The Rise of Trump

When I was 17 years old I sat in a classroom in Casuarina Senior College listening to Mr Grainey discussing The Rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. The attempted rebellion, the attack on Jewish businesses, the Us Versus the World mentality, followed by the actual preparation and execution of war, which of course contained totally unspeakable acts of cruelty conducted so methodically and ruthlessly.

One recurring thought kept running through my head - how could the people of Germany sit by and watch this happen? How could the people of the world ignore what was happening in Germany? How could one person incite so much anger, so much violence, just with the power of his words? Even to turn young children against their own parents…

I just could not understand how “good people” would allow these actions not only to occur, but to become the driving force of their nation, and how the rest of the world could sit back and do nothing until - millions upon millions died.

President Donald Trump is not Chancellor Adolf Hitler. Yet there are similarities between them. Hitler rose to fame through the Beer Hall Putsch, whilst Trump did so with dubious business dealings and a television show. Hitler targeted Jews. Trump targets Muslims. Both had specific views on women - whilst Trump clearly has no issue with women wearing make-up and skimpy clothing (unlike Hitler), Trump is clearly aiming to outlaw abortion, which Hitler similarly banned. Both men can whip up an audience into a scary frenzy, and know the importance of propaganda to trumpet their causes.

I am scared. Honestly scared of where the future is now heading. Trump has been in office for 1 week, and is already on course for a massive trade war with his closest neighbour. He is stirring the Middle East, stirring China and Russia. He’s causing fluctuations in the stock markets at the stroke of a tweet, and has no regard for the world balance of nuclear armament. This is not a car crash for us to all gawk at - this is the beginning of… :scream_cat:

Am I being overly alarmist? Drawing comparisons that aren’t there? Surely the world couldn’t go back “there” again?

I know now how the world felt in the late 1930’s. And I don’t know what to do.

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’

You are correct in stating that there are similarities, however there are also differences.

The USA (for all of it’s faults) still has (even in 2017) a more robust bill of rights and a stronger constitution than that of 1930s Germany.

At the very least this will hinder extreme actions.

Take for example Trumps signing of a decree to design, engineer, build and fund ‘the wall’.

He can shift around unallocated funding but he cannot (by himself) create new funding, he needs congress to sign off on new funding and they’re unlikely to find 20 billion dollars for a wall a very attractive use of funds (for a variety of reasons).

Don’t get me wrong I suspect he could be hugely destructive, but I doubt if that happens it’ll be done in the same way that WWII happened.

I could see a return to regional wars in areas though if he doesn’t moderate his actions (and one possible location is the Pacific which is on our northern border).

And if that happens I wouldn’t be surprised if Russia tries to grab back some more of the Ukraine and some other former soviet states whilst the US is tied up in the Pacific.

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How could the Germans do it? They felt oppressed by war repatriations. They didn’t know what Hitler would become, he was actually elected as a charismatic leader and became what he was after. Many Germans resisted as best they could the Nazi party, but there was always the fear of heavy reprisals from those that did from Nazi storm troopers. Those that hid Jews or retaliated against Nazi Germany often had their entire family killed if not an entire village just to make a point about what happened.

My grandfather fought against the Reich in Greece before later moving to Australia. He was part of the resistance that defeated Mussolini and delayed the Africa Korps because of the need to send specialist mountain fairing troopers into Greece. Even then the Germans didn’t win and Greece repatriated a fairly significant part of the nation in the mountainous areas of Greece where most people still in Greece went during the war. What I can say is that it was so unspeakable he basically never went back there again in his life, or said anything about it for the rest of his life.

Only now 70 years later do I know some of what my grandfather did through other family members in Greece and its probably best not to speak about what exactly happened even if it was justifiable by the time of war. Things happened and communists died as a result even after the war with reprisals.

I’ll say that which is known on the record in that people who fought with the KKE in Greece during that time period are still not welcomed or liked by most people who are old enough and still living in Greece.

To compare Trump to Hitler is a bit much at this point, what he thinks of a population that makes up 17% of the United States and as much as 47% in New Mexico is not good, what he thinks of women is also not good, but he’s not a Hitler just yet.

@Orestes, right off the bat - I absolutely meant no disrespect to those who did stand up to Hitler’s regime. What people did to fight back was incredibly courageous, and quite possibly helped to contain him to Europe.

And whilst I say I can’t understand how people just let it happen - my own parents, when I interviewed them for a school project many years ago, were so completely clueless about world politics… (and yet - I’d certainly call my parents “good people”…)

I just have this horrible feeling that these are the days historians will write about - if they are allowed to write about it truthfully - as the “beginning”…

It well may be the case, but I don’t think we’re there yet. As someone with a political science background and who has studied the US constitution ad. nauseum. I think its fairly robust also and there is not much that Trump can do that is detrimental. In fact rescinding the TPP is probably beneficial to us so far.

What I am worried about is whether he believes he can rightfully deport illegal immigrants and where exactly he plans to deport them to. But a hop skip and a jump and we start talking about Manus Island and Naru the beginning was when these neo-cons got into power in the 1980s.

It started with Thatcher and Raegan and its gone downhill ever since. Not to rain on anyone’s parade here that votes conservatively but the human rights record speaks for itself. For those who come seeking refuge of any kind should be welcome with open arms from where they came from as the Europeans of World War II were and rightfully I cannot take up any other stance without labeling my own family as hypocrites.

I think the danger lies in the comparison itself, for if you find he is not hitler then somehow he isn’t dangerous, or he is only dangerous if he can be proven to be hitler.

I’m not sure we need to find a past case to justify labeling him as a muppet.

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(Glad to have someone here with more than Year 11 history to contribute and keep me in line! :slight_smile: )

Even without law, Trump incites hatred. Racial based attacks against - well, non whites - during his campaign increased (I actually have no idea if this is accurate, but certainly social media suggested it to be so; perhaps registered complaints do not match this). Now he is in power, time will tell if those attacks continue.

(Certainly also during this time, others have united to support minority groups, to support human rights… And maybe this “beginning” I sense may in fact be a good one - the beginning of people opening their eyes, being forced to see the ugly side of their nature.)

@natakim, thank-you thank-you for that label for him. :slight_smile: And too true, we shouldn’t blind ourselves one way or the other. I guess I’ve seen at my work how making seemingly flippant comments about building a nuclear fall out shelter when Trump won the vote can prove to simply cause shrugs and incredulity.

I have no love for Trump what so ever, to put it out there in the breeze I’m a life time middle of the road voter regardless of which party that is, but generally Labor so my position is as clouded as the next person. I don’t want to take sides or fire any shots but I can’t detach myself from what I am.

Race hatred is not good, and not bringing to order those that incite racial hatred has been a particularly prominent issue that has surrounded Trump. I try to follow what is going on, on the ground but without actually being there on the ground its hard to know what is accurate and what is not. Lets just say my social media channels are lit up with countless people who feel that they are not represented by president Trump with the way he is treating minority groups in the United States.

The biggest problem I see out of all of what is going on in the United States right now if I could pin point one thing is this whole issue with “fake news” and dismissing anything that does not agree with their particular world view as “false.” and that encapsulates everything including what is going on with race wars.

Australia has a very different perspective. Racism is still a very real and objective issue and there is a heightened sensitivity to it over there than there is here in Australia where there is an underbelly of racism, but it generally does not raise its head in most peoples daily lives, trips to the shopping centre, at the petrol pump or whatever. Most people in Australia talk about racism in the shadows and are never game enough to stand at the coal front and say racist things. Those that are, are generally dismissed by the majority. Racism in the United States as we keep seeing on the news in the United States is a lived experience and everyone over there is careful about how they couch things for being called out as a racist or whatever.

I hope that what is the saving grace of America over the next four years is the separation of powers. While the head of state much as in Australia is a very powerful person, they still have to go through the checks and balances of legislature which may or many not always agree with Trump and the judicial system that everything that he has said and done is actually constitutional.

Much like Australia the United States was founded on the belief that absolute power corrupts absolutely and so the power of the nation was divested between three separate entities and the executive is just one of them.

As Obama found out the United States is not a country that can be willfully run by one person and while Trump can try to fudge the judiciary with his self appointments we’re yet to see whether that actually will come to fruition yet or not.

Perhaps these flow charts will help understand the way power works in the United States. It shows how the Cheeto King can be kept in line and not end up doing too much damage over the next four years.

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My concern also is as @Geoff3DMN pointed out - opportunistic powers like Russia and China flexing their muscles, especially if Trump ends up going… anti-interference… what’d they call it back in the day… non-interventionist… I could easily see him disregarding certain nations if he saw no value in helping them (Ahhhhh cos of course we got involved with Iraq for the people… yes…), but then going to war if he feels slighted by someone.

I don’t particularly want to weigh into that because there is more history behind the whole Ukraine thing then just Russia Annexed Crimea on this date. China is interesting. I had a friend at university who did a thesis on the Spratly islands thing. I don’t know about exactly what’s going on.

I feel like China is doing something since it has reawakned from its 200 year slumber and it feels like it has to assert itself in what it considers to be its own territorial waters. I asked a Chinese student once what he thought about the whole Tibet thing. The insight on the one China thing is very interesting. Just like any other large and disparate country it believes it is a multi-cultural nation and the people of Tibet are just another extension of what it means to be Chinese, as is the case for Taiwan, Hong Kong and so on.

Whether that is right or wrong or indifferent everything falls somewhere in between and I’d rather not get in the middle of what is an international relations hot potato. What my views are in the disparate anarchic borders between nations are is of precious little relevance anyway as no one listens to diplomacy. I’ll just say this

Russia has a point that its borders are being closely encircled by NATO, whatever, it’s own human rights records are far from perfect. China has a point that it should be able to take its natural course, whatever that is, in North East Asia. We have a point that people should be able to live peacefuly without political interference from unwieldy governments.

What the true answer is, is always somewhere in the middle.

Things are very interesting today

Did you study politics or philosophy? :slight_smile:

I think it was Christopher Bidmead who put these words into Tom Baker’s mouth as the Fourth Doctor:

Why can’t people be nice to one another, just for a change.

To be perfectly clear I started out studying an Education degree to be a teacher. Of course these days they require a second degree in order to be relevant with the shift to 4 year teaching degrees.
My other degree that goes with a bachelor of arts. I decided the teaching gig wasn’t me.

In my arts degree I did a double major and a minor.

  • My first major is political science/International Relations

  • My second major is history.

  • My minor is English literature.

  • I’m currently doing an Honors in Arts and my project is in migration studies with the aim of working towards a doctorate in philosophy by the end.

My specialisation in international relations is North East Asia, the Asia Pacific, and America which of course also includes Russia to greater and lesser extents.

On the point of Russia to add something to the table beside historical politics in a region that has changed hands god knows how many times in the last 2000 years you have to look at where Crimea is located and what was going on in relation to domestic politics in the Ukraine at the time, who was meddling with what and then why?

The long and the short of it is the Crimea is an incredibly important geostrategic point located right where Russia has its Black Sea fleet. Russia wasn’t going to sit there while what IT considered was an illegitimate government took power right in the middle of one of its most important ports. I think it was more of a strategic posture than anything else.

Can’t blame you on the teaching front… No way I could do that. Sounds like you have covered some pretty interesting subjects though! I think the only factoid that has stuck with me from my Ancient History semester at Uni was the Mongolians, defeated in their attempted siege of some European capital due to the Black Plague, put the bodies of their own dead infected troops into the catapults as a parting gesture and tossed them into the city they had attempted to destroy… and in so doing passed it on to the occupants… :slight_smile: Totally off topic, but a lovely story all the same.

The whole teaching thing is a mindfield and the government has made it worse with stringent standards for what kids are supposed to know at x point at y years thanks to the national curriculum.

The more depressing point is that kids these days are even more disinterested with the education factory model and no one knows what to do about that situation either. The amount of time you have to spend on organisation as opposed to teaching in most schools leaves a lot to be desired.

But really it just wasn’t me, I don’t have it in me to be a grouch most of the time and if you’re too easy with everything no one ends up taking you seriously.

We do need a new education model though and I’m not sure what that is or where its going to come from. Pedagogy is a world to itself and they need some outside interference to help but I’m not sure whether anyone would take on being told how to educate today’s youth.

I much prefer what I’m doing now even though outwardly to some it looks like its not going anywhere.

Trump is a narcissist. This is a diagnosable personality disorder and narcissists should never be in positions of power because of the damage they can and will do… just because they can.

Never ask a narcissist to stop being an asshole. It only makes them worse.

We are in deep shit, whether he’s a hitler clone or not. The man is dangerous.

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I agree Trump is dangerous.

“When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice”

George Orwell couldn’t have written a better example of NewSpeak. The article is about the Walking Cheezel naming his own inauguration day “National Day of Patriotic Devotion”.

If you were going to pick a character from WW11, old Pixie Fingers far better resembles Mussolini than Hitler. Really though, his toddler tanties and generally single digit emotional age push him more into Duterte or Kim Yong-un territory.

There’s a video on The Project’s Facey page where Waleed Aly lists all the things Agent Orange has done in his first week. There are some pretty disturbing things there.

I’m very familiar with the Black Fleet issue and why Russia took the actions there that they did.

But the modernization of the Russian navy, the re-activation of multiple surface combatants (like the recently finished advanced Kilo class diesel electric submarine that’s been sitting unfinished for 14 years… think about that 14 years and NOW they decide to complete it) points to a Russia that is pushing back at NATO and that’s in a time when NATO can rely less on a US (a US navy that is more stretched now than it’s been at any time since WWII).

Russia took it’s only carrier group and got real world experience launching and landing planes on carriers (yes they lost 2 planes in the process) but they’re now completing a 2nd carrier which will make available a 2 carrier navy, combine that with a number of new frigates, new subs and suddenly power projection is back on the international table.

At the moment the French stopping the sale of 3 Mistral Amphibious Assault ships (similar to our Canberra class ships) has put a halt on amphibious assault capability improvement but they’re already looking at re-activating cold war era amphibious assault ship building.

And china have made increasing use of their (currently) single aircraft carrier as they rapidly learn how to manage carrier based aviation, they’ve got a 2nd carrier under construction and a 3rd is being contemplated.

There is a new arms race on… and it’s turning out to be much more about sea power projection than in the past few decades (a time when pax america was supported by dominant sea power).

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Your views are extensive and impressive. The thing with Russia that you’re also no doubt aware of is that they went through quite a dark period after perestroika that nearly, but didn’t run the Russian ecconomy into the ground. Russia went through a deep recession, and had a whole lot of debt to pay down. The easy thing to do i to say Russia caused that by over posturing in the initial arms race. I’m not old enough or wise enough to understand what happened in the Cold War in Russia beyond the propaganda. While its easy to throw around the “In Soviet Rusia” jokes this does not progress the discussion forward in any meaningful way and while I can understand the sentiments people had at the time, and many people still have them I drag it back to the same thing. That’s nice but what does holding that view actually get to the bottom of?

Mostly purely very personal feelings of resentment with no substance to saying anything other than “Well I hate communists” Yes… and what?

My understanding of the Cold War is mostly from the ages of zero to 8 years old between 1984-1992, and what just happened? The USSR fell apart a wall came down and a new war started in the Gulf. I only have bits and pieces of memories from those times.

That as an aside, Russia found a lot of new wealth by drilling oil and gas in Siberia and in the Arctic circle which has allowed it to modernise its mostly Cold War era military alongside with its economy. Russia being Russia there is a gulf between those who have benefited a new middle class which is quite big and the uber wealthy tycoons in Russia. The poor and the minorities still suffer and the rule of law is not exactly what you would expect from a modern democratised country, but it is a product of the East and it doesn’t conform to Western stereotypes. We must be incredibly careful in diplomacy to recognise the ways and cultures of each nation that we’re dealing with and to try to understand and be sympathetic towards understanding why the way things are the way they are.

This is a process of still undoing most of what happened in Soviet Russia and this is another issue which draws parallels with North Korea. That even if there was a possibility for one Korea at this stage the South Koreans would not want the responsibility for pulling the masses out of poverty the way Russia to a lesser extent and China has done in the last thirty years.

There is a new arms race on and we’re just as much a part of it as anyone else. I don’t like to get to into who owns what and what capabilities people have. I’m a civilian and I’ve never had the privileged position to be privy to what the defense forces do with their spending or what the government does with its white papers beyond what is released to the public sphere which is far from everything.

I will say this we have a short sightedness here in Australia that is largely caused by our alienation from the rest of the world with large sea borders and masses of land which makes any invasion seem highly improbable, but when I look at our own capabilities and what to do with this in terms of where you’re heading which is power conflict I look at what we have got with the Canberra Class and think we should have and could have done better by putting STOVL aircraft on it.

I don’t get the point of saying we’re never going to have another carrier in the 1980s and buying one now and yet not actually putting any planes on it other than the government excuse “it was the most convenient design.” It’s short sightedness which causes capability issues in Australia and its not the first time either. Lets look at the Sea Sprite debacle, trying to arm and rearm the F-111 with the Popeye thing and trying to find new air frames, and the amount of issues we got working, but extremely good submarines. There are some issues with the ADF but I can’t say exactly what because I am a civilian, never been in the ADF, and don’t have a whole lot of insight having never been a publically elected government minister so my strategic foresight I can offer is at the think-tank level.

What I can say is that we need to be part of maritime patrols and we need to keep sea lanes open so we can do what we do in trading with other nations and using this countries greatest strength which is soft power and negotiation. A little hard diplomacy on the sidelines helps to grease the wheels. The way we deal with this situation is the same way we always deal with it. Integration, training operations and the maintenance of our greatest asset which is the AUSCANNZUKUS agreement and FIVE EYES.

We’re never going to win that battle alone so we may as well get used to working out how we can pool our resources together to serve our best interests and that includes all of the above nations together and when we do we come back to just what to do with the modernation of China and Russia and how that affects all of us in response.

Yes they are modernising, and we have to act responsibly as a result to make sure we stay within capability ear shot and we need every capability we can get which to me I’ve already said, plonk those F35s ontop of the Canberra class and change our orders.

People will mistake diplomacy for a sympathy. I have no sympathy for any particular nation other than the one I live in. It’s a matter of being able to understand that gives you power on the thin edge of the wedge in discussions unless you want to go back to super power conflict which just boils down to my gun is bigger than yours. My view is you may as well watch this cartoon instead. It resolves all the issues of being a realist.

The final nail in the coffin is that I’m not a realist, some may even say due to my insight into historical and cultural insights that are significant I’m a constructivist, but that’s a very messy IR school of thought if there is one. What that has me pinned down in believing though is that we can negotiate things rather than blow them up.