Against Normalization: The Lesson of the “Munich Post”   ◆

A lot of “Trump is the new Hitler” think pieces are based on superficial comparisons of authoritarian berhavior. This one by Ron Rosenbaum in the Los Angeles Review of Books is different:

What I want to suggest is an actual comparison with Hitler that deserves thought. It’s what you might call the secret technique, a kind of rhetorical control that both Hitler and Trump used on their opponents, especially the media. And they’re not joking. If you’d received the threatening words and pictures I did during the campaign (one Tweet simply read “I gas Jews”), as did so many Jewish reporters and people of color, the sick bloodthirsty lust to terrify is unmistakably sincere. The playbook is Mein Kampf.

I came to this conclusion in a roundabout way. The story of Hitler’s relation to the media begins with a strange episode in Hitler’s rise to power, a clash between him and the press that looked like it might contribute to the end of his political career. But alas, it did not. In fact, it set him up for the struggle that would later bring him to power.

The behavior Rosenbaum describes will seem scarily familiar.

By the way, Rosenbaum is an historian and a journalist who authored the book Explaining Hitler after spending more than a decade researching him.