It has become a given among professional journalists that Nazi or Hitler references have no place in the discourse of American politics. That being said, doesn't Donald Trump remind you of Mussolini — the same arrogant swagger, the fiery rhetoric, the frenetic arm movements, the pout? Pardon me, Benito Mussolini was the fascist dictator of Italy who was allied with Germany and Japan against the United States during WWII. I wasn't there. I just like to read about this stuff. Or maybe I saw it on the History Channel. Anyway, lately Trump has been making Mussolini look absolutely timid. What with the defiant stance, the funny hats, and the adorable wife. Well, at least Benito thought his wife was adorable. And he likes pushing people around, see?
Trump has dominated the news coverage for weeks. In fact, you can't turn on the TV without seeing the Donald. He's the main attraction on all the cable news networks as well as the entertainment news channels because, let's admit it, he's one helluva entertainer. But if I hear one more pundit say, "He's sucking all the oxygen out of the room," I'm going to suffocate. After several outrageous news conferences and incoherent speeches, Trump is running away with the GOP leading-contender status like a contestant on The Apprentice. The Tea Party contingency loves him, and the evangelical congregation believe he's a godsend. Literally. There's no use telling Trump devotees that his xenophobic, misogynistic, paternalistic, and extremist ravings might be dangerous, because they don't understand what those words mean anyway. That's why they call it "the base." For the rational among us, Trump's ole-time racist rhetoric won't be so fascinatingly galling for much longer. The novelty will wear off, his shelf-life will expire, and it will be time to change the channel. The problem is, to what channel?
No sooner had Trump made nice with the Fox Republican Propaganda Network over his ugly remarks about favorite daughter Megyn Kelly, than he unilaterally restarted the war. Trump went into Twitter overdrive saying, "I liked the Kelly File much better without Megyn Kelly," and retweeting some clever backwoods poet's comment that, "The bimbo's back in town," with Trump adding, "I hope not for long." Trump says, "I cherish women," in his domineering way. Maybe Ivanka can tell Dad that calling them "bimbos" is no way to win the women's vote. Personally, I'd love to see a war between Trump and Fox News. Trump and Roger Ailes could have a loser-leaves-town match, or better still, a hair match, only Ailes has none to lose. Perhaps he could get Hannity as a proxy. The next week, Trump tossed respected journalist Jorge Ramos out of a press conference for being too insistent, saying, "Go back to Univision." That sucking sound you hear is the last potential Latino Trump vote heading south. During his next media scrum, Trump claimed that, "CNN is terrible," and "Fox News doesn't cover me fairly." Since NBC dismissed him from his reality show, Donald is about to run out of media outlets to cover his every burp on live TV.
The Dick Armey-organized, Koch brothers-funded Tea Party was once a fringe group of the Republican Party. Now, they run the show. The GOP created this beast on inauguration day when they plotted to destroy the Obama presidency — country be damned. So now they must feed the beast. Trump claims that his favorite book is the Bible, yet he can't remember a favorite passage. Here's one from Hosea 8:7, "They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind." Trump's stump speeches contain phrases like, "the Mexican people love me," "I have a great relationship with the blacks," and "we love the Ukrainians." I don't know if I'm listening to Donald Trump or Don Rickles. Political insiders scoff at the possibility of Trump winning the nomination, but this is the party that elected the twin disasters of Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. If Trump is somehow elected president, he'll have to build a wall at the southern border to keep people in. "People are shocked at how smart I am," Trump says, as he carries on a Twitter war that makes him look more like a Real Housewife than a presidential candidate. He's sewn up the Duck Dynasty vote without putting forward a single intelligible program. When challenged on his plan to expel 11 million undocumented workers, Trump proclaimed, "We're going to deport them in a very humane fashion." I'm sorry, but isn't that what Hitler said?
Randy Haspel writes the "Recycled Hippies" blog, where a version of this column first appeared.