Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican Party Presidential nomination, comparisons between him and Adolf Hitler have been spewing out of the mouths of talking heads in the mainstream media. But as even the superficial analysis presented in this essay will make clear, Trump and Hitler are two very, very different men.
Of course, it isn’t easy to get to the truth about either of them – Adolf Hitler is the single most lied about individual in all of history, and Donald Trump is the most lied about individual of our time.
But even so, even if we limit our analysis only to those facts that are accepted by basically everyone, both pro and anti-Hitler and pro and anti-Trump, we can see that they have little in common.
Let’s start at the beginning. At age 25, Hitler had just moved to Germany and was about to enlist in the German Army to fight in World War One, in which he was wounded and received an Iron Cross for bravery.
At age 25, Trump had just inherited control of his family real estate and construction firm. Before then he had obtained four student deferments to avoid being drafted to fight in the Vietnam war.
At age 30, Hitler had just joined the German Workers’ Party, which was the forerunner to the NSDAP. He was elected leader of the party two years later at the age of 32.
At age 31, Trump married the first of his three wives, a Czech model named Ivana.
When Trump was 35 years old, his older brother Fred died of alcoholism, an event which caused Donald to swear off all drugs, but in particular alcohol and cigarettes.
When Hitler was 34 years old, he led an attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic Government with armed force, an event remembered as the Beer Hall Putsch.
The coup attempt failed with the deaths of 16 Hitler supporters and four German Police officers, and Hitler was arrested and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
Already it is clear that the lives of these two men are on very different paths. Trump appears – from any perspective – to fit the mold of every other playboy prince or President who was born into immense wealth and privilege and decided to parlay it into a shot at power – like George W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, et al.
Hitler spent the eventual nine months of his imprisonment writing his manifesto – Mein Kampf (My Struggle) – which formed the philosophical foundations of his efforts to apply his energies to the world.
By age 45, the political movement that Hitler had built had won a democratic election and put him in power as the Chancellor of Germany, and he had already begun to pass measures that would limit the capacity of the German people to take back the power they had granted him.
Trump, for his part, was busy divorcing his first wife and shacking up with his second, the actress with which he was having an affair.
By age 50, of course, things were radically different: Hitler had given orders for the German Army to invade Poland, an event which would trigger British and French reprisals and ignite the European Theatre of World War Two.
At age 50 Trump was also locked in battle – but in the courtroom against rival Atlantic City casino owners. It was already clear that Hitler would not have brooked such resistance at age 50. His domestic opponents had long since been liquidated.
At age 55, Hitler was on the brink of death, only kept going by frequent doses of methamphetamine. This makes him quite the contrast on the drug enhancement front with Trump, who has apparently never smoked cannabis or even tobacco.
And at an age when Adolf Hitler was long since dead at his own hand, his attempt to rid the world of Jewry having led to his own destruction, Trump was happy to see his daughter not only marry a Jew but convert to their religion, prompting him to state “I have a Jewish daughter, and I am very honored by that.”
Somehow it’s hard to imagine Hitler saying such a thing.
By this age, of course, Trump had not even come close to political power. And as we cannot read the future, the comparisons must end there.
It’s apparent even from this short look at things that the two men are nothing alike. Hitler was an extremely intense and original thinker with the willpower of a demon, and who was willing to remake the entire world in his image. Trump is a wealthy playboy who just coasted along on his family wealth, like many before him.
In fact, it’s well possible that Hitler would have despised Trump for his willingness to schmooze up to corruption for money. Such an analysis must wait for another time.