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Trump Isn’t Like Hitler But More Like His Fat Friend, by Clancy Sigal

As a serving American soldier I was at the Nuremberg war crimes trials of 22 top Nazis the topmost of them being Hitler’s #2, the once-obese dope-addicted, art thief World War One flying hero, unrepentant Hermann Goering who ran rings around his prosecutor, U.S. supeme court justice Robert Jackson.
For almost three days, wearing simultaneous translation headphones, I sat near the front row staring at the Nazi air force Reich Marshall, Gestapo head and Hitler’s designated successor who was personally responsible for annihilating wars, 900 death camps and Krystallnacht murder of Jews. 
In the flesh, on the witness stand, Goering proved untouchable and, as ever, an incorrigible showman.  Accusations of murder couched in normal legal language he shrugged or laughed off with a certain bonhomie and brutal charm.   He intimidated, and was contemptuous of, his fellow accused war criminals.   They actually cringed when he turned to stare daggers at them for trying to plead “nicht schuldig” or not guilty.
Arrogant and self justifying, he denied, evaded, or turned the tables by brazenly accusing his American accusers of crimes against Native Americans and black people.  Since we were only a few feet apart I couldn’t keep my eyes off him, and he easily stared me down.  After all, he had flown with the Red Baron Richtofen, masterminded the air conquest of most of Europe and had millions of men shoot-to-kill at his command – who was I but a lowly infantry sergeant?
And, always, with a smirk or half smile, as if the joke was on us.
Donald Trump has that same charm trick.  He’s informal.  He speaks in short, emotional sentences, just like you and me in a sports bar.  Watch any three-card monte swindler on a streetcorner and you’ll see that technique in action.  Trump’s message is Hitlerlike, but his manner the least tightassed of candidates because ordinary morality is so yesterday.
Remember Tommy Lee Jones chasing Harrison Ford in The Fugitive when Ford pleads “I didn’t kill my wife” and Jones replies, ‘I DON’T CARE!’
One reason Trump gets so much hysterical applause is that we may sense, at some gut level, HE DOES NOT CARE.  Why should he, he’s a billionaire on a roll and, like fat, well-coiffed Hermann Goering, can say anything he damn well pleases?                                           
*BREAKING NEWS: The Donald and I may see the same movies.  Last night replying in South Carolina to critics of his hate-Muslim rant, he breezed, “I.Don’t.Care.”