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In U.S. Politics, which side is more violent?

Janet Kuypers
Editor in Chief
started 4/13/16, completed 4/19/16

    I could just start on a rant about how violent Donald Trump seems, or how there’s a vitriol in the anti-Trump RNC, and you’d probably like to hear me talk about how Democrats always seem to rally around the “everybody should all just get along” rally cry, but I’ve got to talk about another political movement you may be aware of, and that is the Nazi party that came together that led to World War II.
    (But trust me, this will get back to modern-day politics, just hear me out.)
    For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a bit of the psycho about learning about Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party, and how it related to history and how it changed the world — and no, for some reason I’m not so fascinated with the war in the Pacific, even with the advent of nuclear bombs. I think I was totally stunned with the notion that a relatively small vegetarian artist wanna-be from Austria who hated his father ended up joining the neighboring country Germany’s army to fight in World War I... To be technical, he served as a Gefreiter (lance corporal) in the Bavarian Army, and while serving was wounded twice (in 1916 and 1918) and was awarded several medals (I think he was temporarily blinded by an explosion in the second injury).
    Okay, that might not seem too fascinating but the Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War I. That’s when Corporal Hitler went to work for the Weimar (democratic) government as a spy. He was ordered to watch and attend the meetings of the German Workers party in Munich and as Hitler did he was put in charge of recruitment and propaganda. A week after his first anti-Semitic speech, the party changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party — NSDAP, later to be known as the NAZI party.

Every time I say “beer hall putsch” I sing it to “Ball Room blitz”. I can’t help it.

    Hitler had been relatively introverted (especially as the bohemian son of an Austrian factory worker). After learning that “fighting the power” to gain power didn’t work, (see the Beer Hall Putsch, Berlin 1923 http://www.history.com/topics/beer-hall-putsch), he got assistance from professionals to help him make a more grand impression when making speeches to large audiences. The transformation began that made him the man that people were either too afraid to disagree with, or the man that commanded fanatical loyalty from his followers.
    Very shortly after Hitler became Reich Chancellor, German President Paul von Hindenburg died. This is when Chancellor Adolf Hitler developed his concept of the Führer as an absolute dictator who would bring unity to Germany. There was continued unrest from the global effects of the Depression, coupled with the fact that the economy was stagnant to say the least in Germany. Add this to the fact that fact that the Treaty of Versailles made sure Germany was not allowed to have a military force, they had to give up some of their territory — an initial cause of WWII — they were forced to pay reparations for the damages to other countries and for their war costs. In light of all of these elements together Hitler was able to say different things to different groups to get more people to rally behind him.

Did you know that fashion designer Hugo Boss became a member of the Nazi Party and a sponsoring member - Förderndes Mitglied - of the Schutzstaffel, or the SS, who designed their uniforms? According to German historian Henning Kober, the company managers were fervent Nazis and great admirers of Adolf Hitler. In 1945 Hugo Boss had a photo in his apartment of him with Hitler, at Hitler’s Obersalzberg retreat.

    And vehemently they did. If you didn’t, you outwardly said you agreed, and made sure nobody from the Gestapo overheard any comment you may think of making to the otherwise.
    So yes, not everyone had the same fervor for Hitler, but those who served in the military, were police or civil servants, pledged their loyalty not to Germany, but specifically to Adolph Hitler himself. The brown shirts (the SA, or Sturmabteilung) became massive in size, and as underlings to Hitler wanted to claim more power in his offices, Heinrich Himmler (forced to take a job in a manure-processing factory after WWI) became the Reichsführer SS, which he later built into an “elite” black-uniformed crew to specifically protect Hitler. Himmler was later also in charge of the Gestapo (secret police force, or the NAZI political police), and if you thought the SA or the SS was bad enough, then you know nothing of ruthlessness.
    Okay, okay, you’re probably wondering why I’m going on about Hitler and the NAZI police forces so much. I could make side notes like how the evil Darth Vader in Star Wars has Storm Troopers too, though Star Wars Storm Troopers were in white, not black... But if you know anything of history, you know that people under Hitler’s orders (this is seldom done by Hitler himself, as he grew into power, he had other people do his dirty work for him) were the ones over time who had no compunction at all committing violent acts of mass executions (like the gas chambers and the crematoriums, which were later “more efficient” steps from merely having to shoot Jews or gypsies or homosexuals in the head as they fell into ditches they had to shovel before their execution).
    Let me make this perfectly clear: Adolph Hitler, the mastermind of these atrocities and the genocide of millions of innocent people, was not an active participant in the day to day killings, and did not deal with the everyday details of the mass executions.
    That’s what he had his followers for.
    And that’s where a new level of scary comes in, because although there were masterminds in the Third Reich wanting the forced labor of thousands of Jews to make the weaponry during war time, they only gave the orders to make it so. There were a lot of lowly people who loved the Reich who were more than willing to do the heinous acts to thousands of innocent people — there were many people willing to get their hands filthy dirty by absolving themselves of any moral issue with their actions, because they were only following orders.

    And no, we don’t see that nowadays I our modern Political system. Though we do historically have many Democrats referring to George W. Bush in the first decade of this century as a fascist, as Hitler-esque — even though Hitler, as originally a member of a Socialist party, was more liberal than the what the Democratic party in the United States is supposed to be. (So no, Bush wouldn’t be like Hitler; the insane left-leanings of Obama makes Obama more like Hitler, even though Democrats don’t want to believe it.)

    But what we do see in this century is a people feeling as if they haven’t been listened to, and when someone came along and told them he would make everything better for them (and in case you don’t know who I’m referring to, think back to how Obama won so many people over as a junior Senator with no real government experience by telling them what they wanted to hear).
    In all of this I am not praising Bush (trust me), but just pointing out that Obama did what Hitler did when he was coming to power; he talked about people’s economic hardships and how he would help them through and make things better (you know, like the ’08 recession after the tech market bombed a decade earlier).
    I guess Bernie Sanders is doing the same thing, telling young people that college should be free, and he’d make wall street pay for it (sorry, like that will happen — but if you’re young and someone tell you what you want to hear, you don’t need to know how it will get done — as long as you think it will get done).
    But wait a minute, that isn’t the violence that we saw in the 1940s with the Third Reich... But what we do see in this election cycle is violence. You see it in people starting fights at Trump rallies.
    But I reflect now on a Trump rally that was actually stopped by protesters that were willing to do whatever it took to prevent someone else from exercising their First Amendment Rights. That was the most violent one I can think of, so you know. It was violence stemming from a group of people protesting a Chicago rally — most of whom claimed to be Sanders supporters who objected to Trumps ideas as offensive.
    Oh, wait, let me say it now, I know Bernie Sanders did not support any violent activity, and I know that there is no way Bernie Sanders would ever suggest causing issues the way those Chicago protesters did. But I want to make this perfectly clear: often when we see violence like this, their Democratic leaders do not condone and are not an active participant in the day to day violence, and they did not deal with the everyday details of the violence.
    That’s what they have all of their followers for.

    Okay, I know a lot of people out there are going to hate me as I make this argument, and they’re probably thinking I am praising Republicans. In response, as I’ve said before, I’ve never voted for a Republic Presidential candidate in my life, and I doubt I ever will. But the thing is, you’re probably thinking that I think violence only comes from the Democrat side of the American political system... And no, this isn’t the case — Hillary Clinton on The Breakfast Club radio show in New York city (http://www.power1051fm.com/pages/onair/breakfast-club/mobile.php) accused Trump of turning people against each other and “inciting violence” during his campaign, playing to the “worst instincts” of Americans. Hillary Clinton even said (in reference to Trump’s campaign tone), “This prejudice, this paranoia, this bigotry, that I had not seen before,” means “we gotta repudiate the guy, and what he is saying.” (Information from http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/04/18/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-is-a-cancer/)
    And the Ocean Beach California “OB Rag” (http://obrag.org/?p=104978) even found that a YouGov survey found that nearly half the country sees “fascist undertones” in the Trump campaign (http://obrag.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Trump-poll-on-fascist.jpg). Nearly as many opined that he encourages violence at his rallies.
    Wait a minute — Trump’s a fascist? Adolf Hitler turned Germany into a fascist state, and he rose to power with the National Socialist German Workers Party — NSDAP, later known as the NAZI party. And for those of you who don’t remember, Socialism is further left leaning than Democrats, not Republicans.
    But okay, back to the quotes and references, because I have heard people talking about how Trump incites violence. I saw a news story about one man at a Trump rally, who was an older white man that I believe had a mustache and a cowboy hat, who attacked a black man at a Trump rally. The only quote I did hear was from the white man who said something to the effect that if he had the chance, like the old days, he’d kill him.
    Wow, racism and the support of the slavery mentality is alive in a fraction of the Trump supporters. Not that Trump supports that mentality, it apparently found a home with a Trump supporter.
    My Chicago Tribune (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-video-trump-protester-sucker-punched-20160321-story.html) even reported that at an Arizona Donald Trump rally, a white man clothed in a U.S. flag (and later a KKK hood) attacked another black Trump supporter. Donald Trump said during the rally, “There’s a disgusting guy, puts a Ku Klux Klan hat on,” and he later said, “But why would a protester walk into a room with a Ku Klux Klan outfit on?”
    The funny thing is that the white guy was carrying a sign that said “Trump is bad for America”, which seems a little strange, when David Duke, the former head of the KKK, publicly endorsed Donald Trump. After this endorsement, the media hounded Trump on this, and although I would imagine that Donald Trump wouldn’t condone anything from the KKK, I couldn’t find anything online about Trump not wanting support from the Klansmen.
    Back to those protesters at his rallies, Donald Trump later said, “We don’t condone violence and I say it,” as he then called the protesters “professional agitators.”
    Political agitators? Wait a minute, that’s what I was talking about...
    Because no, nobody running for the President of the United States condones violence — and if they did they surely wouldn’t say it. Donald Trump may stir the pot of stewing violence with his rhetoric at rallies and on television — I am not sure if he stirs the violence with his tweets or retweets, I don’t read anything from https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump...
    Wait a minute. I’m just saying that Trump stirs the simmering pot of violence, but I have no actual statements from him to verify this. If I’m referencing everything else in this story, I should check my sources (as any good journalist should). Just because I have Hillary Clinton accusing Trump of turning people against each other and “inciting violence” during his campaign, well, she didn’t give any evidence either. I’m sure it’s gong to be difficult to find records of bad things Trump has recently said, but let me try.
    Tennessee party chairman Ryan Haynes said, “We’ve seen what’s happened at other events around the country,” as he was referencing spurts of violence at some Trump campaign rallies (http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/donald-trump-tennessee-gop-delegates-221489). There are no specific references to events here, but apparently people are aware of them enough to talk about them like they exist.
    Here are more cases without giving any quotes: NewsMax reported that “Trump’s stunning rise, accompanied by violence at his rallies and his own bellicose remarks, has fueled an expectation of disorder.” (http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/cleveland-comeback-summer-trump/2016/04/13/id/723793/) And NewsMax also pointed out that in a Donald Trump interview with Bob Lonsberry on WHAM 1180 in Rochester, New York 4/14/16, Donald Trump’s favorite Bible verse might be the one that includes the phrase “an eye for an eye” (http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/donald-trump-favorite-bible-verse/2016/04/14/id/724019/, http://wham1180.iheart.com/media/play/26907228/) which supports a Jewish line from the Old Testament and not a Christian line from the New Testament, but what they hey, if the Jewish Bernie Sanders could stand any chance in the Democrat processes, anything is possible.
    Which makes me point out how the American people are so obsessed with their President being religious enough that in February, Pope Francis suggested Trump might not actually be Christian (http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/trump-pope-not-christian/2016/02/18/id/ 714978/), because “a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
    But NewsMax was reporting that Donald Trump specifically stating that he supports those “an eye for an eye” lines indicates that his values are of slandering and stirring up malice and violence.
    So as I keep looking I hear that people refer to the violence, but I cannot find specific statements he has made — I don’t know, maybe the media is not covering specifically the bad things Donald Trump says (which is hard to fathom). But the last article I found about Donald Trump and violence was “When Protesters Trample Trump’s Rights” from RealClearPolitics (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2016/03/22/when_protesters_trample_trumps_rights.html). That article gets me back to my point.
    The underlying foundation of the U.S. Constitution may be reflected in Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s comment on Voltaire: “While I disagree with what you have to say, I will defend until death your right to say it.” The United States has free speech rights, and even if you don’t like the words of someone like Donald Trump, forming a mob to squelch someone’s rights should not be the answer. It that’s how one side solves problems, you have to re-evaluate where the real violence in out political system truly exists — and then figure out how to stop it.

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