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Jakob Johnson: Not making America great

The election of 2016 has been truly historic so far and with Donald Trump as the leading Republican candidate things are bound to inevitably get more interesting. As a high school senior who is preparing to vote in the California primary this June, I have been following the Republican and Democratic primaries closely and have been truly fascinated.

But also, as a vehement liberal, I have become increasingly bewildered as to how so many people can support Trump. It makes me wonder if they actually know who they are supporting, and what this man actually stands for. It’s an important question, and the answer is representative of how insightful Trump supporters actually are.

At a local gas station in my county, there is a large Trump poster displayed in the window that reads: “Trump! Make America Great Again.” I took notice of this sign last night as I was getting food at a nearby Mexican restaurant. After finishing my meal, I very hastily went over to the gas station to conduct a test to see what the mind-set of the Trump-supporting owner actually was. He was an average sized man, with dark complexion, and was extremely concerned about drugs coming into the U.S. from across the border. I told a white lie, and said that I was doing a project for my local government class, and asked him if I could read him several quotes that Mr. Trump said, and see if he supported them.



The first quote I read him was, “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.” Now, if you’re thinking “Wait a minute, Donald Trump is nowhere near articulate enough to say something like that,” then good job, you’re correct. This is something that Adolf Hitler said. I asked the owner of the local gas station if he supported this quote, and he thought for a few seconds, and eventually said, “Damn, I didn’t know he could say stuff like that, yes.” I found the fact that he supported this idea of propaganda to be extremely disturbing because that quote is basically advocating the idea that the goal of propaganda is to pull the wool over the general public’s eyes. But that was not nearly as disturbing as the fact that he supported the next Hitler quote that I read him, which was, “Any alliance whose purpose is not the intention to wage war is senseless and useless.” This statement is flat out saying that alliances are for war and otherwise useless.

Yes, this man believed that these were things that Donald Trump had said, however, that is not an excuse for supporting the ideas behind these quotes. In this experiment it seems that the support that came for the quotes came from the name Trump. Now, it is worth mentioning that this man acknowledged that Trump has said some less than honorable things, but I told him, “Trump said these things” and he supported them because of that. I am fairly certain if I had told him that they were Hitler quotes from the beginning, and asked if he supported them, the answer would have been a resounding no. But, with a certain amount of thought, Donald Trump really isn’t that different from Hitler in terms of ideology, which is why this experiment proved to me that people blindly follow leaders when they have discontented feelings about the current state of government. The similarities between the Trump and Hitler are astounding, but the key difference is that Hitler was much smarter than his 2016 American counterpart. If Trump is elected, that is one thing they have in common. In addition, both Germany in the 1930s and America currently were extremely indebted, and this is despite the fact that both Hitler and Trump have a tendency to use scapegoating as a method of figuring out the country’s problems. Overall, the moral of this story is; if you’re going to vote for someone, know what he or she stands for, and make sure it isn’t Trump.




Jakob Johnson lives in Amador County.


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