Can you tell which statements refer to Donald Trump and which refer to Adolf Hitler? These excerpts from a recent New York Times book review may surprise you.
But of course, Michiko Kakutani — a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist — would never compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. That would be rude. It’s just that the rise of Adolf Hitler as described in the biography he just reviewed — “Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939” by Volker Ullrich — happens to sound a lot like the rise of Donald Trump.
Who do the following statements describe? Adolf Hitler or Donald Trump?
As it turns out, Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler have a lot in common. Can you tell which of these statements from that New York Times book review refer to Donald Trump and which refer to Adolf Hitler?
- Narcissism: “[He] was often described as an egomaniac who ‘only loved himself’ — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization […]’
- Grandiose language: He had “a characteristic fondness for superlatives.”
- Seeming unhinged: “His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity.”
- A certain raw cunning: He had “a ‘keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people’ and an ability to ‘instantaneously analyze and exploit situations.”
- Lies, lies, and more lies: Colleagues saw him as “so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth.”
- A knack for propaganda: He had “a ‘bottomless mendacity’ that was magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the latest technology […] to spread his message.”
- Whitewashed bigotry: “Although he concealed” his bigotry “beneath a ‘mask of moderation’ when trying to win the support of the socially liberal middle classes, he specialize in big, theatrical rallies staged with spectacular elements borrowed from the circus.”
- Faux populi: He took a “populist” approach and “adapted the content of his speeches to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist” audience. He also believed the “understanding of the masses ‘is feeble.'”
- An undercurrent of violence: “He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order.”
- Making our nation “great” again: He appealed to his followers’ longing for a mythical past, by presenting himself “in messianic terms, promising […] ‘a new era of national greatness,’ although he was typically vague about his actual plans.”
- Stoking fears and resentments: “He often harked back to a golden age for the country […] the better to ‘paint the present day in hues that were all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there was only decline and decay.” Furthermore, he “had a dark, Darwinian view of the world” and would become “a ‘mouthpiece of the cultural pessimism’ growing in right-wing circles.”
- Style over substance: The range of topics discussed in his speeches “was limited, and reading his speeches in retrospect, ‘it seems amazing that he attracted larger and larger audiences’ with ‘repeated mantra like phrases’ consisting largely of ‘accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.'”
- Being underestimated: His rise “was not inevitable.” In fact, there “were numerous points at which his ascent might have been derailed.” and “it would have been eminently possible to prevent his nomination […]” Alas, “his coalition partners believed either that he was not serious or that they could exert a moderating influence on him. In any case, they were severely mistaken.”
- A “strong man” appeal: He promised law and order and a solution “to the perception of government dysfunction.” He convinced people “that the country needed ‘a man of iron’ who could shake things up.” A prominent supporter even said “why not give [them] a chance? They seem pretty gutsy to me.”
So…Were you able to correctly guess which statements refer to Adolf Hitler and which ones refer to Donald Trump? The answer is: All of these statements come from Michiko Kakutani’s book review or from Volker Ullrich’s book.
And the book review never once mentions Donald Trump or his name.
Watch: Disturbing side-by-side comparison of Donald Trump’s and Adolf Hitler’s speeches.
This compilation of video clips compares the disturbingly similar themes of Donald Trump’s and Adolf Hitler’s speeches.