Kirk Douglas, who recently turned 100, may be best remembered for films like Spartacus, but now this Hollywood actor has a new message for the world and wants us to realize that Donald Trump has rather a lot in common with Hitler.
In an essay that was published by the Huffington Post last September, Kirk Douglas compared the rhetoric of Donald Trump to that of Adolf Hitler. At the start of Douglas’s essay, he describes how Hitler had promised Germans a new world, although he wasn’t taken seriously at first by anybody.
Kirk described how nobody could have predicted Hitler’s rise to power when he came across as so inexperienced and blustering at the start of his career. Adolf played on the fear and disillusionment that everyone in Germany was feeling at the time and used that to further his own agenda, leading even well-educated people who should have known better down a very dark and destructive path.
“I’ve also lived through the horrors of a Great Depression and two World Wars, the second of which was started by a man who promised that he would restore his country it to its former greatness. I was 16 when that man came to power in 1933. For almost a decade before his rise he was laughed at, not taken seriously. He was seen as a buffoon who couldn’t possibly deceive an educated, civilized population with his nationalistic, hateful rhetoric. The ‘experts’ dismissed him as a joke. They were wrong.”
Kirk Douglas continued his essay by likening the speeches of Donald Trump to those of Adolf Hitler. He quoted part of the immigration policy speech that Trump gave in Phoenix, Arizona, in August of 2016, as reported by Real Clear Politics, and suggests that Donald Trump’s views on immigration aren’t necessarily dissimilar to the views espoused by Hitler.
“A few weeks ago we heard words spoken in Arizona that my wife, Anne, who grew up in Germany, said chilled her to the bone. They could also have been spoken in 1933: ‘We also have to be honest about the fact that not everyone who seeks to join our country will be able to successfully assimilate. It is our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish here, including new screening tests for all applicants that include an ideological certification to make sure that those we are admitting to our country share our values’.”
After this, Kirk Douglas ended his Donald Trump comparison with Hitler and concluded by describing how he has never before witnessed the kind of fevered frenzy of fear that had been whipped up by Trump during his 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
“Until now, I believed I had finally seen everything under the sun. But this was the kind of fear-mongering I have never before witnessed from a major U.S. presidential candidate in my lifetime.”
While many will find the comparison between Trump and Hitler that was made by Kirk Douglas upsetting, it isn’t the first time that such a comparison has been made before.
The Washington Post cites claims by Donald Trump that only he “alone” is able to save America and make it great again and compared them with Adolf Hitler’s claims that only he could fix a broken nation while he called democracies a “joke.” Hitler also had great loathing for what he termed “weak majorities.” While Trump is known to be very exuberant, Hitler wrote in “Mein Kampf” that only the “genius and energy of a great personality” could save civilization and that a “personality cannot be replaced.” Both men suffer from a messiah complex.
It will be up to history to bear out whether Kirk Douglas’s comparisons between Trump and Hitler are correct.
[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]