The midterm elections are looming and things could go either way for the left. They’re tried everything but acting sane, and the “blue wave” still looks like a ripple. Why not one more Trump = Hitler warning, this time in the form of a NYT video op-ed from a Yale philosophy professor?
“... it’s easy to see parallels between Trump's words and those of the most reviled fascists in history.” That is the tired thesis of Jason Stanley’s piece for NYT Opinion on Oct. 19. After giving his viewers severe deja vu by imploring them to ignore Trump’s policy and “reflect for a moment on his words … his rhetoric, if you will,” he proceeds with his argument.
"If you use history and philosophy as a guide, it's easy to see parallels between Trump's words and those of the most reviled fascists in history. That scares me and it should scare you too." — Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy, Yale pic.twitter.com/2OhmgbgSGO— NYT Opinion (@nytopinion) October 19, 2018
Stanley cites an unholy trinity that binds Trump to unmentionable dictators. First, he says fascist leaders concoct a “mythic past” which consists of “lie[s] that [sound] great.” That eventually creates an “overwhelming sense of nostalgia for a past that is racially pure,” and Stanley believes Trump’s analog is promising to “Make America Great Again,” which is clearly a statement that only whites can assent to.
Next, fascist big men “sow division” by rhetorically separating “Germans and Jews, Hindus and Muslims … whites and blacks ...” et cetera to “turn groups against each other.” With another flash of deja vu, viewers hear Trump’s “... They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime ...” quote compared to fascist pejoratives dealt at a nation’s own citizens. Pleas for border security are now deliberate attempts to divide, according to Stanley.
Finally, Stanley gives his outlet a little pat on the back: His final link between Trump and fascists is that both “attack the truth” by denouncing the media, creating “a petri dish for conspiracy theories.” Stanley specifically has disdain for those who believe the deep state is out to get Trump. So if you’ve read the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, you had better not say anything bad lest you want to be labeled a hateful troll.
Stanley’s credentials are impressive, but his argument is one you’ve heard before.