Godwin’s Law says that, in any argument, the first person to accuse the other of being Hitler loses. It makes sense. It is, obviously, hyperbole.
Unless somebody’s set up concentration camps and killed like about 10 million people, unless somebody’s built up a military machine that could take over the whole world, unless they’ve moved their armies into a series of other countries, spreading fear and terror across the planet, then you can’t really compare them to Hitler.
Donald Trump is trying to make himself an exception to Godwin’s Law. He will probably never be another Hitler, because the U.S. in 2015 is not the same as Germany in 1932. It’s not as impoverished, for one thing.
But, you can’t rule it out. He’s the leading Republican at the moment and if he gets the nomination anything can happen.
That is why his statements about making Muslims wear an identifying badge, just like Jews in Nazi Europe had to, is so frightening. That’s why his statements about bringing back waterboarding are so frightening. That’s why it’s so frightening when he encourages his fans to beat up people who disagree with them.
Whether or not he’s an actual Nazi, he is running as one. That is his platform.
And he has a serious shot at winning.