Translating Trump’s inaugural Speech from the original German

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Donald Trump’s inaugural speech, like the candidate himself, was a chain of falsehoods, saber-rattling and scary Neofascist uber-nationalism. But it could be difficult to follow because so much of it seemed stolen from the mass politics of the 1930s in central and southern Europe. So here is a plain English translation of some key passages.

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.

You may be confused, as an English speaker. Trump, a billionaire real estate developer and serial grifter who founded a phony university that defrauded thousands, has appointed a cabinet of billionaires and multi-millionaires, the wealthiest and most elite cabinet in American history, which even includes the CEO of petroleum giant Exxon-Mobil.

How, you might ask, can he represent this coup by the super-rich as ‘giving’ power ‘back to’ ‘the people’? The people wouldn’t even be allowed on the grounds of the gated communities where Trump’s officials live.

The confusion arises from thinking in English instead of 1930s German. “Das Volk” or the people was a mystical conception for the German far right. It comprised the German people as an organic whole, uniting great landlord and lowly peasant. The great German corporations, too, were said to be expressions of “the people” (Hence the German automobile company Volkswagen, now led by perfectly nice people but not so much in the 1930s). The phrase comes into focus if you understand “the people” as “white Protestants and some lately admitted ethnic Catholics” who are united across social class (though of course led by their billionaire betters), and who stand in contrast to the cosmopolitans, the mixed-race people, infiltrating minorities, the socialists and others bent on diluting “the people” and subverting its prosperity and power by kowtowing to foreigners.

Trump also used the typical 1930s diction of the traitor within:

“For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”

The traitors to das Volk, the people, are the intellectuals and persons with an international outlook, and socialists secretly working for an international cabal, and the peacemakers and diplomats– who were seen as weak and feckless. There are also religious and ethnic groups who polluted the integrity of the bodily fluids of the White body politic; for Trump these especially include Mexican-Americans and Muslims, though some people around him think that high-placed liberal Democratic Jews are manipulating the Fed against American interests. Obama was one of these infiltrators, the faux American born in Kenya who is secretly a Muslim or maybe a Muslim-Communist. These treasonous bureaucrats and artists and thinkers and soft businessmen ultimately make a pretty penny and gain social prestige and power by betraying the helpless Volk and reducing them to weakness and poverty. They may even be in the pay of foreign Powers.

The Volk are helpless before these traitors unless the natural leaders within the White community take charge and reestablish the mystical union between working class whites and corporate whites. The policy? Economic protectionism and monopoly capital inside one country. The enemy? International competitors like Chinese firms.

“But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.”

The United States has 5% of the world’s population. But its gross domestic product (GDP), at $18.5 trillion, is 22.5% of the GDP of the entire world in nominal terms! The US economy is the largest in the world and is substantially larger than that of its nearest competitor, China (at $11.5 trillion), which, however, has about 4 times as many people as the United States. That is, on a per person basis, Chinese are positively poverty-stricken compared to Americans. Trump has taken the most flourishing economy in the world, which admittedly has large internal inequalities, and made it an economic graveyard by his gloomy rhetoric. (He in fact intends to increase the inequalities). Only by proclaiming a crisis and obscuring the US success story and US prosperity can he hope to convince das Volk that they need a great leader to restore them to their previous glory. Note that abandoned factories are highlighted here, mostly caused by mechanization and robotification of labor so that the big corporations don’t need as many American workers. The actual blight on the landscape of oil spills and mercury dumps and coal-fired plants– the pollution caused by corporate malfeasance– is not mentioned, since, of course, the corporations are The People.

Crime, too, has dramatically fallen in the United States in the past 20 years, but Trump wants people to believe the opposite. Again, only if there is a crisis of brown and black crime will das Volk be willing to surrender their rights to the Great White Trump.

h/t Gallup .

By the way, those gangs he alleges are laying waste to our cities? He isn’t talking about skinheads or white supremacists or neo-Nazis. They, of course, are an essential part of das Volk, perhaps even the shock troops of The People.

Likewise, US education is not the vast wasteland Trump depicts. The US ranks in the middle of industrialized countries on math and reading. But much of the shortfall is because of the lack of funding for schools in poor districts (since local schools are funded by local taxes, the school system reflects America’s vast class and racial inequalities). Trump’s idea of fixing these schools is not to pump Federal money into the poorer districts to even the playing field but to privatize the school system so that the poor can’t even afford schooling at all. That is the kind of thing Betsy DeVoss, who wants to use the government to indoctrinate children into extremist forms of Christianity, promotes.

I could go on analyzing Trump’s lies and his Neofascist code words. But you get the picture. He and his billionaire cabinet are the natural leaders of the white Volk of Amerika, so much so that they are The People. Unlike the racialists of the 1930s, he will allow some individuals from the minorities along for the ride if they are ideologically aligned with the real Americans. He is going to kick out the cosmopolitan, half-breed traitors in the name of America First (not being a historian of the United States, it was only about a decade ago that I discovered how ugly this seemingly admirable phrase is). And he is going to run down all of America’s beauty and achievements and causes for pride so as to pull the wool over the eyes of The People and get them to back him in a new, authoritarian coup government for the United States– one where de facto most of the Bill of Rights are abolished except for the Second Amendment.


Related video added by Juan Cole:

Democracy Now! “Cornel West on Donald Trump: This is What Neo-Fascism Looks Like”

40 Responses

  1. Watching the inaugural ceremony and listening to his twisted “address” to “the people” one might instantly even think of Machtergreifung. Hitler and his thugs did not get the popular vote in 1933 either. A plot against America. Check carefully the new White House web page which was completely reshaped within an hour of Trump’s move to his new home.

    link to

  2. Holy S*^t!” Professor. Outstanding analysis. One of your best. Scare AF. This is truth to power if I have ever seen it.

  3. Dr. Cole,
    Except for Ron Wyden, Rand Paul and maybe Bernie Sanders,
    I’m drawing a blank when it comes to drawing up a list of “Establishment Peace makers.”
    who did you have in mind ?

  4. Really not all that much has changed. The conservative side of the democratic party, which includes the Clintons, are every bit as evil as the Republicans. They are partners in crime.
    What causes me not to want to get out of bed anymore is that America lost a rare chance for real change in 2016. I really have no way of knowing how large that chance was. Whatever the odds were they were lost. Now the world will continue to move in the wrong direction for another eight years.
    It is tempting to believe that such widespread political neglegence is proof of a cosmic conspiracy against the planet. If that were the case then then we could say to ourselves that there is a purpose for this nonsense, even if that purpose lies in another part of the multiverse.

    • If you’re going to say that establishment Democrats are evil, then you’re putting a great many Blacks, Latinos and White women in that camp. You should be looking back at how history has forgiven the shortcomings of many of the people who fought the Confederacy and the Nazis, all the way up to Lincoln and Roosevelt themselves, because shortcomings are not the same as the paradigm of slavery that those enemies represented. More importantly, without those morally compromised allies, we would have gotten to see those paradigms ascendant and all our fine liberal/progressive standards would never even have existed.

      Now if you have a plan to genuinely defeat the enemy while completely bypassing that very large number of people who aren’t pure enough for you, then go for it. I am very interested in such an approach myself. But you know what? I recognize that by looking for that, I am giving up on democracy and stepping over the line to coercive revolution. After all, that was good enough for the Founding Fathers like John Adams, who confessed that only 1/3 of the colonists were on his side and another 1/3 neutral.

    • Not buying what you are selling: power invariably is about the politically possible and it makes people make terrible compromises and choices that are tough to push back against. Lincoln presided over genocide of native Americans in the west and the bloodiest war in American history. He did not need to do either: He could have said to the South, fine, leave. And he could have said to his fellow citizens, enough with killing natives in the west. He did neither.

      Yes, compromises are horrible, but it seems that anyone in power is forced to make them. One must weigh the catastrophic against the merely dreadful, the stable but incompetent against the unpredictable and insane. On what planet is President Caligula with the nuclear codes better than . . . well, just about anyone?

    • I have grown awfully tired of this false equivalency which is based on either ideological blindness or a serious lack of information about US history and how the US system works. Just to take two examples–FDR was a member of the Brahmin class who was a moderate liberal as governor of NY state before he became President. Before he got polio, he was considered widely to be rather a dilettante. Yet, he brought about the most comprehensive change in US politics in history. LBJ, who brought us the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and Medicare, was a conservative Southern Democrat who was not considered liberal in civil rights while a senator. They were able to accomplish so much because they had a heavily Democratic Congress made up of the establishment Democrats that the left loves to revile. Clinton would not be cutting back on abortion rights, would not have picked a pro-voucher anti-public school lobbyist to lead the Education Department, would not have had a neo-Nazi like Steve Bannon as a chief adviser, and on and on. 51% of those polled in June, 2015 said they could never vote for a socialist. You may not like it, I may not like it, but the reality is that progressive change in the US will have to come slowly and incrementally, with brief periods of frenetic activity when the Democrats control all branches of government. When I worked for an office holder, I likened it to beating as hard as you can for as long as you can on a giant wheel slowly rolling across the landscape. Maybe with a lot of effort you move that wheel a quarter of an inch. It may not sound like much, but in a decade, then maybe that wheel is half a mile apart from where it otherwise would have been. And that is how government usually works.

  5. File under 2nd-time-as-farce or at least ‘theatrical performance’. Germany wasn’t stabbed in the back, but the rightists had some distant connection with some things that actually happened — they did lose WWI, they did experience severe economic woes, etc.

    The US today doesn’t remotely resemble Trump’s (OK: Bannon’s) comic book vision. We have a new kind of Potemkin Village — one made to look like a disaster area, to cover up strength, prosperity, and freedom from serious threat. Onto this crudely painted stage-set marches Trump, the community-theater Mussolini, with his jutting jaw and put-on pout. Yet the act will almost certainly destroy the reality it masks and distorts.

    Cole’s voice is ever more essential.

    • It’s more complicated.

      Yes, compared to the suffering of ordinary people in the Depression, we have it very easy. We are very weak, cowardly, spoiled people. We whine and threaten at the tiniest setback.

      However, there are reasons why we are so weak and passive, built into the very nature of our evolution from, to put it bluntly, an artificial tribe of near-barbarians assembled by 17th century London investors from the dregs of European society for the purposes of raping a continent, to what we thought after World War 2 a modern, civilized people would be. In those latter days we lied too much to ourselves about the barbarity hidden within our patriotic myths and our rigged political institutions and economy. I think we also lied about the savagery within our selves. All of that was lurking in the shadows, while our modern day-to-day reality was increasingly about mass consumers participating in market choice without regard for caste, race and gender roles. As long as the bribe of higher earnings kept coming, no one rocked the boat too much. This is no way to form strong character.

      It only took a very few things to go wrong with that liberal model – some of it deliberate sabotage – for the tribalist savage to come back out, because he was always looking for an excuse.

    • I thought it was ironic that on the day when Trump’s inaugural speech was painting this picture of the US about to fall into the abyss, the Labor Department announced that new unemployment claims the last week and the last month were the lowest in 43 years. And, of course, manufacturing jobs have been slowly increasing since 2010 and wages are starting to finally creep up as we get closer to full employment. Meanwhile, a number of states have increased minimum wages and the Affordable Care Act, about to be dismantled, has greatly helped lower income Americans by taxing the rich and then subsidizing 80% of those getting Obamacare on the exchanges while providing Medicaid to millions who wouldn’t have been able to get it before. Trump is all about false narratives.

  6. Present day America is not Germany of the1930s, and besides no two situations are identical. There are at least five important factors that distinguish America from pre-war Germany and, for that matter, from many other countries. The first one is a written constitution, with a clear separation of powers and checks and balances. The second important distinction is freedom of expression, which is enshrined in the constitution as the First Amendment. Thirdly, it is a strong civil society. Fourthly, there is a tradition of popular activism through demonstrating and protesting when some fundamental rights are endangered, as we are witnessing today. May be, above all, the most important difference is our experience of the dangers of chauvinistic nationalism as represented by Nazi Germany.

    However, having said all that, there are some worrying signs that need to be watched. Recently, I came across the translation of a speech Hitler delivered in February 1940 about the inferior qualities of former officials and how he was going to rescue the masses from that devastation. Hitler said: “Only inferior personalities were at the helm at that time. The German people had nothing to do with their failure. If at that time I as the representative of a new political idea appeared in this hall I did so as representative of these millions of individual Germans who had not broken down the old parties and the old political forms.” This shows an uncanny resemblance to Trump’s “American carnage”.

    The mood in 1930s Germany was dark. The country had been hit hard by a global economic recession, similar to the economic crash of 2008-9. It was still feeling the pain of a disastrous war, similar to America’s experience of President Bush’s failed wars in the Middle East at the cost of trillions of dollars. There was mass poverty and unemployment. In the midst of all these problems, people looked for a strong leader.

    1- Hitler was portrayed as a messiah-like figure who could offer strong authoritarian leadership. 2- He appealed to the people to develop a unifying idea. 3- He made use of German nationalism as a rallying call; 4- He used Marxists and Jews as scapegoats for all the ills that Germany suffered. It is interesting to note that Trump’s only foreign policy reference in his speech was to unite the civilized world against “radical Islamic [not Islamist] terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the earth.” Islamist terrorism is certainly a major nuisance, mainly for people in the Middle East and Europe, but hardly an existential threat to the United States.

    Without wishing to equate present-day America to pre-war Germany in any way, I believe that there are some worrying signs indicating that we are at the beginning of a slippery slope. It is time for Americans to make use of all the above-mentioned advantages that they possess, to make sure that the slide towards authoritarianism, chauvinism, protectionism and militarism will be nipped in the bud.

    • Another critical irony played into Hitler’s hands. Colonial empires were a way of life back then, along with the racial supremacy that they inevitably indoctrinated. Germany had lost its colonial empire in WW1. Japan was a latecomer prevented from conquering more lands. When US tariffs triggered global trade war in 1930, the empires turned easily into protectionist blocs to ride out the storm – even though among them the US (owning the Philippines & Hawaii and neocolonially ruling much of Latin America) and Great Britain had been the great ideologues of free trade. This debacle surely made Germans and Japanese feel they’d been sold a bill of goods by liberalism and look for their own imperial solutions. What made Hitler unusual was his racism being so exclusionary that he could advocate white-on-white enslavement.

      I really hate to think anyone in the world is falling into this trap now.

  7. As a minor quibble from someone who speaks English and German every day, my problem is with the phrase “original German”. Angela Merkel is now the most prominent representative of the truly civilized world in the West**, and does indeed speak German. Is it maybe time to change the phrase to “1930’s German” or something like that? But please don’t take this as a criticism of the article as a whole.

    ** Last year she welcomed refugees saying, “Wir schaffen das!”, which can be translated as “We can do this!” or even, per Barack Obama in 2008, “Yes we can!”

    • I agree with you Ned. I also believe that Mr/Ms Jahanapour is mostly correct, but went too light on the financial and sociological upheavals in pre-war Germany. Germany was saddled with the entire bill of war reparations from WWI, which came directly from the pockets of every citizen. Also, the monetary catastrophe that accompanied the great depression was many magnitudes of severity worse than our late, great recession, with loaves of bread (when you could find one) costing over a million Marks. Hitler had a receptive audience because he, like Trump, played to the fears and injustices – real or, in our case, imagined – of a large part of the population. I feel that Trump is, in a certain way, “worse” because he has no plan or actual ideology as the backbone of his self-described “movement” other than to profit monetarily from the hopes and fears of others. I doubt that he has plans to do what was done to the “out groups” under the National Socialists, but things like this have a way of getting out of hand.

      • You’re conflating two different disasters. The hyperinflation happened in 1919-23. The Great Depression began in 1929 and its spread to Europe was largely the fault of America’s protectionist Congress in 1930. Signs were hopeful in-between, with the Nazis seemingly on the sidelines. However, having both so close together probably finished off the shaky legitimacy of the Weimar state created by elites and factions who were only held together by their fear of Communists.

  8. Obama’s timidity or surreptitious Republicanism served for nothing, all it did was further impassion, indeed madden, the most extreme, retrograde right, and now they have won and they will reduce to rubble every ostensibly, however modest, progressive aspect of his legacy, leaving only his reinforcement of the increasingly neo-fascist security state in place. Hillary Clinton’s horrendously incompetent loss is an own goal of Waterloo-ian proportions for the Democratic party, which will only be encouraged as a result to become even more Republicanish in its subservience to high capital. Clinton’s technocratic arrogance, mendacity, and false “humanity” (i.e. her incapacity for emotional/psychological sincerity) were striking to large swathes of the “humbler, simpler” people, for whom intellectualism is a luxury they have never been permitted to afford, as a consequence as a “gut instinct” (response) they were impelled to vote in droves for an imbecilic charlatan who nevertheless could “emote” with an assuring, even endearing naturalness. The “animal spirits,” to quote J.M. Keynes, were thus on the side of Trump, he was both their performative master and their most sincere vessel, the process through which the latter would be alchemized and transmuted into the sacralized “spirit of the people.” In all its embryonically fascist “glory.” The new Trump regime is truly “voluntas populi,” for such is the hidden primeval heart of white America.

    • Just a reminder–Clinton won 2.86 million more votes than Trump, or 2.1%. Several studies have shown that the fallacious Comey letter of October 28 cost Clinton over 2% of the vote. One estimate is an average of 2.4% For one example, in early voting in Florida, Clinton beat Trump 52% to 48%, but in election day voting it was 56% to 44% for Trump. If it wasn’t for the Comey letter, which was unprecedented in US history, Clinton would have won the 3 closely contested states, plus Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona and gotten around 350 electoral votes and a bigger win in the popular vote than Obama got in 2012. In a way, ;this was a coup by extreme rightists in the FBI. For voting data analysis, see this article: link to

      • It’s J. Edgar Hoover giving LBJ the dossier on Nixon’s treason at the last minute in ’68 all over again. Except in those days, releasing the info at the last minute was too unseemly even for a brawler like Johnson, so Hoover knew Nixon would get away with it.

        I wonder how many LBJ-hating suckers in 1969 were sure that Nixon would end the war quickly and make America great again.

  9. Thank you Juan – this is invaluable, as so often with your posts.

    But Dagnabit, I am tired, TIRED of hearing about Trump. Trump this, Trump that.

    Let’s hear about his enablers on the Right – i.e. the GOP and FOX “News” – and creatures like Ryan, Pence, Giulliani, Christi, McConnell, and the horror show that is that party.

    Let us count the ways that they and Trump will use and abuse one another to work together – TOGETHER – to destroy the environment, the rights of women, health care, childhood nutrition, and very likely the economy as they move to deregulate, well, everything.

    I am absolutely serious that this party – as Chomsky recently pointed out – stands for the destruction of the species. It must be outlawed as a white supremest organization, for the well-being of our country and our species.

    And then we need a hostile left-wing takeover of the centrist republicans in the Democratic Party, and put an end to its nonsensical and malicious persecution of useless adventures abroad, cozying up to Wall Street and big donors, and ensure that our species can move forward to what might finally be called, without irony, civilization.

    But Trump: He rests at the feet of the GOP and is a culmination of their long term and long standing program to ruin the country.

  10. The Occupy movement, Bernie Sanders’ supporters, and today’s (January 21) protest marches have one aspect in common. They show a sizable portion of the people care about a more fair and civilized society. Unfortunately, as recent history has shown protests have very limited effect when it comes to promoting change. As a number of recently published articles have stated, if change is to be achieved then the people must organize and acquire power. The idea of abandoning the Democratic Party and replacing it with a party that will represent the people is well worth considering.

    • “The idea of abandoning the Democratic Party and replacing it with a party that will represent the people is well worth considering”.

      No. If you have an opposition organization in place why work from the ground up? Take it over, purge it of the Clinton and other BS centrist elements, and start getting to work.

      “as recent history has shown protests have very limited effect when it comes to promoting change.”

      Damn straight. Screw the street theater. Ladies of the world, unite and conduct a general strike. Imagine if enough women decided simply to cease to show up for work. They have a lot of power and need to use it. Hey, it worked in Iceland!

      • Take it over, purge it of the Clinton and other BS centrist elements, and start getting to work.

        Easier said than done. Your car is in a wreck? It is more effective to buy another than restore the pile of junk.

        • We do not have enough money to buy a new party. That’s kind of the point of capitalist democracy.
          It’s also the point of Trump: he took control of an existing party very cheaply by going straight to its worst elements and promising to promote them ahead of its sane establishment.

  11. You have your history right, except for a little unclarity about the role of the Bavarian Catholic parties in bringing the Nazis to power.

    • Is it merely a coincidence that Trump’s roots are Bavarian?

      The parallels between Trump and Adolf Hitler are intriguing and I would note that the Religious Right in America is cautiously proceeding to support Trump, despite questions about his past behavior.

      In Metro Detroit, GOP-inspired prayer vigils were held in churches the day before Trump’s election and Election Day itself and some clergymen supported Trump on the basis that four more years of Democratic Party control of the presidency would gut the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative tilt and further empower other undesirable interests, including pro-choice activists and the LGBT community.

      Trump’s support barely registered in conservative religious states in the GOP primary – such as Utah – but rolled to a landslide victory in those states over Clinton.

      One Trump supporter in the GOP primary in Michigan declared that Trump is a “successful” version of David Duke. This is accurate – Trump has a certain respectability and charismatic public persona that most right-wing extremist leaders do not.

      Will historians compare Donald Trump with Henry Ford or Charles Lindbergh as beloved heroes despite linkage to invidious racist ideologies? Or more like George Lincoln Rockwell?

  12. Keep Planned Parenthood, the Endangered Species Act, Medicare, Social Security with freedoms the U.S. has fought for. Help the middle class to have a voice in the U.S.A.

  13. I think there is too much hype about Trump being Hitler. Bernie Sanders could have said this:

    “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”

    Would that make Sanders a Nazi? Could the arguments you make that Trump is fascist be applied to other politicians? It seems fairly typical to me for a politician to describe his own supporters as virtuous/true Americans and his opponents as the opposite.

    We will find out in the coming months how sincere Trump is about reversing militarism and neoliberal “globalization”. I agree his cabinet choices are alarming. However, I found his inaugural speech a needed criticism of the politicians who, through their wars and corruption, have wrought a disaster on this country and on the world. This criticism has been censored in the U.S. press, which is in bed with these politicians.

    • At every step of the way, Sanders said the solution was more equality. With his unprecedentedly open racism and sexism, Trump was demanding a solution of more inequality – promoting the needs of White over Black (BLM), Christians over Moslems, polluters over environmentalists, the past over the future, and relentlessly, men over women. America First did not mean all Americans, and those excluded were aware of that, but you couldn’t be bothered to ask them.

      That’s like Hitler. It’s nothing like Sanders. You have no business judging Trump’s remarks if you don’t even know that he goaded a crowd into beating up a Black Lives Matter protester in that shrine to beaten protesters, Birmingham, Alabama. And if you do know and have convinced yourself that, as Trump said, “He deserved it,” then you are willing to sacrifice over 100,000,000 Americans different than yourselves because you value them less than your foreign policy preferences. The rights they are losing may not be restored for generations, given our past history.

  14. Sometimes I think Prof. West can be a bit over the top and overstate things. But there is no overstating the threat of the new regime in Washington (if Trump even deigns to reside there). Prof. West is exactly on point in this case.

  15. Who is Betsy DeVos?

    Her father, Edgar Prince, was an automotive supplier from west Michigan who sold his firm to Johnson Controls for $1.5 billion and her brother Erik Prince had been awarded $2 billion in federal contracts after he founded the controversial Blackwater security company.

    Her father-in-law, Richard DeVos of Ada, Michigan. was a co-founder of Amway and owner of the NBA Orlando Magic who often flew in Michigan politicians as guests of his private suite. He was a close friend of Pres. Gerald Ford and was appointed to Ronald Reagan’s AIDS Commission during the 1980s. Forbes magazine lists him as one of America’s wealthiest billionaires.

    Betsy DeVos has served as Michigan Republican Party state chairwoman previously and her husband, Dick DeVos, was a GOP nominee for governor in 2006 when he was beaten by Democrat Jennifer Granholm.

    According to the Michigan Secretary of State website, there have been over 2,700 registered political party, PAC, or electoral campaign donations by DeVos family members cognizable by their elections division – this does not include contributions recorded by the Federal Elections Commission under their jurisdiction or any donated monies cognizable in local races by county clerks in Michigan. One contribution to the Michigan Republican Party by a DeVos family member was for $2.5 million.

    Trump’s appointment of the ultraconservative Christian right scion Ms. DeVos is highly significant in that it appears that he trying to form a political bridge with that branch of the party that embraced Ronald Reagan during the heyday of the Moral Majority in the 1980s. Trump needs this faction in his corner if he expects to effectuate dramatic legislative change during his upcoming presidency.

  16. Volkswagen is not, by any stretch of the imagination, run by “perfectly nice people,” at least according to many Western governments.

  17. Hi Juan and just a quick thought. Maybe we should ditch some of the emphasis on the German analogy and start to put an emphasis on Dixie.

    Honestly, I can’t think of a reaction to the installation of a president like this since 1861. Millions of American men and women are in the streets today, and many millions world wide in solidarity. Our Cold Civil War continues to heat up.

    • What happens when there are two populist movements at the same time? Like say, Abolitionism and Secessionism in 1860? Each one claims to be the only one to represent the “people”, because they fundamentally are at odds to who counts as people.

  18. I am more interested in who is pulling the strings than the man himself. Trump is so sure of himself that he can’t see he is being manipulated. Just as Cheney and company pulled the strings on GWB, Bannon and company are pulling the strings on the Trump puppet. Does anyone honestly believe Trump wrote his inaugural speech?

  19. Excellent article.
    I’d change only one thing- my title would be “…translated from the original Russian.”

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