Do we really want to find out if Trump is another Hitler?

Published: March 16, 2016

On a page that is dedicated to sharing glimpses into people’s lives, the unexpected took place on March 14, 2016, when ‘Humans of New York’ founder Brandon Stanton exposed his own sentiments in an open letter to Donald Trump. This letter took the internet by storm, receiving over two million likes and one million shares on Facebook.

“An Open Letter to Donald Trump:

Mr. Trump,

I try my hardest not to be political. I’ve refused to interview several of your fellow candidates. I didn’t want to risk any personal goodwill by appearing to take sides in a contentious election. I thought: ‘Maybe the timing is not right.’ But I realise now that there is no correct time to oppose violence and prejudice. The time is always now. Because along with millions of Americans, I’ve come to realise that opposing you is no longer a political decision. It is a moral one.

I’ve watched you retweet racist images. I’ve watched you retweet racist lies. I’ve watched you take 48 hours to disavow white supremacy. I’ve watched you joyfully encourage violence, and promise to ‘pay the legal fees’ of those who commit violence on your behalf. I’ve watched you advocate the use of torture and the murder of terrorists’ families. I’ve watched you gleefully tell stories of executing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig blood. I’ve watched you compare refugees to ‘snakes,’ and claim that ‘Islam hates us.’

I am a journalist, Mr. Trump. And over the last two years I have conducted extensive interviews with hundreds of Muslims, chosen at random, on the streets of Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan. I’ve also interviewed hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi refugees across seven different countries. And I can confirm— the hateful one is you.

Those of us who have been paying attention will not allow you to rebrand yourself. You are not a ‘unifier.’ You are not ‘presidential.’ You are not a ‘victim’ of the very anger that you’ve joyfully enflamed for months. You are a man who has encouraged prejudice and violence in the pursuit of personal power. And though your words will no doubt change over the next few months, you will always remain who you are.

Brandon Stanton”

The question that falls is, why now? And it was a question that even boggled the anchor of Yahoo! News, Katie Couric.

Brandon answered, as shown in the video about, that as a photo-journalist, he wanted his blog to remain humble rather than have a framework of politics injected within it. However, his silence had ceased to make sense to him when he found that these elections were more than just a political decision.

Brandon, who has travelled across Muslim countries owing to his journalism, exposes the unfounded claims of Trump’s accusations against Muslims, along with others, in what appears to simply be a ploy for power. In the process of this calculated racism, Trump is “enflaming violence and prejudice into America”.

The part of the interview that is most striking to me is the comparison between Hitler and Trump. Brandon does not go as far as stating that they are one and the same, but warns that they are idealistically cut from the same fabric. As a history major and having an interest in reading historical dictator’s biographies, he has found that these political figures have certain traits in common; they condone violence, fuel racism, and use personal loyalty to create a following rather than ideas. This notion is incredibly concerning when placed within the context of Donald Trump’s campaign; is there a possibility of liberating a dictator?

At a time when nuclear weapons are more accessible, when America is in possession of one of the biggest armies in the world, when Trump is blunt and cut-throat in his racism and violently sickening thoughts, ask yourself, is this the kind of man who should be given even a shred of power?

The same Trump, who after impressing some people with his exertion of confidence and shameless assertiveness, is now recanting the same statements. What’s obvious is that the assertiveness of Trump’s leadership, and the potential of him manipulating voters’ opinions now, by humbling himself in the public eye is a clear indication of time based manipulation, a potential leader possibly leading those that have offered their allegiance into a “state of oblivion”.

Ask yourself, do you really want to test that?

This is what Brandon meant when he reinforces constantly that condemning Trump “is no longer a political decision. It is a moral one”. Do we want someone who asserts his violent and racially sickening thoughts to become one of the most powerful men in the world? Do we want the same person to rub off his influence into an already depleting pool of humanity? Is hate the uniting force for change now?

No one says he is Hitler. He may never be. But, like Brandon says, I don’t want the possibility of ever finding out.

Trump appeals to his followers by throwing promises of the American Dream. However his characteristics indicate that his impulsiveness show promises of violence and war.

Do you agree or disagree with the stance taken by Brandon Stanton in his open letter?

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Fatima Nadeem

Fatima Nadeem

The author is a Fine Art graduate from Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. She is a freelance artist. Apart from a passion for the arts, her hobbies include reading and writing. Instagram: fatimanadeem8

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.