Can we justify comparing a young socialist today to a young Hitler 100 years ago?

My column today at Real Clear Politics compares Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Stalin, and her Green New Deal to his five-year plans that left millions dead.

Stalin isn’t off-limits to those looking for historical comparisons, but for some reason Adolf Hitler generally is. Of course no one is saying that Ocasio-Cortez is either Stalin or Hitler. That isn’t the point. But Hitler wasn’t always Hitler either. Once upon a time he was a youthful failed artist just like Ocasio-Cortez was a hustling bartender. But he turned his charismatic personality and his dream of German resurgence into a threat to the whole world. We always talk about how we wish Hitler could have been stopped before he rose to power, but then we are afraid to look at the lessons of history and apply them to current circumstances.

In my column, I said that Ocasio-Cortez was the front person for the Green New Deal, not its author. That is obvious, but it doesn’t absolve her of responsibility for the horrors that would be unleashed should it come to pass. She has called the Green New Deal a “Green Dream,” but this is not the first time in history that a dream has turned into a nightmare. Consider the dream of the little corporal from Germany.

You could make the case that Hitler was not the author of the ideas in “Mein Kampf” — that he cribbed them from a variety of sources and that later he was co-opted by people smarter than himself. As Richard Weikart described in his essay “The Roots of Hitler’s Evil,” Hitler was very much a product of his time and place. In referencing Ian Kershaw’s two-volume biography, “Hitler,” Weikart says that “Hitler’s ascent to power wasn’t through a triumph of the will, but was rather a product of political and economic forces over which Hitler had little control. He just knew how to exploit them.

“Even after coming to power, most concrete programs were undertaken without his initiative and often without his knowledge by underlings trying to ‘work towards the Fuhrer’ — which Kershaw sees as the key to understanding Nazi rule. However, if Germans during Nazi rule were ‘working towards the Fuhrer,’ then Hitler’s views were ultimately decisive, whether or not he made all the specific decisions.”

So now, let me adapt the conclusion of today’s RCP column from a question about Stalin to a question about Hitler. Do we dare compare Ocasio-Cortez to Hitler? The question should be, “Do we dare not?” A charismatic leader with dangerous ideas can never be dismissed as just a nuisance; they must be taken seriously — and stopped while they still can be. The Green New Deal has been assigned a price tag of $93 trillion by the the former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — and that’s just fiscal cost. Were its socialist agenda actually put in place, we have been warned that our forests would be denuded, the economy would be destroyed, and millions would perish of starvation. A small price to pay for a true believer like Ocasio-Cortez, but she isn’t the one who would be paying the price.

So now that the boogeyman is out of the closet — exposed as a socialist monster — we have no choice but to face our fears and kill it quickly and decisively. The alternative is unthinkable.

Final note: If you are triggered by thinking about the next Hitler, let me say that I am triggered by thinking about the next genocide — and how it could have been avoided, but wasn’t because people could not face the real possibility that another charismatic charlatan could deceive people just like Hitler did. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. My new book is “The Media Matrix: What If Everything You Know Is Fake.” To support my work, please consider buying “The Media Matrix” or my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy, which documents the downward spiral of the USA before Trump arrived on the scene. The books are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. Go here for a free sample:

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One Reply to “Can we justify comparing a young socialist today to a young Hitler 100 years ago?”

  1. Mr. Miele, your viewpoint is true. Cortez is dangerous and should be taken seriously. I hope the president chooses his words carefully about this person. My real hope is that he never takes her bait. Never says her name or Beto’s or Kamala’s. I think the President realizes that whoever looks for name recognition does it by sparring with him. Insulting him (à la Joy Behar, Colbert, mieka). Whether it is through Twitter or in front of the news people I hope he is silent on saying their names. The president has made some very unworthy people famous just by uttering their names. And the more accurate the descriptions, the more the opportunists become the “victim-darling” of the Democrats. I won’t refer to the young hustler, Cortez, by her three names or her initials. Can’t do it. I’m almost 100% sure she does not know the extent of the horror created by Stalin. Why would she? Nobody teaches the harsh truth of history any more. Kids today are only aware of anything related to, or after, Martin Luther King’s death. I am almost 100% sure Cortez believes socialism has something to do with “social media,” where everyone deserves a Facebook page, and how popular you are, because you are “social.” Everyone has friends but if you were a bartender, everyone at the bar gives you plenty of attention. Therefore everyone at the bar must have known Cortez was very popular and very social. In reality, they just wanted their drink.
    Joe Morrisco
    Bedminster, NJ 07921

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