October 20, 2017

CHARLES BLOW’S NOVEL IDEA: TRUMP IS LIKE HITLER!

I heard something unusual when I logged on to the New York Times this morning. It seemed to me a dire, authoritative, even apocalyptic sound. It was as if a gigantic clap of thunder had been produced by an immense boot of truth.

Allow me to explain. On my screen appeared a think piece comparing Adolf Hitler with Donald Trump. “Trump Isn’t Hitler. But the Lying . . . ,” by op-ed columnist Charles Blow, advances a breathtaking claim that has never, to my knowledge, appeared in any media outlet before: That though Trump isn’t Hitler, he’s actually pretty close, when you really think about it.

I was gobsmacked. My mind reeled. I can’t emphasize enough how fresh, how novel, how utterly without precedent this Hitler-Trump comparison is. Blow further clarifies that the first three words of the title of his column are something of a ruse, because in fact Trump is Hitler in important respects. Furthermore, to drop this knowledge on the public was to Blow a duty of such moment that it drove him to carry out a godlike act of slamming his truth-boot down through the firmament upon our benighted planet. If, Blow says, some might be shy about comparing Trump to Hitler, “I have neither time nor patience for such tiptoeing. I prefer the boot of truth to slam down to earth like thunder, no matter the shock of hearing its clap.”

Heh. Of course, Charles Blow himself is a mile-marker on the road to Trump. When faced with Mitt Romney in 2012, as decent a guy as can be found standing at the intersection of business and politics, the DNC operative with a byline tweeted this:

And Romney took it without exactly punching back twice as hard, to borrow a favorite saying of a legendary former community organizer:

Asked about the comments on the radio, Romney responded with something resembling sarcasm: “That is a little surprising, I must admit. I guess we’re finding out for the first time that the media is somewhat biased,” he said, without addressing Mormonism head-on. He added, “I think it’s going to wear very badly and the American people are not going to line up for that kind of, if you will, divisiveness and demonization of their fellow Americans.”

Think Trump would have been as milquetoast in response? Me neither. As Glenn has written, “Trump, as I keep saying, is a symptom of how rottenly dysfunctional our sorry political class is. Take away Trump and they’re just as awful and destructive. He just brings their awfulness to the fore, where it’s no longer ignorable. Now they’re willing to play with fire, risking the future of the polity over little more than hurt feelings, in a way that would have been unthinkable not long ago.”

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