OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apparently did not learn from calling half of former President Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.”
The 2016 Democrat presidential nominee was at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin on Friday when she took it extreme and compared his rally goers at his rally in Ohio last week to Nazis, Newsweek reported.
“I remember as a young student trying to figure out, how did people get basically drawn in by Hitler?” she said. “How did that happen? And I’d watch newsreels, and I’d see this guy standing up there ranting and raving and people shouting and raising their arms. I thought what’s happened to these people, why do they believe that?
“We saw the rally in Ohio the other night,” she said. “Trump is there ranting and raving for more than an hour. And you have these rows of young men with their arms raised. I thought, what is going on? … I think it is fair to say we’re in a struggle between democracy and autocracy.”
During the Ohio rally speech, supporters of the former president raised their hands in the air and gave what looked like a pointed index-finger salute, which some speculated could represent Trump’s “America First” movement.
Others suggested that the salute may have been related to the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory motto “where we go one we go all.” Comparisons to a Nazi salute were also made.
Clinton said on Friday that “Trump and his enablers” would make sure the U.S. turns into a “failed democracy” if they “had their way.”
She slammed the former president for expressing admiration toward modern authoritarian and autocratic leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
“Admiring Viktor Orbán in Hungary?” the former Secretary of State said. “Cozying up to Putin and being embarrassed, when he invaded Ukraine, that you couldn’t keep cozying up to him? You know, that is a repudiation of our values and of the kind of democratic principles that I think we used to believe.”
Weeks ago she used the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to take a veiled swipe at political foes.
After stating last week that she would never campaign for president again her next move appears to be going after whoever stands in the Democrat Party’s way.
The 2016 Democrat presidential nominee appeared on theCNN show “State of The Union’ on Sunday and, as she recounted the events of the terrorist attacks she said as a nation we must “deal with extremism of any kind.”
“We have also, I think, been reminded about how important it is to try to deal with extremism of any kind, especially when it uses violence to try to achieve political and ideological goals,” she said. “So I’m one who thinks that there are lessons still to be learned from what happened to us on 9/11 that we should be very aware of during this time in our country and the world’s history.”
Clinton, who was a Democrat Senator representing New York when the attacks happened, remembered how Republicans and Democrats got behind Republican President George W. Bush during that time of crisis.
“All of America’s elected officials really genuinely put party aside and came together after those attacks. Would that be possible today?” host Dana Bash said.
“Well, I hope that it will be, and I give President Biden a lot of credit for trying to continue to reach out to people while still sounding the alarm about the threats to our democracy,” the former Secretary of State said.
“I remember very well, two days after I gave that interview, being in the Oval Office with then-President Bush, who asked me what we needed, and I told him we needed $20 billion to rebuild New York and he said, ‘You got it.’ And he was good to his word, and there were all kinds of political conversations about that, but he never wavered,” she said. “And I wish now that people would come together behind President Biden, who is doing an amazing job trying to rebuild our manufacturing sector, trying to deal with climate change, expand health care, all the other things, including trying to do something about gun violence that the vast majority of Americans approve of.”
“So we are in a funny position, Dana, because there’s a small, but very vocal, very powerful, very determined minority who wants to impose their views on all the rest of us,” she said. “And it’s time for everybody, regardless of party to say, ‘No, that’s not who we are as America.’”