Pope Francis called populism evil and made a remark that associates Donald Trump with Adolph Hitler. Why?
Calling populism evil is nothing new for the Pope. In January, he made the Trump-Hitler comparison quite plainly:
That video is helpful because it is evidence that the implication that (I think) is obvious in what Pope Francis said this week was indeed his meaning. According to the Independent (emphasis added),
Pope Francis has warned in an interview with a German newspaper of the dangers of rising populism in western democracies.
The pope told Die Zeit on Thursday “populism is evil and ends badly as the past century showed.”
Plainly, the Pope thinks that the rise of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote, and candidates like Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders are a throwback to Germany and Italy leading up to World War II.
This is an entirely delusional idea.
In the first place, Hitler is only considered a populist today because it makes it easy to smear people like Trump and say that populism is evil. In fact, comparing Trump to Hitler or populism to Nazism isn’t an argument at all. It is meaningless. No one argues from the historical record about how Trump is supposed to resemble Hitler or offers proof that Trump is like Hitler. Their assertion is nothing more than an assertion. Since Hitler was evil, claiming that populism is Hitlerian is a way of calling populism evil. Such sentences contain no additional meaningful information. They give the impression that they are arguing a point, but that impression is misleading.
The resemblances are too superficial to be used in an argument. Hitler was “nationalist” because he wanted to invade Russia, slaughter the inhabitants, in order to provide a stable food supply for the German people. (By the way, which side is closer to matching Hitler’s anti-Russia position?) Trump supporters are “nationalist” because they don’t want to participate in overseas conflicts that have nothing to do with the American people’s interests. How does that make Trump supporters the same as Nazis? It doesn’t! And such a mindless slander only works because it remains unspoken.
Trump “populists” want the government to stop encouraging people in other countries to break our immigration laws and instead to enforce those laws. Nazi “populists” wanted to exterminate the Jewish race. There is no comparison between those two positions, but the media asserts one anyway by using the term “populist.”
When Adolph Hitler was in power, the media did not dare print or broadcast criticism of him. Our media declares that Donald Trump is an enemy of the First Amendment even while it criticizes the President twenty-four hours a day. They actually congratulate themselves for their alleged courage in doing so when anyone can see that they are perfectly safe to do so. If these people were in a country ruled by a real dictator, they would be his (or her) propagandists.
In that same interview, by the way, Pope Francis asserted, “I don’t see myself as anything special… I’m a sinner, I’m fallible.”
We should all be able to agree with the Pope on that point!