Chomsky: Trump Rising in Polls for Same Reasons Germany Embraced Hitler

February 24, 2016   |   Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish
February 24, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) United States — Adolf Hitler rose to power during a period of similar social tumult as that which has currently garnered Donald Trump such fervent support, according to Noam Chomsky. In a recent interview with Aaron Williams for Alternet, Chomsky explained how fear, alone, does not sufficiently explain Trump’s surprising popularity:

“Fear, along with the breakdown of society during the neoliberal period. People feel isolated, helpless, victim of powerful forces they do not understand and cannot influence.”

Governmental control over the lives of the U.S.’ populace has increased tremendously in recent time. With few avenues for effective protest — as in the example of Texas and other states, which have passed laws prohibiting localities to ban fracking — there is no shock such outsiders as Bernie Sanders and Trump have amassed throngs of devotees.

In fact, as Chomsky cautioned, the current social atmosphere that led to Donald Trump’s rise may actually be worse than the build-up to fascism in the early twentieth century:

“It’s interesting to compare the situation in the ‘30s, which I’m old enough to remember. Objectively, poverty and suffering were far greater. But even among poor working people and the unemployed, there was a sense of hope that is lacking now, in large part because of the growth of a militant labor movement and also the existence of political organizations outside the mainstream.”

Both Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K. and Sanders in the U.S. have conveyed signs of empathy toward traditional labor movements, Chomsky noted, calling the Vermont senator “an honest and decent New Deal Democrat.”

He added, tellingly, “The fact that they are regarded as ‘extreme’ is a comment on the shift to the right of the whole political spectrum during the neoliberal period.”


This article (Chomsky: Trump Rising in Polls for Same Reasons Germany Embraced Hitler) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Andrew Rusk. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Claire Bernish

Claire Bernish joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in May of 2015. Her topics of interest include thwarting war propaganda through education, the refugee crisis & related issues, 1st Amendment concerns, ending police brutality, and general government & corporate accountability. Born in North Carolina, she now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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104 Comments

  1. and i think any position taken with such "authority" should provide example and proofs working towards the reason for it
    noam chomsky vs some random guy in comments who disagrees.. hmm who to agree with… hmm.. yeh thats really hard ill get back to you

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  2. I have read Chomsky over the years and trust his opinion on most affairs, foreign or domestic.

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  3. To compare his popularity rise to Hitler's is quite the subliminal message. Maybe the "lack of hope" that is now missing compared to the 1930s is because in over 80 years nothing has really changed.

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  4. Scott Oneill I like Chomsky and I'm indifferent to Trump, but one has to take Chomsky's leftist ideological opinion with a grain salt. That said, the furor amongst those supporting Obama in 08 was far greater than Trump supporters today. In the end, my opinion is Trump is a plant for Clinton and Sanders is there to give liberals the illusion they have a choice.

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  5. Thomas Thompson i would personally say that the u.s isnt quite there where the german people were in the 30's
    maybe when your markets crash completely..
    germany was really hurting and much more so than any other industrial power during the great depression due to the punitive conditions of the treaty of versailles people were desperate for someone to blame (as many humans get when in dire circumstances) the fascist party gave them someone to blame and in the heady rush of having a target to vent their frustration on they lost their wn freedoms in the process
    trump is very much a symbol of the same forces at work in early nazi germany, but i dont think the full socio-economic pressure is there just yet.

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  6. If he kills everybody in order to take power, I might give him some credit. I don't see a Night of the Long Knives going down without any protest.

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  7. the parllels between nazi era & bernie (socialist) and trump are alarming.
    i belive you will see a rise in neo nazi proganda(new isis) in the news

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  8. I do not care for Trump. I am a Bernie fan. But seriously…this analogy is rediculous! The Germans in the thirties had to take wheel barrels full of marks to the market just to buy a meal…inflation, poverty, hunger as the result of losing WW1 was rampant. No way does this compare to the US today. This article sounds like the Republicans response when Obama won. Republicans and Democrats…liberals and conservatives…same boat…it is all about me, me, me. Nobody wants to talk about us, us, us.

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  9. says you …the great push for bernie and trump is because people are desperate……………you must be unaware of horifying poverty in the united states

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  10. Chomsky makes some valid points but the takeaway many readers will have with this article could easily be Trump = Hitler. Then again, that could be the aim of this article

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  11. Middle aged whites are the only known demographic whose mortality and morbidity rates are increasing. That is mostly because of suicide as well as over-use of alcohol and opioids (= suicide by other means). Often suicides come from anger turned inward. We are seeing that anger now turn outward, and it is not pretty.

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  12. Joseph A Blanchard Poverty is the United States? Buddy you have no idea what poverty is.

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  13. Content aside, I find it increasingly difficult to take any article seriously when it has so many sensational ads. Really restricts credibility, folks.

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  14. You are completely taking Chomsky's words and adding your own spin to them. How you titled this article and what you've written is a shameful piece of yellow journalism as Chomsky never said anything about Hitler nor did he draw any conclusions there. Click bait and the absolute lust for views is the primary driver behind the complete collapse of our current journalistic system. Again you should be ashamed of yourself

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  15. I will say this, and am just as guilty as 300 million plus other Americans.
    Part of the reason for our economic woes can be found by looking in the mirror every day.
    We buy the cheap goods from overseas and again I am as guilty as anyone else.
    If an American company moves overseas we could just refuse to buy their products.
    We could stop the illegal drug trade ourselves if everyone would stop buying drugs.
    Here is irony, I am driving a Toyota car assembled in a plant in Kentucky.
    Mr. Trump also buys foreign goods. He bought 1000's of v's from a foreign manufacturer
    and the irony there is a company in South Carolina that builds them.

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  16. Joseph A Blanchard Horifying poverty in the US? You must be unaware of how the definition of poverty has changed over time.

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  19. Claire Bernish, shameful journalism in this article. The title and opening sentence report that Chomsky drew an analogy to Nazi Germany, which he did not. There is no mention of Germay or Hitler in Chomsky's interview. Sensationalistic clickbait. You have done a terrible job here.

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  20. For the record, Chomsky did not make this analogy. Claire Bernish, the author of this article, did, associating the idea with Chomsky, presumably to get more views, or to push her own agenda.

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  21. Joseph A Blanchard I must agree with Michael Brasch. US citizens do not know what horrifying poverty is. My wife is from a village in the Colombian mountains and we visit there very often. I doubt very few americans bath in a stream, drink rainwater, or eat food that they themselves have either harvested, gathered, or killed. These people don't consider their lifestyle as "horrifying poverty". We complain about our quality of life because the sad reality is that we are so spoiled we are unaware what real poverty is. We also complain about the 1%. We'll the truth is, on a GLOBAL scale of wealth, you and I are the 1% that everyone hates.

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  22. Michael Brasch The fact is, the United States is the wealthiest nation on earth, but has the highest child poverty rate among wealthy nations. Comparing poverty in wealthy nations to poverty in, say, Sudan, is ludicrous. I worked as a mobile therapist and in therapeutic foster care for several years, mostly with very poor children and their families. And yes, their situations were often horrific. No heat, not enough or terrible quality food (ramen for dinner), prevalent abuse, HORRIBLE schools, crime and drug-infested neighborhoods where people didn't feel safe. It's gross that you're fine with this simply because it's not "as bad" as a third world country. The US is NOT a third world country – it's the wealthiest country to EVER EXIST. And this is why poverty is the US is so incredibly shameful.

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  23. Philip Attisano they sound a lot happier than many 1st world people with more material possessions. that is no attempt to make light of their lifestyle, i just think many people would appreciate their lives more if they were more involved in what goes into creating their immediate world

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  24. Stacie Weaver I think you could rethink your opening statement with regard to the wealthiest nation bit

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  25. Stacie Weaver Statistics….not real poverty….based on the definition of relative poverty used by the OECD. Under this definition, a child is deemed to be living in relative poverty if he or she is growing up in a household where disposable income, when adjusted for family size and composition, is less than 50% of the median disposable household income for the country concerned. What the United States has…is "mental" poverty…"lack mentality".

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  26. Sandy Corcoran Where did you earn your medical degree from and what psychiatric residency did you attent? Do you at least have a degree in psychology to speak like that?

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  27. While I agree that the Manifestation of Trump conjours up images of Facism in 1930s Germany, the 'mood' of the People is more like Russia in 1917 or Paris in 1789. Americans are Ready to 'Storm the Bastile' of the Opressors on Wall Street

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  28. Perhaps Chomsky can explain the Bolshevik hatred and murder that he seems to no troubles with until Stalin purged members of his tribe?

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  29. I call bullshit. We don't live back in the '30's or '20' or 1800's. We have access to a lot more information. Besides….there is movement before any change…including the American Revolution. I think the only ones who regret that outcome are the people who lost control over us. It takes great change and a lot of energy to make positive movements forward. They don't always produce a Hitler. Sometimes they produce a Geroge Washington, or an Abraham Lincoln. Fear….produces stagnation and keeps the people complacent so that even stupider shit can happen. Don't ever find fault with the spirit of the American citizens. Being American is about freedom. Freedom to make change!!!

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  30. "It would be wonderful if we could simplify the conversation, debate, or what many call, the national narrative by removing labels, end useless name calling, and stop playing into the hands of the masters of the system which uses every method imaginable to divide and thereby conquer, we the people. From the corporate media feeding endless propaganda, to the myth of a real two party system, to an educational system fundamentally designed to indoctrinate the young, and more, such devices need to be understood for what they are and what they have accomplished in preventing the majority of people from uniting as a people and throwing the bums out of our lives forever.
    Who would deny decisions such as, Citizens United, not only makes a joke of the land's highest court, while establishing personhood for corporations isn't against the will of the people as a whole? Such secret deals as the TPP, TTIP and TISA, accomplish nothing less than rule by mega-corporations, something all would understand if they took the time to read the leaked documents, should be uniting us against the pending horrors of such deals, not locked in combat over labels, ideology, or anything else that would dissuade us from our task of self rule.
    At no time in history has it been more clear that, if we don't put aside our differences here and now, all but the very few are going to suffer at the hands of this system in ways never seen before, although akin to the conditions of the last gilded age of robber barons who never went away and now seek to run us down all over again, but on far more permanent scale. Is this what people are arguing to have?
    It isn't about Bernie, or Hillary, or Trump, or Jeb, or any of the employees that serve the system we have endured for so long, it's all about us, if we can unite in a caring common cause to and for the benefit of each and every person here who desire and demands self governance. It isn't difficult to see we do not have such today. Not when lobbyists, corporations, bankers and such are able to write whatever legislation pleases them the most, while we all suffer due to such influences. Can anyone truly deny this is the case?
    People talk about solutions to our collective troubles all the time. Which candidate, which party, and this and that, but until our population decides it's had enough and puts aside often petty differences, the only changes we'll see are more and more wealth and power in the hands of the few while they tell you they are not picking your pocket and taking away your ability to remove them from power at the same time. Keep arguing for your limitations and you will get to keep them."
    In my opinion, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only viable candidate. He is of and for the People. Senator Bernie is the only candidate in either party who is not in the pockets of the billionaire/corporate puppet masters. This election is not about liberal. vs conservative. or democrat vs republican, it is about getting our country back for the people. Right wing, left wing……All the same bird…….ie TPP.

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  31. Have to agree with Michael here…ive travelled and SEEN real poverty…we have issues here…but no one is living in garbage dumps to scrounge for food..as is the case in many 3rd world countries..

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  32. Philip Attisano, glad someone else thinks like this we are the one percent that everyone hates. So true.

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  33. Michael Brasch You are simply wrong, and as I said, I say this as a person who worked with poor people. Your dismissal of the genuine struggle of poor people in this country is ridiculous.

    And Jason, we should not be comparing the United States to countries like Sudan or Haiti if we are thinking about standard of living for our citizens – we should compare ourselves to Denmark, Japan, Australia…then let's see how we're doing. The fact is, among peer countries, we suck in our treatment of the most vulnerable populations and in our poverty rates. If you want to keep comparing us to the third world, I guess we look great, but saying you're better than countries where children are drinking raw sewage isn't a huge accomplishment when you're the wealthiest nation to ever exist.

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  34. He's an anarchist and very anti-Bolshevik. He's written quite a bit about this in aricles and books. REad or listen to Government in the Future, just one of many examples, he brilliantly takes down the Soviet system.

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  35. It is a conclusion the author of this piece makes himself using Chomsky's words.

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  36. Stacie Weaver "Poor me" and "Lack Mentality" is the US disease. The poorest people in America are wealthy compared to the real disadvantaged people of this earth. You can do and become anything in the USA…and if not, the safety nets are everywhere. You need to visit or live in countries where clean drinking water is the major concern of the day…or where death by starvation is higher than heart disease or breast cancer. What you need, Stacie Weaver is an attitude of grattitude!

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  37. I must say, Rich Frank, you are spot on! The only objection I have with your manifesto is at the end where you say, "it is about getting our country back for the people". This country, and I do love it, has always been an oligarchy…autocracy at best. To prove this point…you will see that they actual system will not allow Trump or Bernie to be nominated. Once again the system will allow the country to choose the lesser of two (party controlled) evils.

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  38. An astute observation. An Op-ed is certainly a fair expression of free speech. But the issue is that the author doesn't take responsibility for this conclusion, but rather strongly implies through their deceptive titling and writing that it's Chomsky who is making this assertion. Take for instance the structuring of the title "Chomsky:Trump Rising in Polls for Same Reasons Germany Embraced Hitler" implies that these are Chomsky's words, not the authors. And this excerpt from the article "In fact, as Chomsky cautioned, the current social atmosphere that led to Donald Trump’s rise may actually be worse than the build-up to fascism in the early twentieth century" is another complete extrapolation based off another poorly sourced article that makes the same assertion without any kind of factual source checking. Basically, it's a blogger who's copying another blogger's conclusion for the sake of getting out an article so that they can can get paid. It's a massive flaw in our current "one-off" journalistic system driven by the economics of clicks and shares, because unless a blogger can put out viral content, they're not putting food on the table that week. While the author is certainly entitled to express their opinion, I would ask that they be part of the solution of restoring the integrity of American journalism by raising the standard and refusing to take part in this kind of deceptive writing. And with that I do wish good luck to the author. I hope you take up this charge and be part of turning this system around

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  39. Benjamin J Bankson Yes, the headline is misleading. Like you, I was disappointed in this piece, not because of my scepticism regarding journalistic integrity, but because it is weak on substance. All that really matters in opinion is whether a person presents good reasons to accept their opinion, or not. In this case, is the argument sound? Is the rise of Trump and the rise of the Hitler related to similar social, political, and economic conditions? I would say, yes, in many ways. But I would not use this particular article as my sole basis to agree, lol.

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  40. One of the more interesting elements of this article is the suggestion that there is a weaker sense of hope in America now than in the 30s. Could that be because there is a greater sense of powerlessness?

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  41. Well I am happy to see another Ex reporter from the National Enquire has found employment for another Major National News Media. Perhaps with this story he may get that long desirered Pulitser Prise. Altho it's a shame he didn't realize that the Trump haters went thought this Hitler faze 3 months ago.

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  42. I don't not see how anyone can deny the parallels between the growth of facism in the 30s and the rise of Trump. There are aspects of the two situations that seem to be formularically driven.
    1. Fear and desperation: Hitler's rise was due to the national depression in Germany caused by the guilt clause and other parts of the aftermath of WWI. Though there is no global agreenment such as the clause that is targeting the US and its economy, the US (the whole of western society included) is riddled with fear and uncertainty. Trump seems to these scared people as a saviour, just as Hitler seemed to the people of Germany. This fear leads to #2…
    2. Proposals of racial segregation/expulsion: The Nazi party did not simply come out saying: "We are going to kill six million people of Jewish decent". It began with laws targeting the jewish people, such as Identifying badges (Trump has proposed this), and giving the right to police officers so they can search the group under question with no warrant.
    All of this is getting Trump supporters ( or may I say, people who really are just fearful beings who direct their fear onto easy targets) really stoked. While this is happening, it is making me super fucking terrified and saddened. Remember the history we have only recently recovered from. Do not subscribe to hatred and fear, glorified by the face of a business man who holds no compassion for humanity or its future.
    Please be careful, USA, and choose well
    With love, from Canada.

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  43. Chomsky actually never mentions Hitler at all., as far as I'm aware. The author is blatantly lying for clicks.

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  44. Chomsky never mentions Hitler at all. Claire Bernish could be liable for a lawsuit given her blatantly untrue headline.

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  45. Bernie was an elected city mayor, and an elected congressman for 30 plus years…..he supports the U S Constitution and adheres lawfully to his congressional duties……..those are facts. You can call him socialist, communist or whatever you want…….he says he is a social democrat…..that seems to tally up with his comments……

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  46. Benjamin your right on. I couldn't believe in reading the actual interview that there was no reference, even veiled, to Hitler.

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  47. Of course no mention of the fact that Sander's rhetoric ACTUALLY echoes Hitler's and they are both socialists.

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  48. My comments on a post of this article that I read before I read the article or your comment, mirrors your comment in spirit. Thank you.

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  49. John Harkness
    Suicide is caused by deep hopelessness (depression)
    I

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  50. but but.. obama promised HOPE and CHANGE ooops maybe next time leftists

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  51. That was a very acurate statement by Chomsky. I have often disagreed with his view point. But I am in agreement here. Although Bernie Sanders' politics aren't an exact match for me, I do admire him for ALWAYS holding the same views from when he was a young man until today. I think he has integrity. I can see past politics to see that he is a man who truly says what he believes and believes what he says. That is rare in this "sound bite" culture we have devolved into.

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  52. Philip Attisano I believe true poverty is a perception, not a state that can be quantified by any metric. Case and point, when Hillary Clinton said they left the White House they were "dead broke", but they were worth about $8 million at the time. But it was real property, not disposable income. But that doesn't mean she didn't "feel" like she was broke. Most of us scoff at that, myself included. You said yourself, that your wife's family doesn't consider themselves to be in "horrific poverty". It just strikes you as an American not being use to it as abject poverty. But in actuality, many people(who aren't Americans) live what they consider "good lives". Living off the land as you so adeptly painted the picture of(I honestly feel that way, I am not being glib). If poverty is a mindset, then people like Buddhist monks, who engage in radical acceptance, are making a choice not to feel poor. In the US our biggest enemy is the inherent need to "keep up with the Jones'". When it comes down to it, having no money is just about as painful for everyone. We are indeed very, very privledged in this county. But our human emotions can make any one of us feel impoverished. Without throwing my fellow citizens under the bus, I have been trying to realize that perceived reality IS reality to the person percieving it.

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  53. Ignore at our peril! What is happening with extreme right and extreme left is feeding unhappy angry disillusionment. Trump is NOT THE WAY.

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  54. Michael Brasch And AGAIN, I would suggest to you that comparing the United States to Haiti or the Sudan is idiotic. This is like comparing life in a sweatshop to chattel slavery and saying, "Well, those sweatshop workers should just have an "attitude of gratitude," because chattel slavery is WAY worse than what they're doing!" It's stupid. And obnoxious. And cruel. Being "grateful" to the ruling elite for allowing you to have running water is a particularly pathetic attitude to take, and sorry, I'm not buying into it. But this isn't about me. I have 1 1/2 master's degrees, a nice house, eat mostly organic food, live in a nice school district for my kids, etc. I'm not thinking about myself, and while I certainly have gratitude for what I have, I have worked with enough poor children, single moms working 3 jobs, and homeless people with mental illness to know that this country is NOT taking care of the poorest people in this society. And know what? The fact that yeah, they have access to a flushing toilet, is JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH. But go ahead – you keep blowing people off, and I'll keep fighting for better economic equity. Have a great day.

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  55. Trump has said many things. Many are true. But, Trump is too radical and people know it. I and most people would never trust him with control of our military. No way. The thought scares me.

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  56. Stacie Weaver *sigh* you are the poster child of "Lack" attitude syndrome in this country. Your karma.

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  57. Stacie Weaver *sigh* you are the poster child of "Lack" attitude syndrome in this country. Your karma.

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  58. While I don't support Trump by any stretch of the imagination, I'm growing weary of comparing him to Hitler.

    People are comparing Trump to Hitler's rise, and while it's very interesting to contemplate the rise of German facism to our current backdrop, it's not being done well here.
    There are some of points of comparison between 1920's germany and current day USA, at least in regard to social change, and some inflation but the economic and social situations were viciously different, and one model is almost never acceptable to apply to multiple situations. (Take for instance what a failure Communism in Russia was, a model created by a German in the 1800s)

    The United states is not, and will never be 1920's Germany, and while it's quite fashionable to compare Trump to Hitler, you can't expect anyone reasonable to take this at face value without more concrete comparisons, as opposed to spinning the words of one man and commenting on them.

    I don't doubt the two have similarities, both have a charismatic overture, both focus on problems in their countries with intent to MAKE IT GREAT again, and even have plans. Both have scapegoats in the guise of entire ethnic groups. But these are not totally unique to Hitler or Trump.

    I don't intend to thrash this article as some other people in the comments. I just wish there was more to it to support it's claim other than siting one man, no matter how important he may be.

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  59. If you actually read the interview (2 layers deep from the original post), no one even mentioned Hilter!

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  60. While there are conspiracies, I don't think Trump had this on the back burner all these years, nor do I think that the elite have chosen him to to be their guy, and then would have the media (which represent them) go after him in every way imaginible. That's not a great plan. I guess Trump's kids would also be in on this conspiracy, along with Melania.

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  61. The Usa and the World Needs a TRUMP !! the planet is going down the drain , someone has to put a STOP to this madness !

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  62. Have people, especially the Trumptards and others denouncing this article as clickbait, forgotten his [Trump's] own words about how all Muslims should wear an identifying symbol (Akin to the Star of David that Hitler had the Jews sew on their clothing) that signifys they're a Muslim? And that they should all register in a database? Please, the alleged analogy that Chomsky is positing is as true as the fact that he's the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, which is completely true (For the time being, until America wakes up) and should be taken seriously. But noooo, people take his backpedaling at face value (Like how he's currently backpedaling saying he already denounced the KKK.) and ignore what he said to cause the backpedaling… Wake up people. Just saying.

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  63. Michael Brasch whats this the @my Dick is bigger than yours@ o f the poverty stakes. Huh? so you can only be poor and deprived if it is on the scale of the Ethiopian famine, all else is irrelevant. Wow!

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  64. Niall O Byrne You seem to have missed my point. Oh we have poverty here in the US…it is a mental poverty…a lack consciousness if you will. People living in physical poverty around the world only dream of the life in the USA that is considered poor. The world wants the advantages we have here…pray for it….will do anything to have our opportunities.

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  65. b"H I disagree – at least for the main part, and I also find it unfair to say something like this which would compare Trump to Hitler. The reason for Trump's popularity is not real popularity, but the hope that he'll beat Hilary Clinton, whose presidency would mean a total takeover by Obama's string-pullers, the terrorists running the terrorist training camps. There are many people who support him who don't really even like him, but see him as the lesser of two evils – and more than that have a well-founded hope that if anybody could turn the tide, he could, for he has money and power.

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  66. Just out of curiousity, how is 2016 United States similar, in any way, to 1920s Germany? Just asking.
    SPK

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  67. Love all the attempts to initiate Michael Brasch into the world of empathy and caring. Trying to educate an ignorant fool is like trying to convince a wooden fence that it's a brick wall lol.

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  68. You are so typical Joe….someone has a different, and in my case, a more informed opinion, and you are only left with name calling and whining. Again, one can do and be anything they want in this country. Opportunities abound! Out of compassion for the "doom-and-gloomers", I respond to junk journalism like this…in order to enlighten close minded people. Take some responsibility for your life…raise your life condition…then help eveyone else raise their life conditions.

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