Monday, August 12, 2019

Pope Francis: “I am concerned because we hear speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934.”

Me too.

In light of the concerns Pope Francis expressed regarding the emergence of nationalism and political rhetoric of isolationism - a concern I share BTW: “I am concerned because we hear speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934.”  I want to link to a great article on how Trump is emulating Hitler's rise to power.  Don't freak out - no one is suggesting Trump is heading toward some 'final solution' to make America white again, as Burt Neuborne, the author of the book When at Times the Mob Is Swayed: A Citizen’s Guide to Defending Our Republic makes clear: "I don’t for a moment believe that Trump admires what Hitler eventually did with his power [genocide], but he damn well admires—and is successfully copying—the way that Hitler got it.”
People on FB seemed to disagree with what the Holy Father says, or they immediately assume he's picking on Trump, yet comparisons with fascist speeches from the 1930's is not difficult to do.  I found a very good article on Neuborne's book (cited above) comparing Trump's style to Hitler's rhetoric and policies, which sheds some light on what the Holy Father may be talking about. Though it needs to be repeated that the Pope didn't name Trump, nor is Trump alone among leaders to foster nationalism.  Elsewhere in the world nationalism is gaining a great deal of support in reaction to the ongoing migrant and economic crisis.

20 Common Themes, Rhetorical Tactics and Dangerous Policies

Here are 20 serious points of comparison between the early Hitler and Trump.
1. Neither was elected by a majority. Trump lost the popular vote by 2.9 million votes, receiving votes by 25.3 percent of all eligible American voters. “That’s just a little less than the percentage of the German electorate that turned to the Nazi Party in 1932–33,” Neuborne writes. “Unlike the low turnouts in the United States, turnout in Weimar Germany averaged just over 80 percent of eligible voters.” He continues, “Once installed as a minority chancellor in January 1933, Hitler set about demonizing his political opponents, and no one—not the vaunted, intellectually brilliant German judiciary; not the respected, well-trained German police; not the revered, aristocratic German military; not the widely admired, efficient German government bureaucracy; not the wealthy, immensely powerful leaders of German industry; and not the powerful center-right political leaders of the Reichstag—mounted a serious effort to stop him.”
2. Both found direct communication channels to their base. By 1936’s Olympics, Nazi narratives dominated German cultural and political life. “How on earth did Hitler pull it off? What satanic magic did Trump find in Hitler’s speeches?” Neuborne asks. He addresses Hitler’s extreme rhetoric soon enough, but notes that Hitler found a direct communication pathway—the Nazi Party gave out radios with only one channel, tuned to Hitler’s voice, bypassing Germany’s news media. Trump has an online equivalent.
“Donald Trump’s tweets, often delivered between midnight and dawn, are the twenty-first century’s technological embodiment of Hitler’s free plastic radios,” Neuborne says.
3. Both blame others and divide on racial lines. As Neuborne notes, “Hitler used his single-frequency radios to wax hysterical to his adoring base about his pathological racial and religious fantasies glorifying Aryans and demonizing Jews, blaming Jews (among other racial and religious scapegoats) for German society’s ills.” That is comparable to “Trump’s tweets and public statements, whether dealing with black-led demonstrations against police violence, white-led racist mob violence, threats posed by undocumented aliens, immigration policy generally, protests by black and white professional athletes, college admission policies, hate speech, even response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico,” he says. Again and again, Trump uses “racially tinged messages calculated to divide whites from people of color.” - Finish reading here.

I'm amazed that many Catholics mistrust the Pope, yet place so much confidence in Trump and his nationalistic policies. 

"Got a match?"


  1. They're both teetotal, they both have silly hairdos, they're both sort of German, errrr....

    Joking aside, I don't trust Pope Trump or President Francis, who have far more in common with each other than their supporters would like to admit. Back in the Real World, Trump was a Democrat when Dubya was in the White House. (Dubya was too right-wing for Trump, FFS!) And Bergoglio's own connexions with fascism in Argentina are of course well known. (Or at least they were when he was elected - conspiracy theories that people have come up with since then, such as the "St Gallen Mafia" and so on, notwithstanding!)

    And yes, it was indeed that same Mr Hitler who signed a concordat with Pope Bergoglio's predecessor Pius XI (who again was far more similar to Francis than any other Holy Father of the 20th century).

  2. We are in a culture war. I get that some family and friends continue to support him for policy reasons and are willingly blind to the underplaying hate and immoral behavior. Hitler's "magic" was capitalizing on the long dormant wedge issues that propelled him to power. Most German's did not know enough until it was too late. Yes Trump has been on all sides of the wedge issue we have and finally found a way in to the power he covets. He was active in NYS in 2012 trying to get inroads in the Republican Party to get the Govenor nomination but could not pull it off. I am of the mind that his policies shifts are mostly window dressing. His is an economic strategy really to shift and make permanent the wealth and power of the 2%. The propaganda machine is skillful in spotlighting the wedge issues to keep the masses divided and arguing while he consolidates power. Like in Germany it is a power strategy and tool. Trump has no solid opinion on these. He will fan the flames of them alright, but he could just as easily flip to the other side if it has benefit for him. Only when his economic nationalism begins to harm his base will they become disillusioned with him. This is how wars, the ultimate distractor, begin. I return again and again to the Marian prophecies for comfort since there is little one can do to stop this out of control train speeding to some kind of disaster. I, normally am an optimist that things will work out. I hate being negative or feeling hopeless, but at this point we are all along for the ride. And it looks to be a turbulent ride ahead.

    1. I thought the article was insightful, if not stretching it a bit in some points. I'm not political but I think we're in big trouble either way. And Trump just lifted EPA restrictions-protections for wildlife, in his attempt to boost the wealth of those who seek to exploit the environment. The Holy Father's comment on the tone of modern day speeches as reminiscent of 1934 rhetoric is right on however.

  3. So how about this?

    I should have vetted my source. I think some of the points are somewhat of a stretch perhaps, but they help bring to light, or form a background for the Pope’s comment on the similarities of rhetoric. Europeans are listening to similar rhetoric in their countries, the same in Brazil and elsewhere of course. My point is to provide a glimpse into what the Pope may be talking about, albeit the article focuses on Trump. No doubt Trump has done some good, while he pulls the rug out from under safeguards we once had to protect wildlife and the environment, etc..

    A friend wondered when I would point out the faults and hate coming from progressive activists and politicians. I can only say I’m not sure what to comment on regarding the craziness from progressives whose entire cause is based upon abortion without any restrictions. What can I say to that? Feminists and LGBTQ and their supporters are totally sold on the idea of free healthcare for all, which in effect means free access to abortion, transgender procedures, right to die stuff and so on. That is the basis of a leftist platform and to be sure, the Democratic platform. If one writes about it you need a footnote list a mile long, and the data can’t be from any near-right or far-right data base or think tank source in the world.

    A contra-conspiracy-theory tactic seems to be the project of turning the migrant issue into the premier 'life issue'. It's not wrong of course, but it seems to me to be a convenient focus to obfuscate the essential issue of abortion and infanticide.

    As a side note, it seems to me the Epstein case has been another distraction from essential problems, as well as growing international threats to peace. Which brings me back to Trump’s opportunism to exploit a story and promote his cause, and even – if possible – get away with murder. I don’t think he had anything to do with Epstein’s death. I say that in the same sense as his claim, that he could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" and not "lose any voters."

    Anyway - I'm not political, but I love history. ;)

  4. And so the Tower of Babel continues to blow ... left and right, so loud, so distorted, so Godless.

    No thanks to both sides of the aisle especially "the progressives."

    In the meantime, what matters most to me is the fact that according to some survey that was recently conducted, Bishop Robert Barron says the survey reports that only 1/3 of US Catholics believe in the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

    "Will the Son of Man find faith when he returns?"

    Lord Jesus, I believe, help my unbelief. Amen

  5. Terry, I to love history and lately have escaped to 16th Century England in "The Man on the Donkey" by HFM Prescott and the Caldfael series by Ellis Perry which is set in the 14th Century. There is truly nothing new under the sun. The religious scandals, corruption, greed and power. Yaya, they even argue over the real presence back then. Henry VIII was on every side during his long reign. Pro Pope, anti Pope whatever suited his own need at that time. His advisors likewise were, over time, on every side as well. The Man on a Donkey documents the Pilgrimage of Grace: a peaceful uprising against the abuses their government was imposing. The common people who wanted to hold onto the Roman Church beliefs and practices. We know how that worked out. The powers that be crushed them, outlawed the RC religion and proclaimed Henry Pope and King. The Monasteries dissolved, churches stripped, real presence denied, and all church property confiscated by the King. Meantime, Henry got fatter and fatter disposed of four more wives, had any and all opponents he could executed and died an angry unloved old man who nearly destroyed the country he was anointed to lead. As I said there is nothing new under the sun.

  6. Your history lesson is nothing new. It does serve to remind us though that Christ reigns throughout all of time and history despite the many who clamor, bark, smear, claim to know better.

    I believe that the Church will persevere to the end, to almost being completely decimated and then, only then, will those of us left standing see Christ return.

    In the meantime? Pray! Let's pray for the strength to persevere to the end.

    Enjoy what is left of Summer 2019 Terry's blog readers.

    1. Yaya, my point exactly. Still, for me, a reminder that this battle has been with us for two thousand years. Since the fall from grace we are all sinners. How is you Uncle's health?

  7. National Catholic Register, owned by EWTN, one of the Pope’s fiercest opponents and at the same time a supporter of Trump,, recently did an article in support of nationalism, saying it is consistent with Catholic teaching. They admit there is a “bad” nationalism, like Nazi Germany, but there is also “”good” nationalism.

    Scary, scary people

    I too am also very upset with Trump’s attack on our planet, putting the pursuit of money ahead of preserving life. We are all doomed. I believe Our Lord is allowing us to reap the full consequences of living in opposition to Him and the Law of Love. We worship money and material possessions, and these false gods are literally killing us.

  8. Leaving His Holiness completely out of this (like you, Terry, I am obedient to the Pope - we have had good and bad popes throughout history, as Holy Spirit sees fit to send us) - I must say that for me, the problem is that there is no party and nearly no politician I can fully support in good conscience. I feel fortunate to have an excellent governor - Mike DeWine - whom I respect and admire and who seems very sensible, moral, and ethical when it comes to leading our state. On a National level, however, all bets are off. My own Representative, Tim Ryan, is running for President. When he ran for the office he currently holds, he ran as a Democratic, pro-life, Catholic candidate. Once he was elected, having completely taken in our heavily Catholic district, he promptly proclaimed himself pro-choice, outrageously citing his Catholic fatherhood. He has some good ideas, but I cannot trust him. And he is very mild compared to the rest of the Democratic and Republican pack. President Trump has been very forthcoming in living up to expectations in removing taxpayer support for abortion, but disappointing in many other areas. The Dems running for office, IMO, are pretty scary. Personally, I think the only thing that will save our country is for us to pray that a good, moral, ethical, and responsible candidate will come forward. At the moment, I see no one. Peace to all here.

    1. "Once he was elected, having completely taken in our heavily Catholic district, he promptly proclaimed himself pro-choice..." Wow! Politicians lie and many are corrupt. I always had the feeling many pro-life Republicans may not be as pro-life as they say. It is difficult to trust anyone in office or running for office.

    2. Hi Susan,

      In the wonderful meantime, the Lord gifts us still with beauty, wonder, awe.

    3. Tim Ryan the Democrat? Not at all surprised he turned once he got elected. Then again, why not since after all that particular party represents abortion unlimited and so many other agendas contrary to our Catholic faith that there is no way I can ever cast my vote in their direction. Republicans? Still have a chance but just barely and only so because I still believe that many do support life, God, country.

    4. Thanx for the link, Yaya - just what I needed!

      Yes, Tim Ryan is a Democrat, and supposedly a Catholic. This is the article, from my hometown newspaper, explaining why he felt the desperate need to do an about-face from going from pro-life to pro-choice - I find it especially loathsome and objectionable that he blamed being a Catholic father for changing his stance. He also challenged Nancy Pelosi and made an unsuccessful grab for her position of leadership in the House. I personally feel he will do anything to feed his ambition, including renouncing his beliefs - which, of course, does not inspire confidence.

      Yes, I agree with you about the Republicans, but they are pretty disappointing as well. I am grateful that President Trump has taken steps to defund Planned Parenthood and to defend women and children from abortion, but he is a bit of a loose cannon in other matters. I wish Mike DeWine was running - I would have absolutely no misgivings in giving him my full support, but of course, he isn't running and has his hands full taking care of us in Ohio. God help us.

    5. I agree with you on all of what you're saying. Let's continue to pray and to hope for our beloved nation. May the Lord reward our prayers with men and women of courage and integrity.

    6. Yaya and Susan I listen ocassionally to a conservative local radio host Shannon Joy at 9pm here on WHAM AM 1180 while I practice brailling. She is an evangelical Trump supporter. Increasingly she maintains that nothing has changed in restrictions or funding for abortions over past years that is all smoke and mirrors and not at all real just another political manipulation to keep everyone divided. I do not know enough about year to year funding for Planned Parenthood to challenge her claims but I do know any restrictions happening are at the state level. Where Ido agree with her is they want us all to keep fighting about policy they are not and will not change even when they have the votes to do so.

  9. Terry, for me at least, you said it all in this line, and I fully agree with you: "I'm amazed that many Catholics mistrust the Pope, yet place so much confidence in Trump and his nationalistic policies."

    This is one of the many reasons that after years of reading and posting there, I finally left Facebook in January of 2017 and haven't been able to bring myself to return. It broke my heart seeing too many Catholics (some of them well-known in the "Catholic media world") continually disrespecting, even blatantly insulting, Pope Francis, yet also being seemingly ready to either defend or explain away clearly un-Christ-like words and actions of Donald Trump. Moreover, from what I have seen online in general, over the past two and a half years, this problem has only gotten worse.

    Pope Francis is consistently pointing us to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, yet increasing numbers of Catholics insult him, distrust him, and, in some cases, even question the validity of his Papacy, while, at the same time, they defend and vocally support a man who openly stated that he has never asked God for forgiveness for anything, and who once stated that if his daughter were not his daughter, he might be dating her (as only two examples of *many* very disturbing ones from Donald Trump)!

    I have seen so much defending and explaining away of Trump's words and actions, from Catholics, that perhaps I should just be used to it by now, but I just can't *get* used to it-- and yes, some of his words and actions do remind me of Hitler and leaders like him. No, I do *not* think that Trump is, or is going to become, a literally genocidal leader like Hitler, but in certain clear ways, President Trump does remind me of Hitler and how he came to power.

    When Doanld Trump first rode down that escalator to make his announcement of running for President, and he made those incredibly wide-sweeping, negative atatements about Mexicans coming here as rapists, etc., while "some of them, I'm sure, are good people," I thought to myself, "This man is bad news, and I cannot vote for him." Nothing that I have seen or heard from him in the last two and a half years has changed my mind about that initial, strong, foreboding impression.

    I even have non-Caucasian friends who have attempted to defend Trump's openly racist remarks like the one I just mentioned! It renders me all but speechless. How would they feel if members of *their* particular racial/ethnic groups, coming to this country, were spoken of, by any public leader *other* than Donald Trump, as being rapists, etc. but "some of them, I'm sure are good people"?? What an incredibly demeaning and inflammatory statement, and from a man who was announcing his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States! Yet I continue to see many Catholics defend him and insult and distrust Pope Francis. It's deeply saddening and disconcerting to me. I thank God that there are still Catholics who are willing to trust our Pope and call out President Trump on his un-Christ-like words and actions.

    (I write all of the above words as a Catholic who used to be a dependably Republican voter but who now is realizing that he is, basically, politically homeless in this country. Studying Catholic social teaching can do that to a person, not that I regret it at all!)

  10. I can't believe you are actually promoting the Trump = Hitler narrative. You are smarter than this, my friend.

    1. I can't believe you still hide behind this pseudonym. So I won't respond to your absurd comment.

    2. If you'd actually read the article instead of your unusual LifeSite/One Millimeter Peter outrage porn, you'd realize that Mr Nelson was offering a thoughtful analysis, not promoting some left-wing conspiracy theory.

      What a little snowflake you are. You're the Anita Sarkeesian of this blog. ^_^


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