By Gary G. Kohls, MD
Once upon a time, there was an sociopathic, egomaniacal, narcissistic and xenophobic national leader who was attempting to rise to political power in his politically divided, militaristic, post-war nation.
This deeply flawed demagogue, who was worshipped by millions of rabble-rousing, beer-swilling, racist, sexist, gun-toting, anti-Semitic, flag-waving, uber-nationalist, xenophobic, and white/male supremacists, professed that his goal in running for national office was to make his supposedly weak, supposedly under-militarized nation great again.
Definitions (of terms used in this column):
- A sociopath is a person whose behavior is antisocial, often criminally greedy and lacks a sense of moral responsibility, empathy or social conscience. Sociopaths never sincerely apologize nor are they capable of exhibiting remorse for wrongs that they have committed.
- A narcissist is a person who has an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, sexual gratification, applause and a lack of empathy for others.
- An egomaniac is a pathological egotist, someone with a psychological disorder who exhibits symptoms like delusions of grandeur and an obsession with greatness, power or wealth.
- A xenophobe is a person who is fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or of people from different countries or cultures.
- A demagogue is a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational arguments.
This politician was widely despised by majorities of voting age people and was often made fun of by some of the comedians of his era. Despite being an occasional object of ridicule, he was still popular with those that attended his frequent campaign rallies that were sometimes held at airports where he arrived on his private airplane.
This leader often used inflammatory and hate-filled language in his speeches which often incited violence against minority groups from his most rabid followers. He was widely covered by the press because of the perception that he was a newsworthy aberration in the struggling, once-civilized nation that many distressed people thought was in need of new leadership.
This wannabe leader was popular with a coalition of angry, under-employed, xenophobic white supremacists, many of whom were military veterans who had been so physically and psychologically wounded in the last war that they couldn’t find employers who were willing to hire them.
Some of his ex-military followers were eager street fighters who pledged allegiance to the nation’s flag, which was revered by many of them as sacred symbols of a once-great nation.
This leader’s nation had lost its last war, which had morally and financially bankrupted the nation. That lost war had been stupidly started by out-of-touch, over-privileged, uber-wealthy, right-wing, pro-corporate, militaristic, male-dominated leaders who were controlled by the nation’s even-wealthier ruling elites (including war-profiteering bankers, industrialists and politicians). Each of those entities knew that war could have huge economic benefits from interest-paying bank loans, the sale of highly profitable weapons systems and the prospect of pillaging the oil, mineral and labor resources of “enemy” nations.
The competitor nations that had been targeted by the nation’s predatory banks and corporations in the last war were technically not military adversaries. Therefore, in order to start the potentially profitable war, the political, military and business leaders of the nation had to secretly conspire to orchestrate a false flag operation that would falsely alarm the nation into a patriotic war-hysteria and the willingness to kill those on the other side of the battle line – including innocent civilians.
The ruling elites of this leader’s nation knew that most wars are started by false flag operations. The ruling elite’s had control of the major media in the nation, so most editors and journalists could be relied upon to not question any of the deceptions that could lead to war or “regime change”.
And so any targeted nation that had resource wealth that the aggressor coveted (such as oil), could be accused of actually provoking the desired conflict; and the brain-washed, misinformed, distracted, historically-illiterate, easily duped electorate could be counted upon to go along with the illegal invasion, even if it meant existential disaster for the armed combatants and the unarmed non-combatants.
This particular egomaniacal political leader secretly intended to eventually purge most of the old establishment types from his adopted right-wing, Big Business-controlled political party as soon as he achieved power. He had seemingly come out of nowhere – gaining political notoriety partly because of the fame he gained from his best-selling book and the frequent coverage from a compliant press.
Ultimately this leader’s political aspirations had been given a boost after a world-wide economic collapse and recession which had actually been created by greedy financial institutions and investors that came to support the candidate’s campaign to make their nation (and their stock market) great again. If the candidate gained power, the backers knew his election would benefit them financially.
The leader of course refused to accuse the nation’s economic problems on the guilty 1% because some of them were backing his election bid.
Instead, he falsely blamed the economic problems on the leftists, the liberals, the democratic socialists and the democracy-embracing political party members who had taken on the impossible task of trying to solve the economic issues that they had not been responsible for in the first place.
An economic crash had tanked the world economy and led to planetary chaos. But the crash had actually been ignited by the reckless and greedy actions of criminally wealthy, manipulative multimillionaires from Big Corporations that escaped the punishment that they so richly deserved because they were too big to fail, too big to criticize and too important to have their reputations besmirched in public.
Many of the cult followers of this egomaniacal leader (who was about as areligious as any politician in the history of the world) were citizens of one of the most advanced, cultured, literate and highly Christianized nations that the world had ever known.
Tragically, the reigning religious leaders of the candidate’s nation, totally contrary to the religious beliefs of Jesus of Nazareth and the original form of Christianity, professed a belief in a punitive, vengeful, violent and angry god rather than in the merciful, all-loving, forgiving and nonviolent God as was the clear belief of Jesus and his apostles.
The candidate’s Christian nation was highly militarized, whereas participation in the nation’s military was actually grounds for excommunication in the early church that knew the pacifist theology of Jesus best.
The nation’s military was universally feared (as opposed to being universally “respected”) by other nations but somehow it was revered by most sectors of the candidate’s nation, even though the officers and soldiers were frequently and blatantly guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
This nation’s police and military possessed the best military intelligence, the best spies and the most lethal weapons systems that the world had ever known – all at crippling economic costs to the tax-paying population that never showed any positive return on investment (unless the wars had been won and systematic post-war pillaging had been efficiently accomplished).
The personal child-rearing tactics that the candidate had suffered in his childhood were well-known to have been punitive. His absent, authoritarian, but quite successful-in-business father had thoroughly embraced the disastrous spare the rod/spoil the child tactic that has ruined so many militarized nations, which in the case of the candidate, resulted in fear, hatred and resentment of – but often obedience to – the authoritarian parent.
The punitive child-rearing of boys was the norm in the candidate’s nation. That pattern predictably caused many soldiers to reflexively obey – and give – illegal orders in times of crisis and war, and that pattern has resulted in the frequent abuse and even torture of enemy non-combatants, as just one example. Thus, the nation’s soldiers quite easily became willing executioners in times of war.
The many followers of this demagogue were led to believe that their nation had been weakened by traitorous domestic and foreign enemies but would soon, if the leader was elected, be made great again. Many of the followers truly believed that their punitive Christian “god” would bless the blatantly areligious leader’s mission and thus somehow enable the religion to have dominion over all the other nations of the world, even if the methods used in the effort were anti-Christian in the extreme.
Because the “christian” followers thought that the candidate’s efforts would be blessed by their punitive god, they naturally thought that punishing any dissenters among them was justified, even to the point of banishment, imprisonment, impoverishment, starvation, deportation, torture or even execution.
In other words, the followers of this obviously sociopathic demagogue – who had a history of being a serial liar with a desire to increase his already significant wealth and power – abandoned all logic and truly believed that the leader could actually make their country and their religion great again.
In order to convince a plurality of people to vote for him, the candidate fostered a paranoia among his followers that was intended to cause irrational fears (and therefore hatred) of non-citizens, the poor, the non-white, the non-Christian, the refugee, the asylum-seeker or the immigrant yearning to be free.
Many legitimate refugees that were threatening the candidate’s nation’s borders were fleeing from the consequences of wars, exploitation and the economic chaos that the nation’s own giant financial institutions, multinational corporations, national security apparatus and economic hitmen had been responsible for in the first place.
The egomaniacal, sociopathic, narcissistic and xenophobic national leader/fuehrer described above was Adolf Hitler, but it could have been any wannabe fascist dictator in the history of the world. The militarized and economically distressed Christian nation was Germany, and the war that had financially and morally bankrupted Germany was the First World War.
I have constructed the story to be essentially identical with what is known about Donald Trump and his idea of America.
The revered flag mentioned above was the swastika, and the right-wing political party that hated liberals, progressives, socialists and foreigners was the Nazi Party, but it is quite understandable why anyone would think “Stars & Stripes” and the “Trumpian Republican Party” as they read the story.
And, of course, the targeted minorities were Jews, aboriginal Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, non-Aryans, emancipated German women, gays, lesbians and people of color, all of whom happen to be nearly identical to the targets that Americans are currently being primed to discriminate against.
The false flag operations that gave Hitler a plausible reasons to start World War II were the Reichstag Fire and Operation Himmler, not 9/11 or the fake claims of “weapons of mass destruction”, which were the false flag operations that were used to justify America’s global military exploits and perpetual war agenda. (Google “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth” and watch an hour’s worth of their videos for the unassailable proof of the assertion that 9/11 was a false flag op.)
But the historical similarities between what I call Friendly American Fascism and the distinctly less friendly Hitlerian variety do indeed exist, and it is not just the fault of Donald Trump.
Indeed, Donald Trump probably has never taken the time to study ANY history books, much less writings about the root causes and conduct of what led up to World War II or the Middle East Wars so one cannot claim that he is actually following the historical playbook of fascist dictators of the past.
History, as they say, doesn’t replicate itself exactly, but it often does rhyme.
(One caveat about Trump’s never reading historical books: Ivana Trump, one of Trump’s ex-wives, reported that he kept a copy of Adolf Hitler’s speeches at his bedside. His staff also said that Trump had “plenty of copies of Mein Kampf”.)
Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” political campaign does indeed rhyme with the campaigns of many other wannabe dictators throughout history. Napoleon Made France Great Again, Leopold Made Belgium Great Again, Mussolini Made Italy Great Again, Hitler Made Germany Great Again, Franco Made Spain Great Again, Salazar Made Portugal Great Again, Mao Made China Great Again, Pinochet Made Chile Great Again, but each wannabe empire-builder ultimately failed in disgrace after the unintended consequences caused millions to suffer and die in the process.
Each demagogue mentioned in the paragraph above was a sociopathic, narcissistic, egomaniacal, xenophobic and demagogic leader that was willing to say and do anything to gain and secure power and wealth.
And the historical similarities between the psychological aberrancies of the fascist/fuehrer Hitler and far too many political and economic leaders in the world today do exist. Please go to DuluthReader.com for a number of other articles about American Friendly Fascism.
Recall that neither sociopaths, narcissists, egomaniacs, xenophobes or fascists are to be trusted with political, economic or military power. Sociopaths consistently lie and deceive but usually never admit to the fact that they are lying or deceiving.
It is important for voters to understand that, for all intents and purposes, sociopaths and fascists (including their inanimate corporate counterparts) are incurable and need to be isolated from society.
ABOUT AUTHOR: Dr Kohls is a retired family physician from Duluth, MN, USA. Since his retirement from his holistic mental health practice he has been writing his weekly Duty to Warn column for the Duluth Reader, northeast Minnesota’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns, which are re-published around the world, deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarization, racism, xenophobia, malnutrition, sea level rise, global warming, geo-engineering, solar radiation management, Big Copper Mining’s conscienceless exploitation of northeast Minnesota’s water-rich environment, Big Medicine’s over-screening, over-diagnosing, over-treating, Big Pharma’s over-drugging and Big Vaccine’s over-vaccination agendas (particularly of tiny infants), as well as other movements that threaten human health, the environment, democracy, civility and the sustainability of life on earth. Many of his columns have been archived at a number of websites, including these four: