“In my world, where I come from, it’s the 1930s," Timothy Snyder, told talkshow host Bill Maher, on his Real Time with Bill Maher show. "Picking out a group of your neighbours and citizens and associating them with the worldwide threat, that’s the 1930s.
“And what we have to remember with the 1930s, we think of Hitler and Stalin as super villains. But they’re not, they could only come to power with some form of consent.”
Adolf Hitler was elected as Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, while Stalin was able to consolidate his power and lead the Communist Party following the death of Vladimir Lenin, eliminating anyone who stood in his way.
Professor Synder also warned that tyrants use terrorist attack, such as the Reichstag fire of 1933, to “suspend your rights.”
The author, whose latest book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century draws such parallels between modern day America and previous dictatorships, added: “It was the fascists who said, ‘everyday life doesn’t matter'. 'Every detail doesn’t matter. Facts don’t matter. All that matters is the message, the leader, the myth, the totality’. We should be thinking about the 1920s.”
Host Bill Maher then reeled off a list of reasons why Mr Trump was behaving like a tyrant.
The comedian said Mr Trump put his name on buildings, appointed family to positions of power, held “scary rallies” and hated the press.
He also jokingly mentioned how the property magnate wanted to hold “missile parades”, used his office "personal financial gain”, liked other “strong men”, and claimed minorities caused economic failure.
Mr Trump recently said that taxpayers have picked up hundreds of billions in healthcare, housing, education and welfare costs because of unauthorised immigrants.
"I’m not going to laugh at any of that,” Professor Snyder said.
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