If you’ve been listening to Donald Trump’s speeches and found yourself thinking, “Wow, this nut sounds an awful lot like Adolf Hitler,” chances are that’s more than just a coincidence. According to a Vanity Fair interview from 1990 dug up on Friday by Business Insider, Donald Trump’s then-wife Ivana Trump told her divorce lawyer, Michael Kennedy, that her husband kept a book of Hitler’s speeches at-hand near his bed.
According to Marie Brenner’s Vanity Fair piece, Trump would occasionally read My New Order, a book of Hitler’s speeches, which he stowed in a cabinet beside his bed. The book focuses on his early speeches, up through the Phony War of 1939, and “reveals his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist,” according to Brenner.
Trump claimed at the time that Marty Davis of Paramount gave him a copy of Mein Kampf, pointing out, in proper Trump fashion, that Davis is Jewish. Davis later told Brenner that it was My New Order, not Mein Kampf, because he thought Trump “would find it interesting.”
While speaking with a friend, Ivana Trump also alleged that John Walter, an employee of the Trump Organization, would visit Donald in his office, click his heels together, and say “heil Hitler” in his greeting to Trump.
Of course, none of this is particularly surprising to anyone whose been following the Trump campaign and all of its terrifying developments. At this point, I don’t think any of us would be all that surprised if “The Donald” started growing a Charlie Chaplin mustache and proposed euthanasia as a means of dealing with illegal immigration, or if he announced tomorrow that he was forming his own political party because the GOP isn’t “huge” enough.
I’m not alone in worrying that’s a possibility, either. In July, a pair of media ethicists from the journalism institute of Poynter wrote that Trump’s speeches bear a striking resemblance to those of an early Adolf Hitler. You know, the Hitler whose speeches were the focus of the book My New Order? Yeah… That Hitler.
Yes, I’m aware that this article is cruising at high velocity toward becoming a case study for Godwin’s Law, but the facts here are starting to add up in a pretty alarming way. Trump’s racially-charged speeches are eerily reminiscent of a young Adolf Hitler, and Trump read the speeches of a young Adolf Hitler… it’s a parallel we should all take note of, to be sure. And that moment several weeks ago when Trump’s followers stopped sounding like voters and started sounding more like zealots and ideologues should’ve been our first clue that his campaign shouldn’t be funny… it should be scaring the hell out of us.