By Don Iler • News Editor • 

Don Iler: Springtime for Trump

With Donald Trump’s path to the Republican nomination looking increasingly like a sure thing, his neo-fascist statements and attitudes reminded me of past dictators. Since Hitler’s rise to power is so similar to Trump’s, I took the liberty of imagining what the infamous Nazi would say to the spray tanned and oddly coiffed one. While our democracy may seem secure and November a distant way off, other democracies around the world have elected dictators with populist messages during hard economic times: Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Benito Mussolini in Italy, Adolf Hitler in Germany. If Trump’s bombast is true, and he is elected, I fear the possibility of the beginning of a dark future for America.

Guest Writer

Don Iler is the outgoing news editor and reporter for the News-Register. He covered state and local politics in addition to the cities of McMinnville, Lafayette, Dundee and Newberg. As news editor, he handled layout, headlines and design for A sections.

He was raised in Bend and served five years in the Marine Corps as an Arabic linguist. Later, he studied history at Oregon State University and served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. He enjoys cooking, hiking, baseball, trivia and writing his novel.

Comrade Trump,

Congratulations! Like a valkyrie riding across the battlefield, you have rescued fascism from its long dormant slumber. For too long, the educated people of the world turned a blind eye to the glories of totalitarianism, but you have returned it to the forefront. You have learned when you play upon people’s basest instincts, their ignorance and their fear of human beings who look different from them, you can pave a path to victory.

You are already doing so much right. The large rallies at arenas full of banners with your name emblazoned everywhere are a gallant first step. With some practice and discipline, you can hold rallies as glorious as those designed by my friend Joseph Goebbels at Nuremberg. You already fill your speeches with bombast, lies and half-truths, and your ability to stir up the crowd into a frenzy reminds me of my glory days on the stage in Berlin. People don’t want to hear real proposals. They want a strong man, a decisive man, who has all the solutions to their problems. Think of it: one empire, one people, one Trump.

What a shame America is still recovering from an economic downturn, but this helps your meteoric rise to power. The unemployed, the desperate and the bitter are excellent allies. You ignited their passion to make America great again. I did the same in Germany. Ten years of economic turmoil and a large national debt after our defeat in the Great War created plenty of open ears ready to hear the gospel of Nazism. You have found your audience — people angry, still poor, still unemployed. Your Americans see defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan and, along with a large national debt, feel ashamed. Ride the tide of rage to victory in the election! Let the hate course through your veins!

Use nationalism and you will be unstoppable. The downtrodden love nothing more than clinging to the idea their country is the best. Use this nationalism to build a strong military and secret police. Once in possession of my Wehrmacht, my SS, my Gestapo, I eliminated my enemies and solidified my power. You will be surprised how easily a well-off, well-educated country will acquiesce to the demands of a dictatorship. Many thought I was a joke, that no one would take me seriously at the election, that there was no way the country which produced Beethoven, Bach, Goethe, Heine, Kant and Nietzsche would allow a racist, vegetarian corporal like me to become Führer. Forget the haters, Comrade Trump; use force to will yourself to power. Execute the dissenters once you have absolute authority.

With fears inflamed, already you have found a solution to America’s problems: a scapegoat. Blaming millions of undocumented immigrants from Latin America is a stroke of brilliance. You told crowds you will deport all of these Untermenschen and force Mexico to build a wall to keep them out. Rounding up people, splitting apart families, destroying businesses and burning neighborhoods might bring condemnation from the United Nations and weak liberals, but do what you know is right. Being a racist isn’t easy. Why stop at just deportation? You will need to build camps to house these vermin once they are arrested. Housing and feeding them will be expensive. Do what you feel is best, but I recommend slave labor and execution.

If Mexico won’t build the wall, I suggest invading them. Your problems at the border are already more than we ever had with Poland. The climate is pleasant there and the United States is already too crowded. What your country needs is Lebensraum.

Religious minorities will also need to be dealt with. Your statements about Muslims reminds me of the halcyon days of Kristallnacht. I had my own problems with the Jews, like you do with the Muslims. Round them up for deportation and invade the countries they came from. You already suggested this in your speeches and debates. Great work.

I’m glad you haven’t just stopped there. Your misogynistic statements about women, your belittling of a handicapped reporter, your rough treatment of the press, the put downs for your opponents and your discriminatory statements warm this old dictator’s heart. Might is right. You must attack the weak at every opportunity. I also applaud your proposed loosening of libel laws to quash unflattering articles about you. Silence those pesky journalists; I did. When there is nothing but the glory of Trump on TV, you will be on your way to total victory.

Really, there is so much you are doing right, it’s hard to find fault, Mr. Trump. I had my moustache, you have your hair. I took over from a chancellor who ruled through executive order with a parliament paralyzed with partisanship. You’ll take over a similar situation. I had the Jews to blame, you have Muslims and Latinos. Before I forget, what legacy will you leave for your country? I left Germany the Autobahn. Oh, and I’d suggest not invading Russia.

The elites will underestimate you and say you aren’t serious. They said the same about me in Germany. I proved them wrong.

See you in Hell,

Adolf Hitler


Don Dix

The US government has been under the control of the elite (entitled rich) since both Adams' held office. Many US presidents and lawmakers are in some way genetically related, and the future officeholders are being groomed to seamlessly step into positions of power as time passes. I suppose non-believers would argue that Chelsea Clinton will never seek federal office ... right?

Trump is an outsider who will not cower to 'party leaders', who, in turn would lose a great deal of their influence if Donald wins the election. Trump is a greater threat to the Rs than he is to the Ds, and it's glaringly obvious!

And if one choses to take the other path to hell (there will be 2, and both end there), one would be walking in lockstep with the 'status quo, keep me relevant establishment', better known as Hilary! If memory serves, she couldn't control her immediate family or adequately operate the office of Sec. of State!

Neither of the likely candidates are the answer ... so let's paint them with the same, insufficient brush, OK?

Horse with no name

Finally a decent article about the head nut job, but Mr. Iler you've just crossed a lot of the people in this county. It can be tough standing up for the right thing when the mob is screaming for blood ;) I can't wait for you to take a good look at Ted (my daddy said God picked me) Cruz. Good luck and thanks for the great article!

Oracle Jones

"The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will
hate those who speak it." George Orwell.

Pastor Don

Mr. Iler, your comments regarding aspiring candidate Donald Trump has much apparent validity. The demeanor Trump exhibits is less than what one might consider appropriate. Our country's desire for effective leadership quite probably needs to find another banner-bearer.
As I listen to other potential candidates say that: "I'll back the republican candidate" that sounds like disharmony rather than a harmonious political party. Therein lies a problem for all of us - are we so dysfunctional that we will follow a leader that none of us would privately wish to follow?
My prayer is that America will follow its God given ability to understand and then take action(s) based upon that understanding.

David Bates

A remarkable, courageous essay.

It's easy to dismiss Trump as a clown, but this was never a laughing matter. The GOP is no longer the party of Lincoln, or of Ike, Tom McCall, or Mark Hatfield. Fascism and totalitarianism are, unfortunately, the proper words to use. Are Republicans/conservatives Nazis? Obviously not. Nazism was what fascism looked like in mid-20th century Germany. What would fascism in the 21st century U.S. look like? I have no idea, but I don't want to find out. I doubt Trump will be our next president, but if he is, I suspect he'll be the last. And if he loses, don't think that the forces he's unleashed and nurtured won't find some other lunatic to replace him.


This is a remarkable piece. That Sanders and Trump have gotten this far in the process attests to the unprecedented discontent voters have with the way we're doing business. But, channeled the way it is, that dissatisfaction is a big part of the problem.

It has troubled me greatly to watch the death of respect in the American political system. From political posturing (without really meaning it) to political posturing (absolutely meaning it) to truly disliking the opposition to not even being able to talk with the opposition, we're blazing new trails as we now actively hate those who disagree with us.

Well in advance, I've always known for whom I'll vote. But for the first time in my life, I have no idea what I will do when it's time to cast my ballot in this primary. Likewise, I have no idea what I will do when I vote in the general election. This pioneering new spirit of base animus has butchered my options.

Thanks, all you folks on both sides of the aisle who think your way is the only way. (Yes, yes, I know the other side started it.) You are destroying this country.

David Bates

I'll confess to not knowing a great deal about Sanders, but I don't understand the impulse to equate Sanders and Trump in terms of perceived outrageousness. The only thing they have in common is that they're tapping into widespread discontent. Sanders may call himself a "socialist," but he's not. None of his policy proposals are out of line with what would have been well within the political mainstream for most of the 20th century. Was FDR a "socialist"? What does it say about the trajectory of American politics that a Republican could form the Environmental Protection Agency 46 years ago (with an executive order, no less!) but today a Democrat is branded "socialist" because of a health care program? Trump, on the other hand, has gone so far beyond the pale so many times in so many ways that he literally is, in this country anyway, unprecedented. He doesn't play by the rules, and anyone who supports him who thinks he'll limit himself to breaking only the rules they don't like need to wake up.


Simply brilliant...


Sorry, David. I didn't make it clear I wasn't comparing them -- Sanders and Trump -- beyond both tapping into widespread discontent and being labeled outsiders. As you say, they have nothing in common otherwise. The widespread discontent -- on a scale I haven't witnessed in my lifetime -- was my initial point.

David Bates

I didn't think you were, but the way you phrased reminded me that many do make that comparison. In Trump, Republicans have a crisis of historic proportions; in Sanders, the Democrats a serious, dignified and intelligent candidate who can articulate policy proposals in language more sophisticated than that of a 2nd grader (which is the level Trump speaks in). The Washington Post had a interesting piece on this the other day.


Don Iler, I really think you have stepped over the line of either commentary or news in this article. For you to compare Trump to Adolph Hitler, Joseph Goebbels,Nazis, rough treatment of the press, misogyny and other truly thoughtless statements reveals more about you than Trump.

Mr. Iler Do you realize what the Nazis did? They ethnically cleansed more than 16 million Jews, they set up many concentration camps where medical experiments and torture were practiced simply because they were Jews, or Polish, or homosexual, or just because.

This nation was born out of revolution against tyranny and maybe you don't see it now but it could be happening again. But do you really believe our nation would ever do what the Nazis did? I can only offer one excuse for you publishing bad information: You just didn't pay attention in history class. Or maybe it is you never took a history class.

By comparing anyone in either party of being like a Nazi is irresponsible. Some people will read that as the truth and then go around telling other people what is a blatant lie.

You may not like Trump or Sanders or any other politician but this nation is ripe for a revolution against the establishment that has brought us on to the brink of destruction. It wasn't Trump or Sanders or anyone else except Barak Hussien Obama and is looking for Hillary to continue his failed legacy. It may have started in previous days but BHO has gotten us to that position and I am glad to see people rising up for a change. It won't, I guarantee you, be like Nazis but more like what swept Obama into office: Bad government and a need for hope and change. What we got was bankrupt government, leadership failures and a terrible national debt we may never recover from.

When the time comes for you to put your mark next to a name in November you should actually look at a candidates viability and vote responsibly. But never, ever compare any of the candidates to Hitler. You should be smarter than that

David Bates

The point of comparing someone like Trump to Hitler, if done thoughtfully and responsibly as Mr. Iler has done, is not to imply that the end result of Hitler's fascism in the 1940s is the intention of Trump's fascism in 2016. Rather, there is value in showing that both proceed from similar starting points and employ identical strategies. We are talking about a man, after all, who has openly called for the U.S. to commit war crimes, who quotes Mussolini and who has vocal support from within the white supremacist community. We do not need to wait for a President Trump to preside over the deaths of millions of people before it becomes acceptable to compare his politics to Hitler's. You should be smarter than that.


Thoughtless statements? Trump is kind of the king of those but I won't quibble.

Iler's intent was undoubtedly to illustrate the rise of a despot by exploiting a nation's discontent, fear and shame and wrapping them in a cloak of nationalist fervor. Trump is doing just that. Throughout history, most successful despots eventually wind up labeled as little more than "rabble rousers" but the damage they inflict before reaching that point can be enormous.

I doubt many in the United States believe Trump will commit genocide on a massive scale. But it's a safe bet German citizens in 1932 didn't think Hitler would either. Iler's most important point might well be his last: "The elites will underestimate you and say you aren't serious. They said the same about me in Germany. I proved them wrong."

He's right. We would be well-advised to consider the true message behind Trump's in-your-face schoolyard-bully persona. Failing to take his hyperbole seriously might cost us.

"The great masses of people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one. Especially if it is repeated over and over." -Adolf Hitler


I can't imagine having to make a choice between Hillary and Donald. Never in my lifetime have I had to make a more painful choice for President.


Well put, kona.


Gophergrabber: He is not comparing Hitler to Trump. He is pointing out the parallels between the circumstances leading to Hitler's ascension and Trump's quite astounding popularity: the bombastic speeches minus pragmatic proposals; the scapegoating and finger pointing directed toward specific groups; the surprise when the least feasible candidate bullies his way to the top by capitalizing on paranoia and anger and frustration. This is called an analogy. While the particulars differ, the underlying principle remains. To claim he's calling Trump Hitler and making plans for huge shower facilities reveals a ham-fisted lack of sophistication on your part. Logic is as valuable a class as history. And your reference to "Barak Hussien Obama" [sic] is pure and simple code-speak, and you know it. Spelling is also part of a healthy curriculum.


Another outstanding article by Don Iler.


Mudstump: you might mark this as another time you and I agree -- just in case you're keeping tabs. (I know you're not.)


Trafik - noted, marked and filed :)


gopher grabber - "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," -George Santayana


Didn't he also observe "Oye Como Va"?


Doesn't this speak volumes about our so-called 'democracy'. Even though I don't belong to a 'party', each will tell me the one person I can vote for. That is determined by a process (conventions,caucasus) that I have no say in by people I didn't elect. Millions of people apparently don't want either of the frontrunners for president but will have no other reasonable choice. The only good news is by the time they count the vote in Oregon, it will already have been a done deal.


CWW, I agree the process isn't very palatable. Do you have a better suggestion?


The situation with Trump's popularity says much more about us than it does him. There is so much concern about the way this country has evolved politically that so many people are willing to do about anything to send a message.

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