Here is an excellent interview with Richard J. Evans, who wrote a trilogy on Nazi Germany: how Hitler came to power, how the Nazis ruled in peace, and then on the Nazi's military aggression, genocide and defeat. There are echoes of Hitler in some of what Trump says and does, but there are also definite differences. The Jews were an existential threat to Germany, Islamic terrorists are an existential threat to America. There are no private armies in America today as there were in Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s. Hitler shut down opposition press, Trump has criticized and shut out certain representative of the press.
Trump has been critical of certain judges, Hitler eventually bypassed the courts setting up special people's courts. Trump's tweets and many of his statements appear entirely spontaneous, whereas everything Hitler said was very carefully prepared. Both Hitler and Trump had/have their inner circles, and both have seemed ready to bypass more established entities of government. Both have narcissistic personalities. Hitler could focus on things better than it appears Trump can, but he always brought it back to himself. Yeah, Trump seems unable to stay focused on things like Hitler could, but I'm not sure that its really a good thing to say that Trump can't focus on stuff.
With all of that, I found this passage to be the most significant, and it is not something you can lay at the feet of only one man or one party:
Do you feel much more hopeful about the future here and in Europe? Because people are not killing each other in the streets, as you mentioned earlier.One of the worrying things is the poisoning of political and public discourse through lies and insults. That’s very similar to the early 1930s in Germany. During the Irving-Lipstadt trial, when I was an expert witness, I had sacksful of obscene and abusive letters, but they were just between the writers and me. I just filed them away. Now all that stuff’s out and on the internet. Now they just go onto Twitter and websites and Facebook and so on. Our public discourse has been poisoned, and that’s very true of the kind of extremism, the lies, the insults, distortions you get in public discourse in Germany in the Weimar Republic.
Yeah. They’re just killing each other in tweets. The level of verbal abuse that you find now in the public discourse is just astonishing. Of course history never repeats itself. Democracy dies in different ways at different times. The First World War did have this brutalizing effect on public life right across Europe. It was heavily militarized. You can’t go out on the street without seeing squads of thugs in uniform beating each other up. That’s simply not characteristic of our own times. I think the Second World War cured Western society of that level of violence. But there has been an economic crisis. America is deeply divided. Britain is deeply divided. There are massive and bitter political divisions and social divisions in many European countries, so there is a parallel there, certainly.
We live in interesting times, to be sure, but I think I can safely say that we are not going to be living in a one party state by the end of July.