Into History

Into History

A Story by Dr. Tim Williams

The is a very large similarity between Donald Trump, Caesar, and Hitler

The rise of Donald Trump today correlates with the continued failure of our elected officials to do the work of the people. Unfortunately, though his rise may have just reassured that the premise of Americas decline is real. What we are seeing today is that the bravado of Donald Trump along with his vast arsenal of wealth has captivated the media which has catapulted him as the leading Republican contender to succeed President Obama.

The landscape of politics today has forever changed. Ever since 9/11 we have entered into a far darker more cynical era. The age of serenity we had during the 1950's and 60's has ben wiped out by the terrorist attacks of the World Trade center. As a consequence political campaigns have become more intrusive, more disingenuous and more virulent.  No longer are the proper protocols of the past the norm. The etiquette of political campaigns where issues dominate has now been cast aside. We have allowed political candidates to embattle each other instead of offering a unity of purpose with a plan of direction for our nations future. We really have succumbed to a new low in our democratic process as a result.

Trump’s rise, in the polls and early primary victories probably isn't a surprise considering the amount of frustration many Americans have been feeling lately. And, when we look back in history there really are similarities between Donald Trump, Julius Caesar and Adolf Hitler. First we take a look at Julius Caesar, the Roman populist and demagogue. Today, Trump's appealing qualities are resounding with a segment of the population that is both frustrated and angered at the current political atmosphere very much like in Julius Caesars time. This is where both appealed to the resentments of the downtrodden. Whether or not Trump, is seeking to solidify power while Caesar sought to make a dictatorship backed by the popular will remains to be seen. That's of course if Trump can ignite the fury of enough of the American populace to win the general election. But, in ancient Rome it was Caesar whose lofty ambition and by popular demand change the political landscape of Rome forever. Before the rise of Caesar Rome was basically a democratic society but, when Caesar came back from his conquest of Egypt backed by popular support solidified his power and became virtually a dictator.

The irony is that the established political system of the day realized Caesar was a threat to the established order that had been in place for over 500 years. Soon the political leadership in realizing Caesar posed a real fundamental challenge to the ruling class turned against him. Caesar, eventually, was taken down, in the most brutal of manners, on the Ides of March. But in the aftermath the whole political structure of Rome was changed. The democratic structure that had been the norm soon became obsolete. Democracy was replaced by dictatorships and the fall of Rome had begun.    

Today, we find Donald Trump is taking advantage of a divided country. In reality though many Americans think that Trump is unacceptable as a presidential candidate. So why is Donald Trump so successful at attracting such media attention and forming a coalition of voters that have carried him to that lofty position as the Republican front runner? He has done so because we as a nation have been split by strong partisan ideologies and cannot coordinate a solution to stop him. Trump is exploiting the fact that we cannot unite across our ideological divides.

Now we come to the 20th century in a time where Hitler rose to power on a nationalist message. A message that transcended through-out Germany following World War I's harsh realization that Germany had to bear. The war reparations that Germany had to face put the German nation virtually in poverty. The consequences of such harsh realities of the early 1920's following the War made the political climate ripe for someone like Hitler to invoke a new nationalism sparking hope and a resurgence of economic might for the German people. Sounding familiar to today's Trump rhetoric. The one thing that Hitler did that was so successful was unifying the many political ideologies into one unified national movement beguiling the public all along the way.  

It is time for the American public to realize just what exactly is happening to the Democratic process that has been the cornerstone of our Republic for over 240 years. Questions need to be asked: Are we susceptible to the same fate as Rome? A period where apathy played a very internal role in the demise of Rome's democratic process. Are we as a nation now so enthralled with a political candidate who is demonstrating a keen knack to attract a disenfranchised public into believing that he and he alone will resurrect the American might we had following World War II? And, in doing so allowing history to again repeat.

These are very serious questions that need direct answers before it really is too late to save the American experience. We need to acknowledge that the United States is a nation of diversity but with that diversity we have always been a united nation despite the many ethnic groups, religion, and cultures that make our country unique. Even with our diversity we have always been able to put aside our differences and unite behind a plan of direction for our nation to rise above adversity and solidify the future for generations to come. But, to allow the political process to become so corrupt has brought consequences that has reverberated all across the country where that diversity continues to divide a nation.

There is hope for our future to avoid the mistakes that history is supposed to teach us. There is a unified plan of direction for our country. A plan of direction not seen since John Kennedy outlined back in 1960. A plan of direction that embodies all the America has to offer. A plan that equalizes the playing field for every American to have the opportunity and the availability to rise above adversity and be able to climb that ladder of upward mobility that has been eluding the majority of Americans for decades. To allow us to beguiled by the likes of one political candidate who emulates the persona of histories most infamous political figures will surely secure  that the American experience slides into history.


© 2016 Dr. Tim Williams

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Added on February 25, 2016
Last Updated on February 25, 2016
Tags: Trump, Caesar, Hitler


Dr. Tim Williams
Dr. Tim Williams

Tampa, FL

A feature writer for the Tampa Bay Examiner. Founded the Department of Economic Development for the cities of Salem and Brockton, Mass. more..