It’s Time For Everyone — Left, Right And Center — To Admit They Were Lied To About Trump

Caitlin Johnstone
4 min readSep 16, 2017

The word “Nazi” drew its final breaths as a real word with an actual definition at some point in the year 2016, before being laid to rest in a grave of gratuitous overuse and boy-who-cried-wolf ambiguity. Google the words “Trump” and “Hitler” together and you’ll be met with a deluge of essays solemnly put forward by serious pundits and political analysts stretching back well over a year concern-trolling an entire nation with sensationalist insinuations that history has repeated itself, and 1930s Germany is enjoying a sequel in the ol’ U.S. of A.

We are now coming up on eight months of this administration, and it’s time for everyone to admit that they were lied to about what Trump is and what he’s about. Nobody — left, right, or center — has received what they were sold.

Let’s face it, liberals and leftists: you did not get the Hitler 2.0 you were promised. You didn’t get a bunch of goose-stepping brownshirts throwing Muslims into internment camps, killing people of color with impunity and deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants. The most exciting thing you’ve seen so far is the president failing to unequivocally condemn white supremacist groups as quickly as he should have.

Let’s face it, conservatives, nationalists and libertarians: you did not get the anti-establishment revolutionary you were promised. You’re not getting your wall, it turns out Trump doesn’t give a shit about illegal immigration any more than any other president ever has, the swamp’s not draining, and the troops will remain stationed overseas for the foreseeable future. Actually, to your credit it looks like a lot of the folks on your side of the aisle are already starting to realize this:

Donald Trump is not a Nazi. Donald Trump is not a nationalist warrior against the globalist elites. Donald Trump is a neoconservative neoliberal guardian of the status quo, just like his predecessors. The few ways in which Trump differs from Obama in terms of actual policy are the same few ways that establishment Republicans differ from establishment Democrats, not anything drastic and not anything we haven’t seen from US presidents many times before. His SCOTUS pick, his ecocidal environmental policy and his immigration schtick have all been conventional, run-of-the-mill Republican platform moves, not anything revolutionary and certainly not the product of Nazism.

And of course it’s all well and good to fight this administration on those conventional Republican stances, which are in my opinion even more insane than conventional Democratic stances. But if you’re going to do that you’ve logically got to scale back your frantic, hair-pulling “OMG LITERALLY HITLER” vitriol to partisan rhetoric more in line with what you’d be using had John Kasich won the presidency. If this is simply about conventional partisan politics instead of staving off another Third Reich, you’ve got to at the very least dial down the hyperbole back to its (already obscenely excessive) pre-Trump levels.

But as I said in my last article, Trump’s most evil actions have not been those which are unique to Republicans. His replacing Scalia with an ideological clone of Scalia or pulling out of the worthless Paris agreement pale in comparison to the suffering and slaughter caused by his continuation and expansion of Obama’s bloodthirsty neoconservative foreign policy, which was itself a continuation and expansion of Bush’s bloodthirsty neoconservative foreign policy. He’s expanding the same Orwellian surveillance state Bush and Obama worked to expand, he’s facilitating the economic injustice which enables the plutocratic class to rule America, and he’s on track to have dropped more bombs in his first year in office than Obama dropped in his last. People should be worried far less about Trump’s similarities to Adolf Hitler than his similarities to George W. Bush.

Please make no mistake: when I say that Trump is the same as Bush and Obama, I am not in any way attempting to diminish the extent of his wickedness. Quite the opposite; I view neoconservatism as the single most dangerous ideology that has ever existed, followed closely by the ecocidal policies inherent in unchecked corporatism. Saying that Trump’s administration is a continuation of Bush and Obama’s legacies is the most scathing thing that I could possibly say about another human being. The fact that his evil isn’t new doesn’t make it any less evil.

If you believe that Donald Trump is uniquely evil among US presidents, it’s because you were lied to. If you believe that Trump has brought in a level of nefariousness unlike anything you’ve seen before, it’s because the US power establishment saw Hillary Clinton as the more reliable custodian of the plutocracy’s investments and launched a fearmongering propaganda campaign with its mass media machine to get her elected. If you believe that Trump is going to drain the swamp, build the wall and Make America Great Again, it’s because he lied to you himself.

Everyone was lied to across the board, and most got suckered to some extent. By getting real and sorting out what the actual threats and enemies are, we can actually work toward overthrowing the unelected power establishment which is choking our world to death with war, oppression and ecocide. Until we’re all crystal clear on the fact that we were lied to about Trump, solving America’s problems is like trying to do surgery in a dark room. Let’s turn on the lights, please.

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