might have one up on Bannon since Bannon’s blatant misogyny seems to outstrip Duke’s.

    Is it really hysteria to be concerned when some of the worst modern examples of a plethora of social evil gleefully sign on to Trump’s wagon with no signs of stopping? He’s normalizing himself, James. He’s literally institutionalizing white nationalism by letting a spokesman help run the place. Bad analogies aren’t nearly as concerning as Republicans not doing anything to prevent this kind of thing. #NeverTrumpers need to remember their convictions, gird up their loins and go stop this since they have all the power this cycle. They’re agreeing to the normalization by not putting the breaks on its progression.

  6. rachel says:

    Donald Trump is not Hitler. Hitler had a plan.

  7. Hal_10000 says:

    I do think there is a problem with distinguishing between the very real dangers of a Trump Administration and the not-so-real dangers. Right now, we are being fed a broth of random floating fears (many of which could be applied to any Republican) rather than focusing on what specifically is dangerous about Trump.

    Example: One of the things I’ve been hearing a lot over the last week is that marriage equality might be in danger. I understand the fear (to the extent that I can, being straight). But there are many things that have to happen in order for that to be in danger. The Courts are not going to want to revisit it any time soon (they revisit abortion, a much more contentious issue, maybe once a decade). The GOP has little interest in it anymore. So, yeah, I get it that people are nervous. But it’s really low on the list of things we should be worrying about right now. We need to focus on things like civil liberties, the budget deficit and the dangers to illegal immigrants, things that could become critical issues immediately.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:
    I’ve made the point before that if Americans knew any history we could expand our range of metaphors. Unfortunately the American people know of the existence of the Revolution, the Civil War, World War 2 and Vietnam. And that’s it. They barely know what those four things mean – in fact Joyner evidently doesn’t understand the whole rise-to-power notion as relates to Hitler – so we are stuck drawing inaccurate parallels because the American people are entirely ignorant.

  9. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I do agree with this. Trump has broken a lot of important social norms and I would just as soon not see us accept that those norms are permanently broken. It took a long time to get to the point where saying the kinds of things Trump says about women and minorities was unacceptable. I don’t want to slide back on that.

  10. Hal_10000 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Yeah, but even Hitler 1933 is bad comparison. By 1933, Hitler had been pushing his agenda for more than a decade. He’d already embraced violence such as the putsch. He’d already advanced the ideas that would culminate in the Holocaust. Trump has flip-flopped on every idea he’s ever advanced, has no overarching philosophy. He’s not Hitler 1933. He’s a low-rent George Wallace at best.

  11. KM says:

    @Hal_10000:

    The Courts are not going to want to revisit it any time soon (they revisit abortion, a much more contentious issue, maybe once a decade).

    In a normal Court cycle, maybe. Trump’s already throw gas on this fire by saying a recent contentious case is settled law but a half-century old one isn’t? Roe has far more precedent, legislation and general lawyering attached but its the one they’re gunning for? How does that work exactly unless “settled law” is BS for “backup issue for when I need a misdirect or more fundraising”? He’s clearly lying to somebody with that little faux pas – question is who.

    You ascribe a rationalization and procedure to an Administration that’s proudly ignorant and defiant of such concerns. I do believe the threat is less severe then being bandied about but we cannot be secure enough in our history to say the wild card won’t try for multiple cases in one term. Given who’s he’s picking for positions so far, the Court might just get staffed by individuals willing to take any and all cases until they get the result they want.

  12. Catchling says:

    Unlike us today, 1930s Germany didn’t have the cautionary example of the Nazis to look back on. They also didn’t have the same norms against racism, at least not to the same degree. I’m not sure if this difference puts us in safer or less safe territory.

    On the one hand, there was less ability to oppose Naziism by correctly calling it anti-semitic; Nazis didn’t have to be so defensive on that particular front. On the other hand, the Nazis didn’t have to advantage of hiding behind a backlash against anti-racism. They couldn’t say “We’re registering gays and religious minorities BECAUSE screw political correctness and how dare you call us racist”, but today’s equivalents can and will.

  13. Gavrilo says:

    @michael reynolds:

    How’s the search for property in New Zealand going?

  14. Kylopod says:

    More importantly, however, the problem with comparing people to Hitler is that, well, nobody else is Hitler. Compared to death camps that slaughter millions, anything that Trump might propose will seem reasonable by comparison. But, surely, Hitler isn’t the left limit of American democracy? (Of course, as Holocaust historian Gavriel Rosenfeld has noted, Hitler himself has been normalized as fodder for humorous Internet memes.)

    There’s no question Hitler/Nazi comparisons have long reached the point of inanity–like that billionaire who a couple of years ago compared the treatment of the wealthy in America to Kristallnacht. It’s why the term “Godwin’s Law” was invented.

    Still, I think there is a tendency to go to the opposite extreme of acting like we can learn no lessons about the rise of Hitler that can be applied to the present day in any way, shape, or form. Trump isn’t Hitler. However, he is an authoritarian who openly admires despots, who engages in racial demagoguery, who has called for open persecution of certain ethnicities, and who has direct ties to white nationalists. And he has managed to win power in a democratic country in part by the foolish acquiescence of both the center right and the far left, while being dismissed by a lot of other people as a laughable buffoon who couldn’t be taken seriously. The parallels are there, and anyone who doesn’t see them is being willfully blind.

    The problem with Hitler comparisons is that they’re so often used as strawmen: Hitler has become, to a lot of people, the world’s greatest cartoon supervillain. So there’s a temptation to say you shouldn’t apply the comparison to anyone who isn’t actually out there committing genocide. In its way, this view is just as myopic as its opposite score. There’s more to the Third Reich than simply the mass murder they’re best known for.

  15. SenyorDave says:

    So Trump is incrementalizing (probably not a real word) his slide toward outright fascism. I just read that Frank Gaffney has been brought in to assist on national security issues. I’m guessing most people who read this blog know his background, if not please look it up. Is there any question that left to his devices gaffney would round up every Muslim in the country and place them in detention camps? Trump isn’t yet president and I think he’s already in the running for worst president ever. I no longer want to give him a chance.

  16. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:
    Upon further reflection, my scale of horribleness would still need examples like Hitler or Stalin as calibration points. Much like a pain scale uses 1 to 10 with 10 being “surgery without anesthesia”, we’re never going to get a evil scale without somebody going “10 being Hitler or Mao or something” Perhaps we should be grateful that as a species, we have so few true examples of great evil our reference pools are limited. The shallow end is cluttered with douchebags but the deep end has the rare dark soul.

    Fun fact: not all Hitler references paint him as Ultimate Evil. For example, did you know he’s a textbook Post-Conventional Stage 6 in Kohlberg’s Moral Development scale? Right up there with Gandhi or MLK. From the wiki:

    In Stage six (universal ethical principles driven), moral reasoning is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles. Laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice, and a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws. Legal rights are unnecessary, as social contracts are not essential for deontic moral action. Decisions are not reached hypothetically in a conditional way but rather categorically in an absolute way

    Of course, terms like justice are subjective – Kohlberg wasn’t measuring right and wrong so much as how we perceive our relationships to it and others. It always surprised the psych students when they got him as an example but his utter dedication to his philosophy groups him with other luminaries he’d never rub elbows with.

  17. Pch101 says:

    @KM:

    Instead, my question is *why* you think Bannon deserves the benefit of the doubt more than Duke.

    Conservatives who aren’t racist tend to dismiss, discount or racism. They don’t hate minorities, but they don’t relate to their problems, either.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:

    See my note to @KM about analogies. We could also use Mussolini or Berlusconi or Huey Long or Peron or any number of references and get a more nuanced picture, but as I’ve learned writing for teens: not much point in referencing what readers don’t understand.

    So, in addition to Godwin’s, may I propose: The necessity of Hitler analogies parallels a population’s historical ignorance.

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @Pch101: Just as how a lot of guys don’t understand catcalling because “my girlfriend never gets catcalled when I’m walking with her.”

    (That’s the point, you nitwits.)

  20. grumpy realist says:

    @Gavrilo: Funny, I’m looking for a spot in Japan or Australia.

  21. michael reynolds says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Fine. The question rests now on decisions about my daughter. But man, you would not believe what I can find on the New Zealand coast, for example. Stunning ocean-front properties. We’re talking ultra-modern, perched atop a cliff looking out at the Pacific, for like 1.2. Here’s one I like: Michael’s Trump Tax Cut Ocean-front Getaway.

    And what’s Cheeto getting you for Christmas?

  22. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds: Yes, I get that Hitler got worse as he went along. But the gist of his plans were well established early on. Trump has made noises about deporting illegal immigrants and banning new immigrants from Muslim countries. Not only are those nowhere near the same as HItler’s attacks on a Jewish domestic enemy but the institutional safeguards here are far stronger.

    Trump got elected. He gets to nominate people for offices and propose policies. The Senate gets to say No. The public gets the right to object. But the notion that the press should somehow pretend that he’s not president-elect is bizarre.

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:

    Actually, no, Hitler’s plans were not clear in 1933. Only his madness and hate was clear. One of the persistent myths about Nazi Germany is that it was all this sort of steel trap, highly efficient machine. In fact it was chaotic, riven with internal discord and frequently run by incompetent hacks. Thank God. Because had they actually known what they were doing they’d have won.

    Hear anything familiar in that?

    What I would suggest, James, is talking occasionally to people who are not white, male and Christian. Because yesterday I was on the phone with my IP lawyer (also a friend) and among his many duties is talking me down off hare-brained schemes. He’s an old guy, even older than me, and if you want a picture of his level of success, his 34th floor, Madison Avenue, corner office has unobstructed views of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. Very smart, very experienced, very calm. Also: a Jew. And he was not talking me out of the idea of leaving the US. Just as our friend @HarvardLaw92 is considering.

  24. Pch101 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Neither Japan nor Australia are free of racism.

    I’ve seen much of Australia and know a fair bit about it, and I am forced to conclude that it is the most racist country in the Anglo-Saxon world. Between its treatment of Aboriginals and asylum seekers, there is some pretty appalling stuff.

    Some years ago, the Aussies even had a white nationalist party on the rise led by Pauline Hanson. Fortunately, her One Nation party imploded quickly, but that was due to internal mismanagement, not pushback from the public at large.

    And of course, Australia is where Rupert Murdoch got his start, building an empire of second-rate tabloids to serve that sort of audience.

    Welcome to Queensland, where the temperature is a balmy 30 degrees Celsius and the time in 1963…

  25. Mu says:

    Germany thought they had the same institutional safeguards in place; Hitler just read the rule book and rewrote it. Until the Wannsee conference and the Endloesung, nearly everything that happened in Germany was done legally by the book (with the ominous massacres in the occupied territories foreshadowing the coming). The big question here will be what happens after 2018 when there’s a chance for the senate to go 60:40. Then the Rassegesetze loom large.

  26. ptfe says:

    @KM: Yeah, the Bannon-Duke thing only seems to fall apart because Bannon isn’t a politician (yet). They’re both white nationalists, they’re both terrible people, and they’re both worthy of scorn, derision, and rejection. Sure, the KKK is a visibly racist organization, but Bannon was…head of a visibly racist website. If anything, Bannon is even more disturbing because he hasn’t been in the public eye and hasn’t been repudiated by the mainstream right.

    On the other hand, I don’t see the Trump == Hitler comparison as particularly useful. It’s ahistoric and ignores a ton of context that makes the ascent of the next Hitler far more difficult today than it was in 1933.

    Progressives are trying to figure out how to resist the terrible policies the Right continues to push, while simultaneously showing just how many people in our society are appalled by his xenophobia, racism, and sexism.

    Hitler had no such problems: his rise came at a tumultuous time for Germany’s economically weakened government, and his antisemitic calls fell on a far more receptive audience (namely actual poor people who shunned Jews, not people who suffer through 20/20 internet and insist they “have black friends”). He also helped expand his party’s influence while party members engaged in street warfare, then used that very violence to assume dictatorial powers — thanks in part to a bitterly divided opposition — an opposition that was only partly concerned by his nationalism.

    All this is not to say that Trump won’t or can’t become worse. But he’s not Hitler 1944, he’s not Hitler 1933, he’s not even Hitler 1921. The parallels just don’t exist. He can’t even organize a meeting with a good tailor, let alone organize a modern national government, which is a far cry from re-organizing a modern national government to achieve vicious ends.

    His oratory skills are terrible. (Compare with Hitler, who was widely known for being able to whip an even slightly-friendly crowd into a fervor — I just can’t imagine “Make America Great Again!” and “I’ve got the best people! I know all the things!” going very far, even among the rubes, when conditions start deteriorating). He doesn’t care about the country or the Republican party, as long as he gets his; the man is too self-absorbed to build a movement around. (Compare to Hitler, who absolutely believed in German national socialism, genuinely wanted to “make Germany great again” [by slaughtering people], and set out to convince people of his rightness.) And he’s no more than a figurehead as far as the Republican Party is concerned — the Senators running the show are just as disconnected from the Rust Belt as he is. (Compare to Hitler, who could channel his 1918 self to speak to poor people who were actually suffering under an actually ineffectual government.)

    Ultimately, the concern at the top should be what happens in the Senate. If they get rid of filibuster rules, it’s going to take a miracle to keep the country from turning straight oligarchy with an economic disaster at the bottom end. Trump, of course, would love to arschloch Vladimir, and Paul Ryan would get his wish of an economic policy that’s 60% filled in. So, you know, we’d get something new.

    But until the Senate convenes, what should keep us all up at night is normalized bigotry. Regression to 1950s-style racism — now with more races to target! — needs to be loudly and strongly resisted, even if that means inconveniencing the country for the foreseeable future.

  27. Hal_10000 says:

    @KM:

    Trump can’t force the Court to consider cases it doesn’t want to consider, no matter how much he blusters. If, say, Alabama outlawed gay marriage, it would be struck down by the federal courts immediately. And the Appeals Courts probably wouldn’t even consider it given how recent the precedent is. One of the legacies of Obama — one that can not be undone — is the judiciary. There are a LOT of Obama justices on the federal courts right now and they are not going to touch same-sex marriage for a long time.

    The Court also recently considered an abortion case. Even if Trump appoints three pro-Life justices, there are a lot of demands on SCOTUS’s attention. The concern is more long term — what happens when the next abortion case gets there around 2025 or so.

    And to reiterate — it’s not that there’s NO concern. It’s that we need to prioritize things that are happening right now. Don’t panic about the Culture War just yet. There will be plenty of time for that later.

  28. KM says:

    @James:

    institutional safeguards here are far stronger.

    For now, James. A large part of the concern you are seeing expressed is those safeguards could be in play by a political party with total control of the government. Trump’s appointing people who have in their own words expressed gleeful willingness to alter those safeguards. Congress is controlled by those who help. How do you stop them legally if they decide to strip it all away? You’d see the same level of panic in cons if Dems swept it all up and started discussing whether or not religious organizations have gotten too powerful/political so maybe we should do something about that……

    the press should somehow pretend that he’s not president-elect is bizarre.

    They’re not. They pointing out loudly and frequently what a bad idea it is. Not their fault people get to see how incompetent their elected leader is from the get-go. If he doesn’t want to be treated like a national embarrassment, perhaps he should stop acting like one. Manners are everyone’s due but respect is earned.

  29. pylon says:

    @Pch101: One of the hockey moms on my kid’s team is married to an Aussie and lived there for a time. She’s Asian-descended and told us the reason they moved to the Great White North was all of the racism she encountered there. Casual and overt racism. I guess Asians are the Mexicans of Australia or something like that.

    Every country has racism, some more than others. My Canada is no exception. I suppose what one hopes for is a country where it’s discouraged, both institutionally and by the greater society.

  30. Slugger says:

    We are all quite Eurocentric, but there might be another historical analogy that might be useful. In the Trump triumph I see a rejection of the elites. By “elites” I mean the highly educated intellectuals who comprise the upper levels of government, universities, and culture. Stereotypically, those people, and I’m one of them, did not vote for Trump. I wonder if we are going to see a version of the Cultural Revolution in China. For a while, I have seen climate scientists who talked of global warming derided by some as merely trying to insure their fat paychecks. I see that targets for reformulation include the FDA. Certainly, many in universities feel uncomfortable about this election.
    Is there someone out there who has in depth knowledge of what happened in China who can tell us if I’m on the right track or just warped from that high grade weed available these days?

  31. Pch101 says:

    @James Joyner:

    Have you read Eichmann In Jerusalem? Let’s remember that evil is rather dull and ordinary, and does not come with a mandatory set of devils’ horns and a large placard that labels it as such.

    I appreciate your desire to avoid going Godwin. But you also exhibit signs of being the proverbial frog in boiling water who won’t recognize issues unless they are far too obvious, at which point it will be too late.

    And I suspect that a lot of that is due to the fact that you are not Mexican or Muslim or a member of any of the other groups that Trump has targeted (much to the delight of the white power movement.) You are allowing your lack of empathy to justify your apathy; unless the target is on your back, you’re just not that inspired to care.

  32. C. Clavin says:

    The one in which James grabs his ankles.
    You’ve decided to support a man who is going to be on trial for fraud before the end of the month.
    Pathetic.

  33. Pch101 says:

    @pylon:

    The Aborginals have it even worse.

  34. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds: @michael reynolds:

    It’s a done deal. We fly over next week to look at properties.

  35. Tony W says:

    @Hal_10000: Another huge difference is age. Hitler was a young man in 1933 with (ostensibly) many years to see through his vision of establishing a 1000 years Reich.

    Trump is a very old man with his best years behind him. He’s probably thinking more about his legacy versus personally seeing the fruits of his labor manifest.

  36. SenyorDave says:

    I think its interesting that the furor, or should I say führer, over Bannon seems to be dying down a bit as the media finds another bright, shiny object. We are in process of normalizing a white supremacist as the president’s chief adviser.

    In case people forget how easy it was to remove appointees in the past, consider this:

    The dismissal of Dr. Elders came as some news organizations were preparing to report that at a United Nations conference on AIDS earlier this month, she had condoned the idea of teaching schoolchildren to masturbate as a way of avoiding the spread of the AIDS virus.

    The Surgeon General of the US, a woman highly qualified for her position, respected by her peers, was removed due to an uproar about her endorsement of masturbation.

    White supremacist vs. masturbation proponent

  37. Tony W says:

    @michael reynolds: That’s a pretty reasonable cost for such a nice place. Maybe you’re on to something here…..

  38. grumpy realist says:

    @Pch101: Um, I LIVED in Japan for 12 years…I’m perfectly happy about possibly going back. Have enough friends there and elsewhere around the world. I’d be a crazy gaijin there, but I would be useful (because we’re outside the social pecking order and can’t lose face, we can make the suggestions that others don’t dare make.)

    Yes, we’re definitely outsiders and it doesn’t work for all foreigners. But for those of us who have sufficient credentials (Ph.D.) and who can speak, read and write Japanese, it’s a pretty comfortable life.

  39. al-Ameda says:

    Right now the analogy that kind of works for me is Andrew Jackson, This is a new regime, like Jackson’s, that brings angry Whites (aka the “common man” ) to Washington.

    Jackson, was a military hero, Trump a reality television star and real estate developer and salesman. Both men appealed to raw base populist instincts.

    Not much to be optimistic about, except the passage of time.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    @Tony W:

    He’s probably thinking more about his legacy

    Yes…he’s going to add a failed Republic to all his failed business ventures.

  41. al-Ameda says:

    @Gavrilo:
    @michael reynolds:
    @HarvardLaw92:
    As most of you know, there are many other very fine places to live outside the United States.

    I have a friend/former colleague (economist and tax lawyer) who, when unhappy about the election of George W. Bush in 2000, was prompted to look overseas. He took a share of his invested funds and purchased a home in Auckland, New Zealand. He annually takes leave to live there 3 months a year. He has since purchased a modest condominium in Melbourne Australia that he also decamps to every year.

    Oh, and .. I have not once heard him complain about the quality of life in New Zealand or Australia.

  42. george says:

    Hitler was open about his plans in “Mein Kampf” (very hard to read btw because its a tedious, rambling ranting book) – read it if you want to compare Hitler 1933 with Trump 2016. Not the same by any stretch. Trump is an awful choice for President, and I think potentially very dangerous, but not in the same way Hitler was. Mussolini might be closer, but actually I think looking at monarchs who wanted to regain the divine right of kings is the best analogy.

    Hyperbole doesn’t help. Trump is not normal, and shouldn’t be normalized, but if we’re already going full Hitler on him, people are going to ignore whatever is said if he actually does go Hitler (or Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot). This already happened in the election; racism and sexism are used so generically that the same word was applied to Romney, McCain and now Trump. A lot of people heard it, digested it as meaning “someone who prefers his own race” which apparently research shows accurately describes almost all humans and moved on.

    Bush was compared to Hitler. So was Romney (not McCain though). So was Reagan. Meanwhile both Clintons, Carter and Obama were compared to Stalin and Mao. Is it any wonder the labels are completely ignored now? If everyone is automatically at 10 out of 10 on the evil scale, then you’ve no way to differentiate between someone like say Romney and Trump.

    And Trump really is outside the norm, and in a bad way. Ironically enough, calling him Hitler is normalizing him – it means he’s the same as Reagan, Bush (both Presidents and Jeb), Romney, Nixon, and probably several dozen other Republican politicians who’ve been called that. Its just not useful.

  43. Argon says:

    So, what I hear is that we need a broader list of historical figures against whom to compare Trump. I can’t think of any offhand but I suspect there have been royal figures posessing a similar blend of inanity and sense of entitlement. Someone very inbred.

  44. Gavrilo says:

    Obviously Donald Trump is not Hitler. George W. Bush is Hitler. Everybody knows that!

  45. James Joyner says:

    @michael reynolds: While academia and the security studies community is predominantly male and white, there are a lot of women. Certainly, far more Jews by percentage than in the general population. We’re all very nervous about a Trump presidency. But nor are the people I talked to seriously worried that Trump is going to round up the Jews. Or anyone else.

    The main danger, I think, is sheer uncertainty. Not because Trump might launch evil plans but because Trump seems to have no plan at all.

  46. Gustopher says:

    Hitler didn’t have access to nuclear weapons.

    Hitler didn’t ignore global warming, and walk away from agreements that had a decent chance of slowing it or stopping it before it became an extinction level event.

    Not saying that he will definitely kill us all, but it is entirely within the realm of possibility.

  47. Pch101 says:

    @James Joyner:

    Trump seems to have no plan at all.

    Trump has already begun appointing a supporting cast of miscreants, talked about mass deportations and signaled his desire to cozy up with Putin, i.e. the leader of a country that both political parties have tried to contain since the Truman administration.

    What is it going to take before you start to get nervous? Does the guy have to build a death camp with TRUMP logos on the guard towers in the middle of Kansas before you see that the guy’s agenda is beyond all redemption?

  48. R.Dave says:

    @michael reynolds: What I would suggest, James, is talking occasionally to people who are not white, male and Christian. Because yesterday I was on the phone with my IP lawyer (also a friend) and among his many duties is talking me down off hare-brained schemes. He’s an old guy, even older than me, and if you want a picture of his level of success, his 34th floor, Madison Avenue, corner office has unobstructed views of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. Very smart, very experienced, very calm. Also: a Jew. And he was not talking me out of the idea of leaving the US. Just as our friend @HarvardLaw92 is considering.

    Do what you feel you have to do, of course, Michael, but in my experience, the level of lingering cultural trauma among Jews over the Holocaust is still high enough that there’s a tendency to go from zero to Hitler pretty damn quickly at the first whiff of anti-Semitism. Is Trump anti-Semitic? Yes, in the manner that many other non-Jewish wealthy Americans of his generation are. Is he empowering even more brazen and virulent anti-Semitic people and groups both in government and in society at large? Yes, undoubtedly. However, as James points out, the road from there to Hitler – even Hitler circa 1933 – is long and filled with roadblocks, not the least of which would be the 50% of the country who soundly rejected Trump at the polls. We’re a long way from Hitler territory, and I personally don’t believe we’ll ever get there.

    Now, for Muslim Americans, on the other hand, we’re definitely closer to Hitler 1933 or at least Mussolini land. Secret surveillance and the occasional trumped up charges and individual renditions are all possible, even probable, over the next few years, and that’s utterly f-ing horrifying. Again, though, I think the aforementioned roadblocks will prevent overt roundups and widespread abuses. As a country, we’re just not even in that ballpark yet.

  49. James Pearce says:

    I prefer the Hitler analogies to the Voldemort/Darth Vader/Sauron analogies…

    But yes, the hyperbole is getting ridiculous. It will lead to a lack of credibility for anyone but true believers.

  50. Moosebreath says:

    @James Joyner:

    “But nor are the people I talked to seriously worried that Trump is going to round up the Jews. Or anyone else.”

    I have heard this since last week from both Muslims and Latinos.

  51. LaMont says:

    @James Joyner: Don’t want to speak for Mr. Reynolds so, in my opinion, what Michael is suggesting is that if history is our guide (and it probably should be), the disorganization and lack of a plan could very well lead to something as terrible as “rounding up the Jews”! All the pieces for anarchy appears to be in place and at this very juncture, we can not write that off! I agree with the saying, “we are doomed for the lack of knowledge” and “those that don’t know history are doomed to repeat it”. However, too many of us ARE ignorant. SO we have no idea why we should take even the most minimal threats seriously! I have always argued that Americans are some of the most unintelligent people in the world when it comes to knowing our history. I am astonished at how it appears that the average teenager in other countries know more about the history, good and bad, of their own country than it appears we know of ours. I have also argued that America appears to be suffering from a severe case of ADD! Trump is the fulfillment of ignorance!

  52. george says:

    @Gustopher:

    Not saying that he will definitely kill us all, but it is entirely within the realm of possibility.

    There was a non-zero chance of that no matter who was elected, either intentionally or by accident. What’s come out about the Cuban missile crises shows how quickly things can escalate. The question is what the probability is, not if its zero or non-zero.

    Trump increases the chances over Clinton, but significantly? Hard to say. The 1% difference in global green house gases between what Clinton would do (as opposed to say) and doing nothing (ie Trump) isn’t going to push things over by themselves. I doubt the military is any more likely to allow him to launch nuclear missiles because he feels like it than they would have let Nixon do it in his last days in office, or any other President.

    Trump’s danger is what he’s going to do to the norms of American decency (as Vonnegut said, that’s arguably the most important quality for humans), not that he’s going to single handedly launch nuclear missiles. And I suspect he’s actually less likely to start wars than Clinton would be. Its going to be interesting to see how the GOP, traditionally very anti-Russian, are going to handle his tendency to like Russia).

    He’s a disaster coming, but its a long term disaster.

  53. R.Dave says:

    Hm, my comment is “awaiting moderation”. Never had that happen here before. Is that a new feature?

  54. James Joyner says:

    @Gustopher: Those are legitimate fears! But they’re signs of horrible judgment, not fascism.

  55. cian says:

    Trump got elected. He gets to nominate people for offices and propose policies. The Senate gets to say No. The public gets the right to object. But the notion that the press should somehow pretend that he’s not president-elect is bizarre.

    James,

    Sure he does and no one here is suggesting he is not the president elect. What most are saying is, with the Bannon appointment, the line has been drawn and the message clear. Neo-Nazis now have a seat at the table and white nationalists have a connecting office to the president of the United States. Only a successful, professional white male would think it enough to express mild concern over such a state of affairs and then move on. For everyone else, the appointment of Bannon, is an alarm bell and a clarion call.

  56. Pch101 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I didn’t claim that it wasn’t possible to live a comfortable life in Japan. I just said that it wasn’t exactly on the cutting edge of multiculturalism.

    Australia is generally a nice place, too, but you have to be willing to ignore or tolerate some rather nasty language about minorities if you are to avoid becoming disenchanted with the place.

  57. Gavrilo says:

    @James Joyner:

    But nor are the people I talked to seriously worried that Trump is going to round up the Jews. Or anyone else.

    The last President who rounded up a particular minority group is revered by the left.

  58. C. Clavin says:

    But nor are the people I talked to seriously worried that Trump is going to round up the Jews. Or anyone else.

    Well…just Muslims and Mexicans…not like real people or anything.
    You are normalizing, and rationalizing hatred.
    Pathetic.

  59. C. Clavin says:

    @James Joyner:

    But nor are the people I talked to seriously worried that Trump is going to round up the Jews. Or anyone else.

    FYI…Kris Kobach, who is in the running for AG, is drafting a proposal to establish a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.
    So keep kidding yourself James.

  60. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @R.Dave:

    the level of lingering cultural trauma among Jews over the Holocaust is still high enough that a tendency to go from zero to Hitler pretty damn quickly at the first whiff of anti-Semitism

    All of your relatives going up a chimney, as mine did, will tend to make one a tad hyper vigilant.

  61. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner: I just think the Hitler analogies are quaint. Given the choice between genocide and extinction, I would go with genocide.

    Alao, I think a little bit of fascism from Trump is a given — he doesn’t know the boundaries of his office, and a Republican congress and Republican Supreme Court isn’t going to be as vigilant about providing the appropriate checks and balances.

    White Supremecists have a seat at the table — that’s what the Bannon appointment ensures.

    He has made campaign promises to round up those 11 million illegal aliens and ship them back to their countries of origin. If this doesn’t involve giant camps, I will be very surprised. And if those camps aren’t run with significant input from the White Supremecists at the table, I will also be very surprised.

    And then there are the Muslims.

    Jews are pretty far down his list. The dog whistle ad he closed his campaign with
    Was probably not something he even noticed (Trump would have just said it out loud if it was intentional. the neonazis have a seat at the table, and their own agenda).

    But all of that is nothing compared to the very real possibility of extinction. Maybe he will just roll over and let Putin scratch his tummy, and nothing will ever escalate. Maybe he will declare military bankruptcy and give Putin the Baltics (appeasement was a well respected policy before Hitler, by the way, and the only problem there was Hitler didn’t abide by the norms of the time and kept on taking). Maybe 4 degree Celsius isn’t going to destroy us. Maybe.

  62. Kylopod says:

    @Gavrilo:

    The last President who rounded up a particular minority group is revered by the left.

    And the last presidential candidate to defend that particular action by said president is named Donald J. Trump. Funny how that works?

  63. Kari Q says:

    Your point about Bannon seems to be that he is not a white supremacist himself, he merely enables them to spread their message. I fail to see how this is a mitigating factor. If anything, it makes him a worse human being; one who is willing to foment hatred and victimize others for his own profit and power. At least a genuine white supremacist, horrible as they are, is honest about what he is. To be what you say Bannon is, he has to be completely lacking decency and utterly without a moral compass.

  64. grumpy realist says:

    @Gustopher: Well, that’s the major problem I see with Trump and with the bunch of imbeciles he has surrounding him. There’s no governor on the machine. There’s no point at which I think Trump will be shocked into a realization of what he has let loose. No selt-control. It’s all ME ME ME ME with a chip on his shoulder a mile high, total cluelessness about the world, and a total inability to game out any of the consequences of his actions.

    With the “Bomb Iran now!” nuts breathing into his ear, how long do you think it will be before Trump is manipulated into declaring an attack on Iran? At which point, mining of the Straits of Hormuz, stoppage of shipping of MidEast oil, hello $200/bbl and hello world financial shock.

    The man doesn’t THINK. Which is his entire problem.

  65. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    He’s an old guy, even older than me, and if you want a picture of his level of success, his 34th floor, Madison Avenue, corner office has unobstructed views of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. Very smart, very experienced, very calm. Also: a Jew.

    I’m guessing Lou. If so, he’s also one hell of an IP attorney. Small world we live in 🙂

  66. Monala says:

    @Pch101: At least based on NPR interviews yesterday, even some rightwing leaders in Europe are nervous about Trump because of his fondness for Putin.

    =====

    Another thing to consider about the normalization of Trump: he is, in many ways, incompetent and unable to focus on anything beyond his own self-aggrandizement. But the people he is surrounding himself with may not be so incompetent, and may be laser-focused on despicable goals. And Trump is enabling them.

  67. C. Clavin says:

    You gotta feel bad for James.
    He was stuck hoping a woman, that he has an intense irrational hatred of, would save the party he loves from another irrational man.
    That failed.
    Now he is stuck convincing himself that Trump doesn’t actually mean a single word he says.
    Lots of rationalizations and emotions governing our poor James.

  68. Kylopod says:

    @R.Dave: The point of Hitler comparisons isn’t about Jews themselves. There have been some disturbing anti-Semitic incidents over the past year, particularly those involving harassment of Jewish journalists, but nobody’s arguing Jews (at least American Jews) are in serious danger of mass persecution; most of the concern has been about other groups.

    The thing to keep in mind is that treatment of Jews often serves as a kind of bellwether to other forms of prejudice. Anti-Semitism has long functioned as a sort of organizing principle in white supremacy; the Jews are cast as the villains in a story where society is being increasingly polluted by people of color. It’s a theme that goes all the way back to Nazi Germany (see, for instance, this cartoon from the Nazi era), and it persists to this day among white nationalists. Even when Jews aren’t front and center in these groups’ focus, they still play the role of the people behind the curtain, nefariously pulling the strings and causing the world’s ills. It explains a lot of what we’ve been hearing as of late.

  69. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Hal_10000: Trump can’t force the Court to consider cases it doesn’t want to consider, no matter how much he blusters. If, say, Alabama outlawed gay marriage, it would be struck down by the federal courts immediately. And the Appeals Courts probably wouldn’t even consider it given how recent the precedent is.

    Remember the Defense of Marriage Act? When that was challenged in court, the Obama administration not only refused to defend it, they fought to keep anyone else from defending it.

    Trump should send Obama a thank-you note for that incredibly useful precedent.

    Also, if the Democrats filibuster any of Trump’s nominations, he can just declare Congress “in recess” and make the appointment anyway. No, whoops — that time the court slapped his wrist.

    Obama spent a good chunk of the last eight years new and novel ways of asserting Executive power — and now their worst nightmare is about to take full possession of all that power.

    If only someone had warned that granting Obama those kinds of powers was a bad idea…

  70. David M says:

    The Hitler comparisons probably aren’t politically useful, given the likely actions of a Trump Administration. Trump isn’t knowledgeable about or interested in the daily grind of the office, so the outlook is for the usual destruction caused by generic Republican policies punctuated by random destruction caused by Trump being personally involved in an issue.

    So you know, tax cuts for the 1% adding to the deficit, destroying Obamacare, Medicaid and Medicare, another Iraq level catastrophe. The usual suspects from the GOP.

  71. al-Alameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    Obviously Donald Trump is not Hitler. George W. Bush is Hitler. Everybody knows that!

    If you insist that I’m saying that, be my guest. Be all that you can be.

    (1) Obviously, George W Bush is the guy who went to war in Iraq for no reason related to American security, and in so doing destabilized the region, thus shifting power to Iran, and enabling the rise of ISIS.

    (2) Just as obviously George W Bush, presided over the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, one that caused the loss of over $18 Trillion (or, over 20%) of the wealth of American homes and businesses.

    Hitler? No, that’s asinine. Honestly, just being himself was more than enough.

  72. HarvardLaw92 says:
  73. KM says:

    The truth is white supremacy ideology has left such an indelible mark on our cultural memory they poison anything they touch. Any attempt to bring them into the fold or even be associated with them tangentially can hurt your bottom line.

    Ask New Balance how they are feeling about being the “official shoe of white people”. They were among the first to congratulate Trump because of the effect it will have on Trans-Pacific Partnership. Economic reasons but the second The Daily Stormer opened its mouth, New Balance got a whole lot of instant bad karma. New Balance can issue statement after statement about how they are not associated with the neo-Nazi freaks in the corner but the lingering stench remains. People will think twice before buying from one of the last American shoe companies through no fault of the company. Any white wearing them might get side-eyed unfairly and suffer incorrect assumptions of character.

    You’ll see more of this as time goes on. Emboldened, they’ll start to claim brands and places, unfairly tainting innocent businesses. You know how Starbucks gets tarred as the Liberal Elite hangout of choice and is thus seen as snooty? Let’s find out Bannon gets his caffeine fix and if the business appreciates the notoriety. Normalization will have a very real monetary effect.

  74. gVOR08 says:

    As I noted in another thread yesterday, Godwin has said Hitler analogies are OK if they’re well thought out. Yes, Trump, like Hitler was a self avowed extreme ethnic nationalist. And it should be noted that Hitler had significant backing from corporate Germany. And he was fond of big rallies and valued loyalty to him personally over all else.

    When Obama was elected there was a lot of very racist discussion of he and his family, even claims he was not born in the US. Remember those? Remember who used them to gain a political foothold nationally. This week some fool in WV got fired for tweeting about Michelle as an ape in heels.

    That said, Hitler references are over the top and poor tactics. They should be avoided. James is right, How dare Democrats, in the heat of emotion, ever say or do anything that someone might find offensive. We are expected to always be the adults in the room, to quietly sit in the corner and let our betters rule without protest until four or eight years from now we’re once again elected to clean up the mess left by Republicans. We must control every last person in our big tent so that no one ever, in any way, exaggerates for emphasis the faults of any Republican. Be fair, let’s not forget that as far as we know Bannon’s never once lynched a negro or gassed a Jew. And remember the prime rule, IOKIYAR.

    I hope I don’t need a \s or a smiley face to make it clear that I am trying to say, snarkily, James, that your Party just elected a man so horrible that you and Doug said you’d vote for Hillary. Cut us some slack. Your time would be better spent discussing how to bring your party back from the brink now that they just barely managed to avoid crashing on the rocks.

  75. Mikey says:

    @gVOR08: Don’t forget how today’s Republicans are demanding we give Trump something they never gave Obama for a damn millisecond: a chance.

    They can take that hypocrisy and stick it. Trump’s candidacy was abnormal, his transition is abnormal, and his appointments are abnormal.

    As a friend of mine said the other day: it used to be when Americans saw a swastika, they destroyed it. Today we have a President-Elect whose supporters either embrace it or excuse those who do.

    This is not normal.

  76. R.Dave says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Yeah, but for the vast majority of Jewish people alive today, it’s something that happened to their grandparents (or great grandparents) extended family. That’s a pretty remote connection, in my opinion anyway, for the level of personal anxiety it still seems to engender today. By way of anecdote, I’ve dated two Jewish women, both at least third or fourth generation American, and their closest familial losses were from their grandparents extended family, yet they both vividly remembered having nightmares about Nazis coming for them as kids thanks to the stories they’d been told, the school projects they did, the annual candlelight vigils they joined, etc., etc. The personalization of the Holocaust for people 50+ years and several thousand miles away from it was/is amazing to me.

    Anyway, this is obviously a bit of a tangent, so I’ll just leave it there.

  77. Pch101 says:

    @Mikey:

    Your recommendation of Er ist wieder da is more a bit more poignant than it was when you made it. (Thanks for that, by the way. I just got around to seeing it.)

  78. Kylopod says:

    @R.Dave:I can offer some of my perspective, speaking as the grandson of Holocaust survivors. Like a few of the other commenters here, I’ve gone through life with very little personal experience of anti-Semitism but with the very indelible family memories etched into my brain. Especially given my yeshiva upbringing, where the eternal persecution of the Jews was practically taken for granted as an immutable part of the human condition, it took me some time as an adult to gain some distance and begin to realize how weird anti-Semitism is. If you were a total newcomer to Western society, it might seem hard to understand how a tiny religious group came to be the source of such outsize hatred, to the point that entire worldviews were formed devoted to opposing this group. In fact until just a few decades ago “anti-Semitism” was the only common word in the English language referring to prejudice against a specific people. There’s no common word for hatred of black people (except the obscure and problematic “Negrophobia”); we got through the entire civil rights era with just the generic term “racism.”

    Anti-Semitism is a bit easier to understand in the medieval context of Jews as “Christ killers” living as a vulnerable minority within theocratic Christian countries. But it’s something that by all accounts ought to have disappeared in the modern secular age of science and democracy. And in fact that’s what a lot of people assumed was going to happen at the turn of the 20th century. That’s one of the things which made the Holocaust such an incredible shock–it wasn’t some outbreak of violence by a backwards country still living in the Dark Ages, but a calculated act by one of the most advanced countries on Earth using the full force of technology to achieve its ends. Furthermore, Weimar’s Jewish population was one of the best-assimilated anywhere in the world. According to everything people thought they knew, it was the last place people expected as the source of the greatest anti-Semitic mass murder in history, dwarfing all the pogroms, massacres, and expulsions of the previous 2,000 years combined.

    That I think is why it’s so hard for Jews and others to ever totally accept that they’re “safe” in a modern country like the US, and why even younger Jews who may never have directly experienced anti-Semitism themselves are constantly vigilant about a downturn in how they are treated.

  79. michael reynolds says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Sheppard at Cowan, Debaets, Abrahams and same. I asked him how he got the best office being only the fourth name. He explained that when they moved to the building he volunteered to take on the ‘onerous’ job of assigning offices. Smart dude.

  80. michael reynolds says:

    @Kylopod:
    Excellent summary. We’ve been told it can’t happen here for a series of reasons – the free press, an enlightened populace, the checks and balances – that are all pretty thin now. When someone says don’t worry, this wall will keep the wolves out, and then the wall crumbles, I tend to think it’s time to find the back door.

  81. Grewgills says:

    @Pch101: @michael reynolds:
    The antisemitism in Australia and New Zealand is worse than it is here. My Jewish friends their keep their religion to themselves whenever they meet anyone new. One of the reasons some of them were considering moving here (until very recently) was that is was normal to be Jewish here and they didn’t feel they would have to hide their Jewishness. These are people that live in Melbourne and Aukland, so in the more cosmopolitan parts.

  82. rachel says:

    @gVOR08:

    Your time would be better spent discussing how to bring your party back from the brink now that they just barely managed to avoid crashing on the rocks.

    I’m not sure they have managed that. It’s an enormous vessel with many compartments, and it may take years to finish foundering.

  83. pylon says:

    Trump isn’t Hitler. Hitler is dead.

    Insert your own punchline.

  84. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @R.Dave:

    It’s easy to flippantly say that when your grandparents / great grandparents extended family still exists.

    When your entire family in the world can fit around a single table, it takes on a slightly different perspective.

  85. Grewgills says:

    Trump isn’t Hitler, he’s the ignorant bastard love child of George Wallace, Berlusconi, and an orangutan.

  86. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Ah ok. I was thinking Lou Solomon at Greenberg Traurig. The 34th floor thing mainly.

  87. grumpy realist says:

    last comment caught in spam filter, please release!

  88. Pch101 says:

    @Grewgills:

    The orangutans didn’t do anything to deserve that.

  89. Barry says:

    @Hal_10000: “Example: One of the things I’ve been hearing a lot over the last week is that marriage equality might be in danger. I understand the fear (to the extent that I can, being straight). But there are many things that have to happen in order for that to be in danger. The Courts are not going to want to revisit it any time soon (they revisit abortion, a much more contentious issue, maybe once a decade). The GOP has little interest in it anymore. So, yeah, I get it that people are nervous. But it’s really low on the list of things we should be worrying about right now. We need to focus on things like civil liberties, the budget deficit and the dangers to illegal immigrants, things that could become critical issues immediately.”

    Remember, SCOTUS can add restrictions to a decision, until it is null, for all practical purposes.

  90. grumpy realist says:

    @Barry: But they can’t just pop out another judgment. They’ve got to have an active case in front of them.

  91. MBunge says:

    It’s pretty funny to see the people who nominated someone for President WHILE she was being criminally investigated by the FBI now expressing such concern for political and societal norms.

    It would be one thing if this caused you to examine your own normalizing behavior in the past and how it led to this point, but this new myth that what liberals and Democrats have done had nothing to do with Donald Trump’s rise is going to work out about as well as the old myth of “Bill Clinton never did anything wrong but lie about sex and Hillary didn’t even do that.”

    The old myth led you to nominate someone who couldn’t beat Trump. I can’t wait to see where this new myth will lead. I thought my four-year supply of popcorn was going to go to waste. It was supposed to see me through things like the look on union faces when President Hillary Clinton suddenly decided that a couple of toothless riders on worker’s rights and the environment completely fixed everything wrong with TPP. Now I’ll get to munch on it as you folks do a worse job fighting Trump than you did George W. Bush.

    Mike

  92. Guarneri says:

    Ahh, the obligatory Hitler thread. If I only had the Xanax concession.

    Back to your neuroses, you poor dears.

  93. Barry says:

    @R.Dave: “The personalization of the Holocaust for people 50+ years and several thousand miles away from it was/is amazing to me.”

    If 90% of your extended family were deliberately killed and you survived, you’d definitely teach your children and grandchildren.

  94. Barry says:

    @grumpy realist: “But they can’t just pop out another judgment. They’ve got to have an active case in front of them.”

    And that’s hard? There are still one or two circuits which are Republican; bring a case before them, and get a right-wing verdict, deliberately producing a split-circuit. The SCOTS ‘has to’ take the appeal.

  95. Tyrell says:

    As far as comparisons and standards, I would go with Republicans Eisenhower, Nixon (ultimate pragmatist, came up with some good ideas), Reagan (also a pragmatist), Ford (good at working out problems and had the respect of many).
    Governor Wallace: I think it was 1968 he shocked and surprised the Democratic leadership and candidates with his primary numbers.
    These and other leaders could be the pattern for Trump if he studies them. Trump likes to talk and brag about his skills as a deal maker (“Art of the Deal”). Great, now let him put those skills to work. That could be his legacy.

  96. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @David M: The Hitler comparisons probably aren’t politically useful, given the likely actions of a Trump Administration.

    Oh, they’re very useful. They help us identify the pants-wetting hysterics who really, really need to have their meds adjusted. They help us identify those people whose opinions can be safely ignored. They help us identify those who tolerate and promote such hysteria. And they let us know exactly who we can blame for the riots and anti-Trump hate crimes being carried out across the country.

    Trump’s already making America greater. He’s got michael reynolds packing up to go bother sheep on the literal other side of the world. He’s got HeyLookAtMeIWentToHarvard to move to Paristan. There’s two net gains to the US.

    Plus, it exposes the hystericals as the frauds they are. If they really believed that Trump was another Hitler, they’d be doing all they could to keep him out of power, by any means necessary. If the president-elect really is another Hitler, then it’s everyone’s moral obligation to stop him — up to and including assassination.

    So we are left with the choice: are they too cowardly to show the courage of their convictions, or are they lying when they say that Trump really is another Hitler?

    At least Mr. reynolds and HeyLookAtMeIWentToHarvard are, at this point, putting their money where their mouths are and leaving the country. (Presuming that they actually do, of course — I’m hopeful, but not betting on it.) For those two, I offer this link to hasten their departure.

  97. gVOR08 says:

    @pylon:

    Trump isn’t Hitler. Hitler is dead.

    Insert your own punchline.

    Telefunken H bomb.

    Chad Mitchell Trio

  98. stonetools says:

    @R.Dave:

    Again, though, I think the aforementioned roadblocks will prevent overt roundups and widespread abuses.

    We are maybe one major terrorist attack from anti-Muslim roundups, scapegoating, and pogroms.
    I think there will be one major attempt at an “Operation Wetback” type mass deportation of brown people, especially if there is an economic downturn, -and I for one, think that Trump and Ryan are almost certainly going to screw up the economy in the next year.
    I confess that I am far less sanguine that the safeguards will work. They don’t work for black people and certainly didn’t work for the Japanese in World War II.

  99. stonetools says:

    Please remove my comment from moderation. I never know what’s going to set that off.

  100. Tyrell says:

    @Tyrell: Correction: I did not bring in Wallace as an example or influence for Trump. I mention Wallace as an example of an outsider getting big numbers. Upon further research to refresh my memory, he ran as an independent in 1968, not a Democrat. He was the last independent to win any electoral votes; winning 4 or 5 southern states. Sorry for the hasty composition.

  101. Mikey says:

    @MBunge: Yeah, because the latest in an unending series of politically-motivated investigations into complete nothingburgers is just like the President-Elect choosing a literal white supremacist as his right-hand man.

    You need to work on your false-equivalency strawman, because the one you have sucks ass.

  102. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    There’s two net gains to the US.

    Nah, it’s actually about a $4 million per year loss of expatriated capital to the US economy, coupled with the loss of federal taxation on that income stream. I’ll be living in France, but I won’t be earning any income in France, or in the US (or anywhere else) either for that matter. Let’s just say that George Town is lovely this time of year.

    Given your penchant for stealing medical services, I’m sure you can relate.

  103. Kari Q says:

    @Tyrell:

    These and other leaders could be the pattern for Trump if he studies them.

    What has Trump ever done to suggest that he studies?

  104. Eric Florack says:

    I’ve set back and watched the GOP establishment reacting to Trump. The fact of the matter is that the GOP establishment has nobody to blame for Trump but themselves. All they had to be was conservative. But apparently it’s the one thing they fear Above All Else. More than Hillary Clinton more than losing elections, and God help us, more than Donald Trump.

  105. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    I’m starting to wonder if I should have believed all the people who predicted a Trump victory would bring about a wave of violence and hatred and intolerance. Just since the election, we’ve seen some really, really scary…. stuff.

    The CEO of an online food-delivery service sent out an all hands email that any employee who voted for Trump should resign from the company.

    The CEO of a cyber security firm, Tweeted out that he was going to get a sniper rifle and kill Trump.

    Rioters in Oregon have gone on a rampage, even attacking the car of a pregnant woman who needed to go through their roadblock to get to a hospital.

    A man in Chicago who got into a minor fender-bender was beaten because people thought he might have voted for Trump.

    College campuses across the country are treating the election like it was a mass shooting, with grief counselors and therapy dogs and safe spaces and excused absences from classes and exams. (Others have noted that this is creating a very “unwelcoming, unsafe space” for any students who might have supported Trump).

    In Rockville, MD, an anti-Trump rally was confronted by a 15-year-old boy who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, and four of the protestors promptly beat the living crap out of him.

    And that’s just off the top of my head, in addition to all the hysterical pearl-clutching and pants-wetting demonstrated above.

    To steal a motif, I was warned that if I voted for Trump, we’d see a wave of violence and hatred and intolerance and persecution against minorities.* And they were right!

    Hey, look on the bright side. Hillary lost, so all of you (well, many of you) who are so terrified can still buy guns to protect yourselves from Trump’s jack-booted, brown-shirted, white-hooded thugs when they come to get you and catapult you over the Great Southern Wall. (Parachute optional.)

    * Trump lost the popular vote, and turnout was about 58%, so we Trump voters are a definite minority.

  106. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    OK, I just tried three versions of a comment, and each got eaten by the Moderation Monster.

  107. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    LOL, take the hint 🙂

  108. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Embarquer dans l’avion, s’il vous plait. Rapidement! Rapidement!

  109. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    In time …

    They do have internet access in France though, FTB*, so I’ll still be delighting you with my presence here.

    (* feces tossing baboon 🙂 )

  110. JKB says:

    This principle can be most succinctly understood to mean that “the Führer’s word is above all written law” and that governmental policies, decisions, and offices ought to work toward the realization of this end.

    While not quite so absolute, but not for wanting, that above, the definition of führerprinzip, is a lot like the idea of “governing” by pen and phone with every policy, decision and agency working toward the realization of the president’s arbitrary executive orders. And so many, were so eager and excited about this idea with Obama in office. Not to mention, the terrible numbers of distraught who are in tears that dear leader is leaving office and his designated replacement failed to win the election.

    So really, all this Trump is Hitler is rather amusing, except it shows so many “educated” people are barking mad.

    Also, this “My” president bit is creepy. People are elected to be “the” President, but the adulation of kings is not afforded the individual. A great example is the secret service agent in ‘Absolute Power’ who justifies his murderous actions as he is “my president”. And this character is rightfully put down like a dog, without mercy.

  111. barbintheboonies says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: The media will spin all these bad things done by their side as minimal damage. When they want to portray the other side in a bad light, they will replay the same horrific scene over and over until you believe them to be the devil themselves. Sometimes they are right. The media has a job to do, but taking sides and trying to sway others to believe as they do is not one of them. I am sick of this kind of journalism, and I am sick of just people in general who will justify anything to get that one for their side. People are such blind sheep.

  112. KM says:

    @JKB:

    Also, this “My” president bit is creepy. People are elected to be “the” President, but the adulation of kings is not afforded the individual. A great example is the secret service agent in ‘Absolute Power’ who justifies his murderous actions as he is “my president”. And this character is rightfully put down like a dog, without mercy.

    It’s been creepy for the last 8 years but it’s not something I’ve seen you denounce before. Unless you can prove you’ve said the same to every idiot who spouted “Kenyan”, “usurper” or any variation it’s nothing more then flip-flopping hypocrisy. I can’t seem to find major denouncement of this but I CAN find an entire movement dedicated to the principle that Obama couldn’t be their President legitimately. Trump’s dead center of it, ask him. It was supposed to YUUUGGEE but he failed to deliver (foreshadowing!!)

    8 YEARS of this Obama dealt with gracefully but y’all can’t even wait till Inauguration to hush everyone else up. What was it – respect the office, not the office holder? Karma’s a bitch; Trump et al spent so long promoting the idea that THE President of the United States could be illegitimate (and thus not YOUR rightful President), they has no right to complain when we take him at his word and join in on our conservative brethren’s time-honored rejection of the office holder. He’s The Butt in the President’s Chair, Dude Standing In The Oval Office, That Guy Sitting Behind The Resolute Desk. Mr. Trump, if you’re being polite.

  113. Pch101 says:

    @KM:

    Everyone has a talent. The hard right has a talent for hypocrisy.

  114. al-Ameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    Ahh, the obligatory Hitler thread. If I only had the Xanax concession.
    Back to your neuroses, you poor dears.

    Have another Kool Aid.

  115. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @al-Ameda: Fun fact: Jim Jones and his band of crazies were staunch Democrats, and dialed in with the Democratic machine.

  116. KM says:

    As seen on Fox News:

    “We did it during World War II with Japanese, which you know, call it what you will, may be wrong,” Higbie said, eliciting a sharp response from Kelly.

    “You know better than to suggest that,” Kelly said. “That’s the kind of stuff that gets people scared, Carl.”

    “I’m just saying there is precedent for it,” Higbie replied.

    “You can’t be citing Japanese internment camps for anything the president-elect is going to do,” Kelly fired back in a raised voice.

    These are the types of people Trump is surrounding himself with, James. It starts with registration. To keep on eye on them for public safety. Papers, please – prove you’re legal, because the assumption is you’re not. This kind of crap is why half of America is “hysterical” at the moment. Higbie’s not on the transition team, he’s not in a position of power….. but others like him are. Like rotting garbage, we can smell the sh^tstorm coming and want no part of it.

    He’s citing one of the most shameful things this nation has ever done as legit precedent for their plans. It’s not hysteria if it’s prophecy…..

  117. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    @al-Ameda: Fun fact: Jim Jones and his band of crazies were staunch Democrats, and dialed in with the Democratic machine.

    Fun fact, Timothy McVeigh was a Republican.

  118. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    J’ai maîtrisé Google translate. Ne suis-je pas un garçon intelligent?

  119. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @anjin-san: I actually remember almost a smattering of French from high school… too damn many years ago. I did use Google Translate to double-check one word, and went with “rapidement” because it seems I’d misremembered “vitement.”

    In retrospect, I probably should have trusted my instincts and gone with “vitement,” because it might be the difference betweeen Francois Parisienne v. Francois Quebecois, but I really didn’t care enough to investigate further.

    But back on topic… President Obama was asked about the rioters and other temper tantrummers, and he non-answered that he wouldn’t advise them to “remain silent.”

    Dude, nobody is saying they should “be silent.” It’s not their talking that’s the problem, it’s their committing assault and vandalism. I realize that committing felonies has long been a traditional way for the left to express themselves, but it’s gotta stop.

  120. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @al-Ameda: Fun fact, Timothy McVeigh was a Republican.

    Just like Ronald Reagan was a Democrat.

    McVeigh also said that he was an agnostic, that he didn’t believe in Hell, and that science was his religion.

    And, as usual, when someone around here is confronted with violent extremism on the left, they feel this overwhelming “both sides do it” impulse and… bring up McVeigh.

    21 years, and you can’t find anything fresher or more relevant? McVeigh was a registered Republican in the 80’s, but voted Libertarian in the 90’s. He was raised Catholic, but left that faith to become a vague agnostic who “worshipped” science.

    And this whole diversion was because you made that foolish Kool-Aid reference. Although it really isn’t that foolish — it’s a good example of how gullible the Democrats can be when you tell them what they want to hear.

    But back to the topic — the rioters and others throwing their felonious temper tantrums. Isn’t it time someone tells these “screaming garbage babies” that they need to grow the eff up and knock it off? The election’s over, they lost, time to MoveOn already and Get Over Themselves.

    Or is rioting and assault and destruction of private property now an acceptable form of public protest?

    For everyone, I mean. Obviously, it’s acceptable from the left, but can the right get in on it now, too?

  121. Mikey says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    21 years, and you can’t find anything fresher or more relevant?

    Wow…I thought even you couldn’t be so dense as to slam a guy for bringing up something from 21 years ago when it was in response to something you brought up from 38 years ago.

    But I was wrong. You actually did it.

  122. KM says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    But back to the topic — the rioters and others throwing their felonious temper tantrums. Isn’t it time someone tells these “screaming garbage babies” that they need to grow the eff up and knock it off? The election’s over, they lost, time to MoveOn already and Get Over Themselves.

    Wasn’t the whole point of this election an FU of voters not feeling like they were heard and that they were being disrespected by smug people? Now you wanna do the same? A good portion of these are young people who’s voting habits are in the process of being set and will remember this for decades. Conway dismissively stated “What’s the worst that can happen to these Millennials…” in a Trump Presidency Republicans are calling them names. Boomers act like emotional protests weren’t a hallmark of their generation and call their grand-kids crybabies for being worried about the future. Considering how Trump can’t seem to stop tweeting insults on a platform heavily used by the insulted demographic, I can’t see the arrogant dismissal ending anytime soon.

    This sounds like an enormous setup for a backlash FU in two years followed by one in four. These kids aren’t going to be in college forever – they’re your future homeowners and tax base in one Presidential cycle. Add in the fact that’s there’s more of them then Boomers (a gap that will only increase) and it seems like pretty poor policy to not address their concerns in any meaningful way. They deserve to be heard to. Unless Trump pull off an economic miracle, the “bring-the-jobs-back” people who got conned are going to get an influx of young pissed off voters looking for “change”.

  123. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @KM: I don’t care what they say. I care about what they do. Especially when what they do involves violence.

    Or are you arguing that arson, vandalism, and assault are part of their “free speech?” That they can’t properly express their dissent unless something gets destroyed?

  124. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Mikey: Allow me to correct your ignorance.

    The “Kool Aid” referene Al-Ameda made was to the Jonestown massacre. He’s the one who brought it up; I just expanded on it a little.

  125. Mikey says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable: OK, I misread. Although you were the one who brought in Jones et al. being Democrats. 🙂

    Anyway, no point in digressing. I think you dismissed KM a bit too cavalierly. Of course property destruction is unacceptable, but think for a moment that those young people have a lot in common with the Rust Belters who elected Trump. Both are in situations where things they feel they were promised–access to good, long-lasting jobs if they did the right things and worked hard–have been lost to them.

  126. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Mikey: Apology accepted. Already forgotten.

    Anyway…

    Of course property destruction is unacceptable, but think for a moment that those young people have a lot in common with the Rust Belters who elected Trump. Both are in situations where things they feel they were promised–access to good, long-lasting jobs if they did the right things and worked hard–have been lost to them.

    I’d wager that a lot of Trump voters voted for McCain and Romney instead of Obama, and I remember the riots after those elections. Not to mention the Tea Party riots…

    Oh, wait, those never happened. My bad.

    And “of course property destruction is unacceptable, but…” nothing. For one, it’s not just property destruction. There have been quite a few assaults and batteries of Trump supporters so far. I don’t care for hate crime laws in principle, but they’re on the books, and these should be prosecuted as such.

    For another, as someone who’s been the victim of vandalism, several times, I put a much, much higher value on my property than on someone else’s “right” to have a temper tantrum and trash my property.

    Sooner or later, if they don’t stop, these whiny losers will pick the wrong victim for their felonious temper tantrums, and they will end up on the receiving end of justified defensive violence. I’d rather that not happen, but I don’t see anyone trying to head it off. As I noted above, when Obama was asked about it, he said ” So, I would not advise people who feel strongly or who are concerned about some of the issues that have been raised during the course of the campaign, I wouldn’t advise them to be silent.”

    A simple call for civility and a condemnation of violence? Can’t do that. Instead, just pretend that you didn’t hear the part about the violence, and haven’t heard about the violence, and instead respond as if someone had merely wanted the rioters to shut up.

  127. MarkedMan says:

    @Pch101:

    Neither Japan nor Australia are free of racism.

    Australia has nothing on Japan when it comes to racism. Japan doesn’t allow non-Japanese to become citizens. They are pushing robotic technology to substitute for companions and caregivers in nursing homes so they don’t have to allow in more foreigners to deal with the intense labor shortage. And when the Chief Medical Officer of the company I worked for visited senior government officials, he was shown an instructional video on how the Japanese are so genetically dissimilar to the rest of the world that medicine and medical procedures must be specially tested on them (this is nonsense).