aside Sen. Flake Spoke Truth But Many Republicans Say He Went Too Far/ I Say He Didn’t Go Far Enough

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The retiring republican Senator Jeff Flake said in his Jan. 17 speech. “An American president who cannot take criticism — who must constantly deflect and distort and distract — who must find someone else to blame — is charting a very dangerous path. And a Congress that fails to act as a check on the President adds to the danger.”
Senator Flake also took pains to compare President Trump’s attacks on the news media to the rhetoric of late Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and highlighted the longstanding consequences for Trump’s attacking truth. He said “despotism and NOT the press was the enemy of the people.” For this comparison, he received a lot of criticism from his republican colleagues including from the president’s Chief of Staff General John Kelly who feels he went too far in making these comparisons.
It is a well known fact of history that Mr. Stalin frequently resorted to the phrase that “the press or whatever else was bothersome, was the enemy of the people.” The difference is that the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, unlike President Trump, never had to really deal with a contentious or truth-telling press. Newspapers were a weapon, in his hands, that could be wielded to frightening use.
Senator Flake is a harbinger and shouldn’t be dismissed or easily discounted by the likes of General Kelly whose strong nativist bias has been coloring his normally sound judgment. Senator Flake is trying to warn his colleagues about the harm that is being done by the president regarding our democracy. They, including General Kelly can all be a Neville Chamberlain who thought the German Chancellor Adolf Hitler posed no harm to his neighbors, that critics were overstating his potential harm, or they can be a Winston Churchill who didn’t flinch in the face of evil.
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I say Senator Flake didn’t go far enough. It is obvious that the republican critics of his speech are not aware of the President’s history, where as a renowned non-reader, he took time to study the writings of Adolf Hitler’s, “Mein Kampf and/ or another book by Hitler.”

Until, the president’s latest doctor’s report which detailed no cognitive impairment, I had reserved judgment as to his behaviors. But now, I know for sure that he is well aware of exactly what he is doing. If anyone takes the time to read “Mein Kampf,” it reads like the president’s playbook, a recipe of how to manipulate peoples to one’s will.

Does this sound familiar? Something similar is quoted frequently by Donald J. Trump,  but it originally was a quote by Adolph Hitler, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

MY VIEW | PHIL HANDS

Here is the rest of the story…

On January 17, 2018, Ben Mathis- Lilley of Slate penned the following report, “Republican Sen. Jeff Flake Compares “Reprehensible” Trump to Stalin, Assad on Senate Floor”

Excerpts:

“With Donald Trump (possibly) set to announce the winners of his much-hyped “Fake News Awards” on Wednesday, retiring Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate about the president’s hostility toward free speech and, well, reality. Flake attacked Trump for calling the Russia investigation a “hoax,” for promoting conspiracy theories about Barack Obama being born in Kenya, and for suggesting ludicrously that millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. The senator also compared POTUS—a member of his own party!—to Josef Stalin and Bashar al-Assad, two men who typically are not thought of as models of great American-style leadership. The relevant passages:”

“It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies. It bears noting that so fraught with malice was the phrase “enemy of the people,” that even Nikita Khrushchev forbade its use, telling the Soviet Communist Party that the phrase had been introduced by Stalin for the purpose of “annihilating such individuals” who disagreed with the supreme leader.”

“This alone should be a source of great shame for us in this body, especially for those of us in the president’s party.”

Jan. 17, 2018

“Trump called the media “the enemy of the people” in February 2017.)”

“Later, initially quoting a December Politico piece:’

“In February…Syrian President Bashar Assad brushed off an Amnesty International report that some 13,000 people had been killed at one of his military prisons by saying, ‘You can forge anything these days, we are living in a fake news era.’”

“This feedback loop is disgraceful, Mr. President. Not only has the past year seen an American president borrow despotic language to refer to the free press, but it seems he has in turn inspired dictators and authoritarians with his own language. This is reprehensible.”

“Flake has made these sort of high-minded condemnatory speeches his “thing” since announcing in October that he wouldn’t seek re-election this year.”

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SENS. FLAKE/ MCCAIN

On September 1, 2015, the Business Insider published the following report, “Donald Trump’s ex-wife once said Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed”

Excerpts:

“According to a 1990 Vanity Fair interview, Ivana Trump once told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that her husband, real-estate mogul Donald Trump, now a leading Republican presidential candidate, kept a book of Hitler’s speeches near his bed.”

“Last April, perhaps in a surge of Czech nationalism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed … Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist,” Marie Brenner wrote.”

“Hitler was one of history’s most prolific orators, building a genocidal Nazi regime with speeches that bewitched audiences.”

“He learned how to become a charismatic speaker, and people, for whatever reason, became enamored with him,” Professor Bruce Loebs, who has taught a class called the Rhetoric of Hitler and Churchill for the past 46 years at Idaho State University, told Business Insider earlier this year.”

“People were most willing to follow him, because he seemed to have the right answers in a time of enormous economic upheaval.”

My new order hitlerAmazon

“When Brenner asked Trump about how he came to possess Hitler’s speeches, “Trump hesitated” and then said, “Who told you that?”

“I don’t remember,” Brenner reportedly replied.”

“Trump then recalled, “Actually, it was my friend Marty Davis from Paramount who gave me a copy of ‘Mein Kampf,’ and he’s a Jew.”

“Brenner added that Davis did acknowledge that he gave Trump a book about Hitler.”

“But it was ‘My New Order,’ Hitler’s speeches, not ‘Mein Kampf,'” Davis reportedly said. “I thought he would find it interesting. I am his friend, but I’m not Jewish.”

“After Trump and Brenner changed topics, Trump returned to the subject and reportedly said, “If, I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”Here’s the entire Vanity Fair interview.”

AFP/Getty Images

On October 19, 2017, Rebecca Savransky of the Hill penned the following report, “New York Times columnist: Trump uses lies to manipulate people the same way Hitler did”

Excerpts:

“A columnist for The New York Times said President Trump lies to manipulate people in the same ways that Adolf Hitler did.”

“In a column published Thursday, titled, “Trump isn’t Hitler. But the Lying…,” columnist Charles M. Blow cited James Murphy’s translation of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

“Blow said no one could read about Hitler’s strategy of lying and “not be immediately struck by how similar this strategy of lying is to Donald Trump’s seeming strategy of lying.”

“Tell a lie bigger than people think a lie can be, thereby forcing their brains to seek truth in it, or vest some faith in it, even after no proof can be found,” he wrote.”

Jan. 15, 2018

“Trump is no Hitler, but the way he has manipulated the American people with outrageous lies, stacked one on top of the other, has an eerie historical resonance. Demagogy has a fixed design,” Blow wrote.”

Blow said Trump has figured out a way to “couch” his lies so people believe they “don’t emanate from him but pass through him.”

“He is not a producer but a projector,” he wrote.”

“One way Trump does this is by using caveats such as “I was told” or “Lots of people are saying,” Blow said.”

“This is not a simple fear of the truth; it is a weaponizing of untruth. It is the use of the lie to assault and subdue. It is Trump doing to political ends what Hitler did to more brutal ends: using mass deception as masterful propaganda,” the columnist wrote.”

Jan. 4, 2018

“Blow said the world has seen powerful leaders use lying in the past as a form of mass deception and it is seeing it now.”

History repeats, he added, but the results don’t have to be the same.

“It can manifest as a multitude of other, lesser horrors, in both protocol and policy, including the corrosion and regression of country and culture,” he wrote.”

“The only question is: Are enough Americans sufficiently discerning to understand that this time they are the ones being manipulated (gas-lighted)?” Blow asked.”

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On February 8, 2017, Charlotte England of the Independent penned the following report, “Donald Trump using Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ playbook, says world expert on Nazi leader” (“President’s ‘views come out of a playbook written in German’ says author — ‘the playbook is Mein Kampf'”)

Excerpts:

“A leading expert on the Nazi party has said there are similarities between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler.”

“Both men “bluffed” their way into power, confounding an establishment that did not know what to do but normalise them, according to author Ron Rosenbaum.”

“The Adolf Hitler biographer said he had refused to compare Mr Trump to the Nazi leader during the campaign period for fear of trivialising genocide, but after the election things changed.”

“Now Trump and his minions are in the driver’s seat, attempting to pose as respectable participants in American politics, when their views come out of a playbook written in German,” said Mr Rosenbaum, who wrote Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil.”

“The playbook is Mein Kampf.”

The Emperor has no clothes

“In an article for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Mr Rosenbaum offers a brief historical look at the rise of the Nazi party, emphasising how Hitler targeted one of the only German newspapers to continually investigate and expose him.”

“The Munich Post was first ransacked by Nazis in 1923, and was eventually closed down by the party when Hitler came to power in 1933. Many of the local paper’s journalists were disappeared or sent to Dachau concentration camp under Nazi rule.”

“In contrast, other newspapers, and virtually all politicians, did not know how to handle Hitler, and consequently failed to recognize the extent to which he was a threat, or to meet the need to actively oppose him.”

“Hitler used the tactics of bluff masterfully, at times giving the impression of being a feckless Chaplinesqueclown, at other times a sleeping serpent, at others yet a trustworthy statesman.”

“The Weimar establishment didn’t know what to do, so they pretended this was normal. They ‘normalised’ him.”

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As part of this normalisation — a phenomenon Mr Rosenbaum said also happened with Mr Trump — Hitler and the Nazi party were allowed back onto electoral lists  — in an act of “democracy destroying itself democratically”.

“Hitler’s method was to lie until he got what he wanted, by which point it was too late,” Mr Rosenbaum said, adding there is no comparison between Hitler and Mr Trump in terms of scale. But, he said, it was important to see that, like Hitler, Mr Trump is “defining mendacity down” by normalizing lies and lowering expectations of truthfulness.

“While marchers and the courts have put up a fight after the Muslim ban, each new act, each new lie, accepted by default, seems less outrageous,” Mr Rosenbaum said. “Let’s call it what it is: defining mendacity down.”

“The author continued with a caution: “Trump’s outrageous conduct and shamelessly lying mouth seemed so ridiculous we wouldn’t have to take him seriously. Until we did.”

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“Citing a conversation with Hitler biographer Alan Bullock, Mr Rosenbaum suggested the Nazi might not even have believed in his own anti-Semitism, and could have “just used the Jew-hatred to advance his cause with the nitwit thug segment of the German people”.

“Calling Hitler a “mountebank” – a con man, he compared his behaviour to how “Trump appealed to his nitwit thug racist, anti-Semite followers”, adding “this is the comparison I’d been seeking”.

Mr Rosenbaum continued: “He saw that this tactic of playing the fool, the Chaplinesque clown, had worked over and over again, worked like a charm. It kept the West off balance. They consistently underestimated him and were divided over his plans”

“Cut to the current election. We had heard allegations that Trump kept Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, but somehow we normalized that.”

“We didn’t take him seriously because of all the outrageous, clownish acts and gaffes we thought would cause him to drop out of the race.”

“Except these gaffes were designed to distract. This was his secret strategy, the essence of his success — you can’t take a stand against Trump because you don’t know where Trump is standing.”

“You can’t find him guilty of evil, you can’t find him at all. And the tactics worked. Trump was not taken seriously, which allowed him to slip by the normal standards for an American candidate. The mountebank won.

8 comments

  1. “According to a 1990 Vanity Fair interview, Ivana Trump once told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that her husband, real-estate mogul Donald Trump, now a leading Republican presidential candidate, kept a book of Hitler’s speeches near his bed.”

    That is hilarious! Thankfully Trump is no Hitler, he doesn’t posses the brains, charisma, oratory skills to take over a nation. As we can see he has plenty of opposition who see right thru his charade.

    For the most part, Donnie boy is the laughing stock of the world and wish he could command respect like his mentor Putin! 🙂

    • Dear !EarthUnited,

      President Trump following the manual of Mein Kampf does not make him anything like Hitler, but it does explain his behaviors.

      Does this sound familiar? It is something he has frequently said, but it is a quote by Hitler, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― Adolf Hitler

      Other Hitler Quotes:

      “The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
      ― Adolf Hitler

      “To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.”
      ― Adolf Hitler

      “The only preventative measure one can take is to live irregularly.”
      ― Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. Gronda, I still greatly admire what Senator Flake did. Will he be heard? There is some press on it, but not near enough. The GOP Chair and subject of the speech denounced it. The Chair saying how unfair the media is to the President as defense – whether that is true, and I would argue against it, that still does not give the man license to lie more than he does not. Trump, of course, said it was Flake just trying to get attention. Attack the attacker, not the argument, which is the President’ts modus operandi. did mention to Perdue and Cotton that they both need to listen to the speech. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      There will come a time when his fellow republican colleagues will rue the day that they didn’t heed his warning. He is doing what I would do. When the republicans have their day of reckoning, Senator Flake can live with himself for having tried to warn them.

      That is the story of Lazarus. When people don’t want to hear something, who the messenger is won’t make a difference.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. If he’s following Hitler’s notions then he’s not been reading history very well. Description of Hitler’s physical and mental state in the last 12 months of WWII are very sobering.
    You really wouldn’t want to go down that road; if you had any sense that is.

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