As if we needed further proof that Trump’s demagoguery is heavily reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s, acclaimed linguist Noam Chomsky has just come out saying that watching Trump on election night brought up memories of listening to Hitler’s Nuremberg rallies.
During the 20th anniversary celebration for Democracy Now, Chomsky addressed the audience with a personal story about his experience on election night. Specifically, he recounted how the mob mentality of Trump’s supporter’s reminded him of Hitler and his wave of Nazi supporters.
Although Chomsky was too young to remember what Hitler said while he was speaking, the tone of the speech was enough. He described the chilling experience to the crowd, saying:
“I’m old enough to have been able to listen to Hitler’s speeches, the Nuremberg rallies, not understanding the words, but the tone and the reaction of the crowd was enough to leave indelible memories.”
“And watching those results come in did arouse some pretty unpleasant memories, along with what is happening in Europe now, which, in many ways, is pretty frightening, as well.”
We are entering a time that is eerily similar to the climate of Hitler’s rise. Both stand for the same brand of white supremacism and disturbing racism that resonates so strongly with economically frustrated identity groups. Like Trump, Hitler, came to power through democratic means and was Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year.” He was a champion for the everyman; in congruence with Trump’s twisted brand of populism that positions him as a champion for the working-class.
The similarities between the two are striking. The far-right takeover in Europe, which reached a xenophobic peak with the Brexit vote and the surging popularity of extremist politicians like France’s Marine Le Pen, Holland’s Geert Wilders, and Hungary’s Viktor Orban, has landed in the United States. Trump is our version of Hitler, and his election has marked a wave of unmasked racism and anti-immigration sentiment among a white majority.
These white supremacists are again scapegoating the “other” and acting out hatred towards whoever they deem as inhuman, be it Jews, Muslims or Hispanics. The situation in Europe as in the United States is nothing less than scary; we have seen this happen before, and Chomsky’s words confirm our worst fears. We now have to catch ourselves before we descend any further into what could bring about war –or even worse– with an authoritarian strongman in the White House.
Christine is an avid supporter of progressive politics. She is currently getting her Masters degree after concentrating in Gender Studies as an undergrad.