Joe HonickJoseph J. Honick

Against all advice of White House staff, President Trump took the initiative to call Vladimir Putin to congratulate him for winning a sham election. 

Putin notched his smashing victory in a tally that was hardly a free and fair election. In contrast, Adolph Hitler ascended to the presidency of Germany in almost a democratic election, with no evidence of the controls imposed by those who are arrayed in Russia to insure just enough apparent freedom to keep opponents in check.

So the question emerges: Would Trump have called the man, who so conspicuously was bent on the worst kind of savagery the world had known, to wish him the best as he became the Fuhrer of Germany?  

After all, there were numerous similarities in how Trump conducted his campaign and how he related to Hitler admirer Charles Lindbergh and his America First sloganeering.

Many people assumed Trump would be held in check by the judicial and legislative branches of government. They were wrong. Trump has emerged as someone who sees those intended balance mechanisms as mere nuisances.

It was hardly jokingly that he beamed approval as China moved to anoint Chairman Xi as virtual president for life, suggesting such power might just be fit for the United States to try.

It is not unrealistic at all to raise the question of one authoritarian like Trump to have seen the connection with Adolph Hitler, whose January 1933 plea asked his nation to help him make Germany great again.  

In fact, much of that powerful speech carried themes advanced by candidate Trump.  And it was hardly surprising that this American president suggested there were some nice people among the rioting Swastika waving demonstrators in Charlottesville last year.

Nor should Trump’s advisers have been surprised that he rejected their urgings to avoid congratulating the man Russians returned to office.  

After all, Trump sees just about all those so called “advisers” as more like lackeys rather than professionals on hand to help an American president through some tough international and domestic rough spots.

And the answer to the question posed at the beginning is easy: Of course he would have telephoned Hitler with congratulations and perhaps even expressed some sense of envy that the Fuhrer was endowed with such total power.  

The larger issue here is the sad and dangerous reality of a spayed and neutered Congress, which is bowed by and fearful of the narcissist who occupies the most powerful position in the world.

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Joseph J. Honick is an international consultant to business and government and writes for many publications.  He can be reached at joehonick@gmail.com