President Donald Trump, above in the Oval Office in file photo. (Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford)

In a pulpit critique of Donald Trump, congressman invokes Adolf Hitler

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson urged vigilance against tyranny

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson has never been a fan of President Donald Trump, but the Georgia Democrat significantly dialed up his criticism on Tuesday with a searing New Year’s Day speech that drew parallels between Trump’s rise and that of Adolf Hitler.

Johnson made his point from the pulpit at Friendship Baptist Church, during a celebration to mark the 156th anniversary of the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation. He urged vigilance against tyranny.

“Americans, particularly black Americans, can’t afford to make that same mistake about the harm that could be done by a man named Hitler or a man named Trump,” Johnson said.

Both men, Johnson said, were charismatic public speakers, received hard-to-track donations from wealthy industrialists and stirred up their supporters at raucous rallies.

READ MORE: Trump denies he used vulgarity to describe Haiti, African countries

“Hitler was accepting of violence towards the achievement of political objectives,” Johnson said. “Trump encouraged violence against protesters at his rallies, and his messaging about Charlottesville —that there were bad people on both sides —sent a powerful message of approval to the far right racists in America.”

This is far from the first time that Nazi Germany has been used as a metaphor by a Georgia member of Congress. U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., a fierce presidential ally, apologized last fall after being reprimanded for comparing opponents of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Brownshirts, the Nazi party’s paramilitary wing.

Johnson’s comments came two days before Thursday’s Democrats takeover of the U.S. House. The Georgia congressman will have a senior position on the chamber’s Judiciary Committee, the powerful panel anticipated to spearhead many investigations into the president.

The general rule in politics has been that he who is the first to bring Hitler into the dialogue loses. But after his Tuesday speech, Johnson defended his use of the historic example.

“I wanted to make the point that our democracy is under severe threat, that freedom is threatened, and that if we are not vigilant we can allow tyranny to set in,” he told one of your Insiders. “I made the point that this threat to democracy is a trend across the world, and we can’t let this happen in our country.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Firefighters extinguish garage blaze in West Kelowna

Reports of multiple structures on fire were called in about 10 p.m.

Krista Mallory: Steering the Okangan’s economy into the future

She is a business development officer for the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

Construction for new $6.6 million Lake Country Firehall to start this summer

District councillors voted to approve funding for project back in 2018

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Racist incidents on the rise in the Okanagan as coronavirus spreads

UBCO professor not surprised by recent incidents

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Vernon tennis star Vasek Popisil named Best of BC winner

Sport BC honours tennis star for his comeback season after back surgery

Coaches take on players to honour Vernon volleyball player

Vernon Sky Club hosting event with proceeds to the Emily Dahl Foundation

Most Read