One of the most notorious leaders of all time is Adolf Hitler. Considered by many to be one of the most villainous people to have ever lived, one of the most prominent questions that arise is if he was a great leader.
What sparks this debate is that he put his country first and wanted what was best for his fellow countrymen and women. However, in doing so, millions of people were killed, suffered, fell victim to his ruthless regime.
Many of his decisions were met with criticism, scrutiny, and reservations because they were considered too hostile. It turns out, they were right. So if there was so much negativity that came from his reign, why and how can people consider him a great leader?
Hitler viewed his country negatively and wanted to make a change. He felt that Germany was weak and constantly taken advantage of and his idea was to rebuild it, strengthen it, and bring prosperity back to its citizens. While many of his goals and methods were pushed back on and scrutinized, he felt he was doing what was best for his country. While he was doing what he thought was best for Germany, he continued to disregard citizens and other countries who warned about the negative impacts of his methodologies and vision.
Hitler focused on creating a supreme race. A race that was strong, built to last, and that looked similar to one another. Essentially, a world with perfect humans- in his eyes.
He wanted a strong military to show strength and authority rather than building up Germany’s economy. He had manufacturers discontinue the production of consumer goods to focus on producing arms and military defense products.
The views he had disregarded facts and he was unable to accept changing circumstances that posed a problem for him and his vision. His ideology took
Disregarded facts and inability to accept changing circumstances. His ideology took precedent over his skilled and knowledgable experts in his party. If anyone stood in his way or disagreed with him, they were fired, exiled, and ostracized to ensure his ideals were promoted, and his alone.
To promote his views and show the strength of the country, he hosted rallies to ensure his voice was heard and so he could promote his message for all to hear. At these rallies, he promoted the idea of nationalism, disparaged immigrants to increase border strength, and how he was treated unfairly by his opponents and the press.
At the heart of Hitler’s propaganda was nationalism, ruling by fear, promoting loyalty, and that he could and should not be questioned. He continued to attack the rule of law and media while calling opponents parasites, criminals, and leftist scum.
One method that was used to promote this propaganda was transistor radios that received one channel to prohibit people from other news outlets from showing the truth. He coined the term “lying press” and utilized the Gestapo to keep people in line.
Even though Hitler won the election, he did so by not winning the popular vote of his fellow Germans. Throughout his tenure, he degraded the voting process and wanted to change voter rules in an effort to ensure he could stay in power without winning the popular vote.
Hitler rose to power with promises of helping Germany to become a powerful nation with a prosperous economy. In his early stages, he led Germany into France with resounding success which helped gain the support of politicians and citizens. He was once referred to as a “genius” because of his leadership qualities and war tactics.
In addition, he built a flourishing economy, albeit it was short-lived and turned out to be a hollow shell that looked better than it actually was.
A Great Leader?
The measurement of Hitler’s success relied on the economy, Germany’s military, and a large number of supporters. Where he fell short was in his overconfidence in himself and his views. He believed enemies to be weaker than suggested and disregarded his commanding officers who advised against many of his tactics.
While he built what appeared to be a great economy, money in Germany was essentially worthless and a wheelbarrow full of money would rarely buy a loaf of bread due to such high levels of inflation.
He failed to inspire Germans without the use of fear and was often referred to as delusional, incompetent, and arrogant. In other words, Hitler was not a great leader. He was a great master of disguise and continued to divert the attention from his negative shortcomings to other issues that were plaguing his country.
You Guessed It
If at this point you believe this sounds eerily similar to how things are in America, you would be absolutely correct. Donald Trump is not Hitler. He is not out to create a supreme race and kill millions of people. He is however utilizing the same tactics to enrich himself and stay in power.
Trump touts the idea that he is putting the United States first, even if it means pulling out of treaties that benefit the United States and is ill-advised amongst people in his chamber. This is all to promote his view of nationalism.
He portrays the media as “fake news”, similar to Hitler’s “lying press”, to push the rhetoric that he is treated unfairly when people disagree with him. Even when his closest allies in news outlets speak out against him, he immediately blasts them and tries to diminish them all because they correct his incorrect information.
Rather than the Nazi party (in some cases his supporters identify as a Nazi), there are MAGA (Make America Great Again) supporters who follow his rhetoric rather than seeking the truth. These are also the same supporters who do not support the wealthy (1%ers) but buy Trump gear to directly enrich him and line his pockets.
While America had a strong economy heading into the 2016 election, Trump made several deals that appeared to improve the economy in America. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the economy plummeted quickly due to his inability to lead and self arrogance. It proved that the deals were short-lived and hollow, similar to the promises of Hitler.
In no way do I believe that Donald Trump is attempting to replicate Adolf Hitler by killing millions of people. I want it to be clear that he has simply taken the same tactics and implemented them into his campaign to ensure he personally benefits and can stay in power.
So if Hitler is deemed an ineffective leader and Trump is closely aligned with him, does that mean Trump is a failure as well?
Whether you identify as a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green Party, or other, be sure to always check sources, review several different news outlets before believing information, and always be sure to seek out the truth.
Division will not bring us together. It will only continue to dig us deeper and deeper into a hole which grows ever more difficult every day.