A woman compared US President Donald Trump to genocidal dictator Adolf Hitler in a fiery Q&A exchange.
In a US election special of the ABC’s flagship talk show on Monday night, audience member Eleanore Wells asked the panel whether Trump had shown a ‘smarter autocrat how it’s done’.
‘Could we have another Hitler? … It doesn’t seem far fetched to me,’ she said.
German dictator Adolf Hitler took control of Germany in the 1930s and started World War II by invading Poland.
History’s greatest villain is reviled for exterminating about six million Jews in concentration camps, along with five million others including gypsies, homosexuals, disabled people, political dissidents and Russian prisoners of war.
Host Hamish Macdonald immediately challenged Ms Wells.
‘That’s an extreme comparison to draw,’ he said.
‘Hitler has the responsibility for the deaths of six million Jews – Trump hasn’t done anything like that.’
Pictured left: German dictator Adolph Hitler. Right: US President Donald Trump. An audience member compared Donald Trump to Hitler on QandA’s US election special on Monday
But Ms Wells interrupted energetically: ‘Is it? Is it?.
‘Is it extreme? Hitler didn’t start out this big. It was a small thing and it grew.
‘We don’t know what point in the trajectory it is. But it doesn’t sound far fetched to me at all.’
Comparisons of people to Hitler or his Nazi party are so often made they long ago sparked ‘Godwin’s Law’ for angry online discussions.
Before he left the Washington Herald, columnist Larry Simoneaux wrote that the analogy is appalling – because places like Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, Sobibor and Treblinka were in a realm of their own.
QandA host Hamish Macdonald immediately challenged the comparison, saying ‘Hitler killed six million Jews. Trump never did anything like that’
Audience member Eleanore Wells said she hated what America had become
‘If you were a gypsy, you died. If you were mentally handicapped, you died. If you were a homosexual, you died. If you were a dissident, you died. If you were a Jew, you moved to the head of the line as part of a program aimed at the extermination of an entire race,’ he wrote.
‘Mothers and children were killed. Fathers and sons were killed. The sick and the old were killed. Babies were based against walls. Children were thrown into fires. People were packed into “bath houses” and killed by the score, after which the bodies were put into ovens and burnt to ash.’
Ms Wells said she was ‘terrified’ of returning to the nation divided by a stressful election season, with ‘all the tension, all the strain’ where she said ‘the evils have become unleashed’.
‘I was thinking about becoming a dual citizen. But if Trump were to win, that would absolutely escalate my application to become a citizen of Australia,’ she said.
‘I’m not sure I’m at the point of rescinding legally my American citizenship but in my heart it certainly would be rescinded.’
Civil unrest has burnt the streets of US states from Oregon to Texas since the killing of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis on May 25
Barbara Heineback who served in two Democrat-run White House administrations, said she felt the Democrats were unfairly downplaying the violence of the BLM rioting but said she loves her country, and is excited to vote
Black Lives Matter riots against police violence have rocked the US in the wake of the death of African American man George Floyd. Four police officers were charged over his death.
Businesses have been destroyed, and bystanders killed during the unrest.
Ms Wells said she hated ‘what America had become’ and said she was frightened of being shot by police if she returned.
‘I’m terrified of going home,’ she said.
‘I’m terrified of being shot by police.’
African American panellist Barbara Heineback, who served in two White House administrations as a Democrat advisor including to Bill Clinton, said the BLM rioting had been downplayed by Democrats unfairly and black-on-black crime was ignored.
Riot police push back against Black Lives matter protesters in Washington DC on August 29
From May 25 onwards she said, there was ‘not one mention of the demonstrations and all of the terror that it has caused … And depending on what station you watch, you didn’t see a lot of the violence on CNN and other stations’.
Prestigious science journal, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published a research article last year calculating the risk of being killed by police in the US.
Called ‘Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race–ethnicity, and sex’, it analysed the data and found black women have a probability of being killed by police of between 2.4 and 5.4 per 100,000.
That is less than the odds of being struck by lightning, which is one per 15,300, or 6.5 per 100,000, according to the US National Weather Service.
It found that by far the greatest risk factor was not being black, but being male.
The report found a man’s chance of being killed by police in the US is one in 2000 for men but just one in 33,000 for women.
Black men are about 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than are white men, the report found.
Members of black militia group NFAC protest in Louisville Kentucky on September 5. Perceived racial grievances over police killings have led to racial unrest
Heavily armed NFAC members march in Kentucky on September 5
Social unrest continues to unfold ahead of the November 3 elections.
A heavily-armed black militia called the NFAC or ‘Not F**king Around Coalition’ have staged protests including one in July where a member accidentally wounded three comrades when a gun went off during a face-off with ‘far-right’ militia group the Three Percenters.
Despite the unrest, however, Ms Heineback, stressed the good in America to the Q&A audience.
She said she loved her country which was founded on the ‘Three C’s: Christianity, the Constitution and Capitalism’.
‘I too am an American, love America, always vote,’ she said.
‘There are few things that I get excited about as much as my vote.’