Donald Trump: Not a Hitler, but a Ford
"Make America great again."
Ford's presidency was not to be. But things turned out quite differently for the Ku Klux Klan's German equivalent, the Freikorps. The Freikorps were paramilitary groups who, after WWI, were the fighting force of reaction used to destroy socialist and progressive forces in Germany, just as the Ku Klux Klan attacked the CPUSA, before Khruschevite revisionism rendered them a non-threat. The Freikorps got their "Ford" in Hitler, and the rest, as they say, is history. And Hitler indeed wanted to be their "Ford": His most famous work, Mein Kampf, was inspired by Ford's work, "the International Jew". Ford recognised some of himself in Hitler, and backed him (against their shared enemies, socialism and "the Jews").
The peoples of the US were saved from the open fascist nightmare suffered by Germany because, after the victory of WWII, the "New Deal" allowed for sharing of super-profits generated by the US's expanded imperialist domination. This, in turn, prevented the need for a full and immediate confrontation between bourgeoisie and proletariat in the US, as much of the proletariat was bought out by a labour aristocracy. Finally, again, we must state that the Khrushchevite revisionists dismantled the once militant CPUSA, leaving the US left demoralised, divided, and disorganised for decades to come.
But if we are Marxists, and we believe in history, we know that capitalism creates its own contradictions, and cannot be reformed. In the march towards the end of capitalism, these contradictions may sharpen again, as they did in Germany, when the German imperialists lost their iron grip on power as rival imperialist forces outmaneuvered them. Like Henry Ford, Donald Trump is a capitalist with his fangs fully bared, readying himself and his class for full confrontation and the abandonment of all pretense of democratic rights in the name of "national" (actually bourgeois) interest.
The problem, therefore, is not Donald Trump. He may suffer a heart attack and die tomorrow, but he is a reflection of the material conditions of today, and perhaps the material conditions of tomorrow. The right-wing violence we see today may indeed grow, and it will have political and economic defenders if the material conditions demand it.
The left in the US would do well to respond by preparing accordingly.