Trump And His Surrogates Applying The Strategies of Joseph Goebbels

Trump Propaganda Machine A Page Out Of Joseph Goebell Playbook

In terms of the genocide and carnage enacted by Hitler and Nazi Germany, the comparison to the Trump administration is (at least for now) over the top.  However, with regard to the comparison of Trump and his administration to the far right political and socioeconomic paradigm of fascism as this publication has previously written of (see: The Anatomy of Fascism And The Trump Presidency), there are similarities.  The most striking of all of the similarities to date are heretofore generally successful propaganda strategies Trump and his surrogates have taken from the playbook of the Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels.

Let us explore each of these famous Goebbels quotes below to see just how it clearly applies to the Trump administration:

“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
― Joseph Goebbels

“If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth.”

― Joseph Goebbels

Trump has numerous examples of this tactic.  Many argue that Donald Trump began his political career with his insistence on the Barack Obama birther conspiracy.  He has since done a very effective job of convincing his followers that mainstream media is in league against him, that facts presented to the public that do not align with his agenda and policies are fake facts.  At the same time, he has presented his own unsubstantiated “facts” that our elections are plagued by widespread voter fraud, that Russia did not hack our election processes, that our national murder rate has gone up 45% (it has in fact been following a significant trend downward), that he had record crowd numbers at his inauguration…we could go on and on here.

“The essence of propaganda is winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never escape from it:

 ― Joseph Goebbels

Illegal immigrants are largely responsible for the loss of manufacturing jobs (not true, globalization and automation are), Vladmir Putin is a respectable leader and potential valuable ally (most agree that he is a war criminal, autocrat, and murderous former head of KGB), Illegal immigrants are mostly criminals (statistically the polar opposite of true), Muslim immigrants from the 7 countries named in the travel ban and Syrian refugees are our biggest domestic terror threat (there have been no domestic acts of terror committed by refugees or immigrants from the 7 countries included in the ban); are but a handful of examples of themes that Trump has repeatedly, whether true or not, ingrained into the beliefs of his followers.

“Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.”

 ― Joseph Goebbels

Trump has signed a record number of executive orders in his first few weeks in office, a tactic that conservatives attacked President Obama for time and again as an over reach of power.  Willful suppression and discrediting of the free press undermines one of the key aspects of our democracy that holds leaders accountable.  His Muslim travel ban targets people of a specific religion which flies in the face of the US Constitution and intent of the Founders.  Trump has filled his cabinet with billionaires and corporate interests that are poised to put the interest of corporations ahead of the US citizenry with a gutted EPA that dismisses climate change, a State department led by a man that will drive matters of state from the standpoint of benefiting corporations over the good of the American people (not to mention having a very cozy history with Russia and Vladamir Putin).

This is all happening with thunderous applause from Trump’s core base from a party that values free market capitalism, the checks and balances of three branches of government sharing power, and the average citizen having a voice that commonly gets dismissed by the wealthy and corporate interests.  In their minds, this is all okay because his actions and rhetoric continue to echo their own frustrations and anger; and they are willing to allow their freedoms to be eroded because they have become convinced that the outrageous and disrupting Trump is their champion.

“…the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious.”

 ― Joseph Goebbels

So what if he shouts about building a wall that Mexico will pay for (which they are clear they will not)?  So what that he declared that we will drain the swamp of special interest and wealthy donors and filled his cabinet with perhaps the most “swampy” appointees in history?  None of this matters because The Donald told his follower what they wanted to hear and he told them in simple terms, repeated his themes often, and stayed on message.

He successfully drowned out the intellectual class who largely did not vote for or support Trump.  He has even successfully fostered a disdain for the intellectual class that demands proof of Trumps constant barrage of claims with no evidence to back them up.

It is quite understandable why Trump appointed Steve Bannon to such an important and high profile position in his administration.  As the former CEO of alt right news site, Breitbart News, Bannon understands propaganda as well as anyone.  On behalf of his boss, he has clearly capitalized on the tragic but successful tactics of one of the most effective propagandists in history.

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