[Ed. – Article’s original title: “How Hitler’s Rise to Power Explains Why Republicans Accept Donald Trump.” Remember when comparing Barack Obama’s patterns of political radicalism to Hitler’s was lambasted as psychotic and over the top? Good times, good times. And Obama was even, you know, a life-long political radical, like Hitler, and took his campaign decorating tips from Triumph of the Will. (Unlike Trump, who’s never been in politics before, and takes his decorating tips from Keeping up with the Kardashians.) But, hey, 2008 was so last decade.]
To watch Donald Trump rant and rave uncontrollably on the stump and on Twitter — praising Saddam Hussein for his disregard for civil liberties,insisting the anti-Semitic propaganda he inadvertently borrowed from neo-Nazis is as innocent as a Disney poster — is to ponder the psychology of a party that would entrust supreme executive authority to a racist, nationalistic, power-worshiping demagogue.
To be perfectly clear, Trump is not Hitler or a Nazi. [NOW he tells us. – Ed.] …
Like Hitler, Trump is a radical, authoritarian figure who lies outside the normal parameters of his country’s conservative governing class. Thus, there is a parallel between the two men’s unexpected rise to power that is worth considering: Why would traditional conservatives willingly hand power to a figure so dangerous that he threatened their own political and economic interests? Why, having failed in their halfhearted efforts to nominate an alternative candidate during the primaries, don’t they throw themselves behind a convention coup, a third-party candidacy, or defect outright to Hillary Clinton? Why do so many of them consider Trump the lesser rather than the greater evil?