MAKING AMERICA HATE AGAIN: Understanding the Trump phenomenon

Some seventy years after the defeat of fascism in Europe, one of the two major political parties in the United States is promoting a presidential candidate who openly advocates the deportation of millions of immigrants and the tracking of millions of other citizens based on their religion.

How could the nation that responded to the global threat of fascism by proclaiming “we have nothing to fear, but fear itself” give rise to a demagogue who used fear to grow such a large and frightening political movement?

Making America Hate Again
by Elliot Cohen

This brief well documented text analyzes the Trump phenomenon, examining historic similarities between the Trump campaign and earlier fascist movements, exploring the social and political conditions that enabled this ideology of hate to spread, and contemplates what a Trump presidency could mean for the future.

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2 Responses to “MAKING AMERICA HATE AGAIN: Understanding the Trump phenomenon”

  1. Gabriel says:

    I am in the middle of reading your book “Making America Hate Again” In chapter 3 you stated that fascism comes into power through elections. However, my understanding is that Hitler was never elected. The Nazi Party never received more than 5% of the vote. However, they were eventually put into power by big banks and corporations.

    • Elliot says:

      Germany has a parliamentary system, so the voters did not vote for a national leader as happens in the U.S. Instead the voters vote for representatives and the political party that wins the largest number of seats is designated the majority party. Often times the majority party lacks enough seats to govern effectively, so they partner with other parties to form a coalition that can effectively govern. This is essentially what occurred in Germany.

      In the 1930 elections the Nazi’s, ran a campaign promising to make Germany strong again, tear up the Treaty of Versailles, put the unemployed back to work and bring about prosperity, and hatred of the Jews. The result was that a party that previous election had won less than a million votes astonishingly won 6.5 million votes, becoming the second largest party in parliament. Many industrialist who previously had previously considered Hitler a joke realized he could win popular support. Hitler also shared their desire to crush communist, socialist and trade unionist, leading some industrialist to begin meeting with Hitler and donating heavily to the Nazi party. In 1932 another election took place during which the Nazi’s received 13.5 million votes indicating mass support was growing. Although the Social Democrats remained in the majority they were unable to govern because they lacked sufficient support to gain acceptance for their proposals. This left the government paralyzed and dysfunctional, so in January of 1933 President von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor of Germany. Thus Hitler was duly elected by both the voters who put him in office, and the Social Democrats of the Reichstag, who elevated him Hitler to leadership.

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