Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 6:19 AM

Prince Charles Draws Analogies Between Trumpism and Nazism

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Prince Charles is the Constitutionally apolitical heir to the British throne. Yet he has a habit of using his platform to deliver very political messages.

This was certainly the case on December 22, 2016, when he was the featured speaker on the BBC Radio 4 program, “Thought For The Day.” The curious thing, though, is that his provocative message only became a trending topic last weekend.

Nevertheless, it’s eminently newsworthy that this Prince of Wales is being hailed as a conscientious objector to Trumpism for saying this:

We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive to those who adhere to a minority faith. All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s. …

My parents’ generation fought and died in a battle against intolerance, monstrous extremism and inhuman attempts to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe.

Mind you, some of us have been saying much the same for years. But I, for one, have always predicated commentaries in this regard on this far more compelling analogy: Putin is to Hitler as Trump is to Mussolini. After all, the aggression Vladimir Putin is executing over in Europe has far deeper “echoes of the dark days of the 1930s” than the nationalist populism Donald Trump is propagating here in America.

As it happens, Charles has been saying this too. Here is how I hailed him for doing so in “Russia and China Make kindred Bedfellows,” May 22, 2014.

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I’ve been forthright in pointing out foreboding analogies between what Hitler did in Europe during the late 1930s and what Putin is doing in Europe today – as I did in commentaries like “Putin as Hitler, Crimea as Sudetenland,” February 26, 2014.

It is in this vein that I proffer the analogy between Putin signing this gas deal with China and Hitler signing the 1939 Non-Aggression Pact with Russia. Not least because, like Germany and Russia back then, Russia and China have common cause in collaborating to counter what they see as Western powers imposing their political values, while forging economic ties and military alliances, all over the world.

Prince Charles caused a diplomatic kerfuffle on Tuesday, during a state visit to Canada, when he too analogized Putin’s actions in Crimea to Hitler’s in Sudetenland. But reports focused far too much on Charles breaking protocol, which constrains royals from opining publicly on political matters. This, notwithstanding that his opinion in this case was shared in (what he thought was) a private conversation with an elderly polish refugee – whose family barely escaped Nazi occupation.

Instead, they should have stressed that his observation was as much an indictment of Putin’s military aggression as it was a rebuke of European leaders for failing to stop him; that is, just as their predecessors failed to stop Hitler … before it was way too late.

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In any event, it’s an indication of how viral Charles’s Radio 4 message went that, on Monday, the UK parliament assumed the royal imprimatur it conferred to declare Trump  Trump persona non grata. Specifically, it decreed that he is unfit to address its hallowed Houses during his state visit later this year. Here is how Speaker John Bercow rationalized this unprecedented slap in the face:

After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall. …

I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.

(London Guardian, February 7, 2017)

The problem, however, is that this presidential ban makes a mockery of the special US-UK relationship Britons are so keen to promote. Not to mention the hypocrisy afoot.

After all, this same speaker has preened like a little peacock while escorting far more unsavory leaders – from the totalitarian president of China to the misogynistic emir of Kuwait – to exercise this customary privilege.

Unfortunately, this is just another example of the moral relativism that has so many politicians condemning Trump for exhibiting traits they blithely hailed in other leaders. I felt compelled to decry this hypocrisy just days ago in “Trump Is Wrong about Most Things. But He Is Right about This,” February 6, 2017.

That said, full disclosure obliges me to reiterate my conscientious objection to the royal heritage and institutions Charles personifies. I have registered this objection in many commentaries, including “A Royal Marriage Worthy of King Henry VIII,” February 17, 2005, “The Problem Is Not Kate’s Weight, It’s William’s Title,” February 11, 2011, and “Australia Bans British Honours. Other Commonwealth Countries Should Too,” November 3, 2015. The second of these includes the following:

What concerns me is that people around the world seem even more vested in this anachronistic institution today than they were when William’s parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana, got married 30 years ago (on July 29, 1981).

I have long maintained that royalty is anathema to the universal principle that all people are created equal. Moreover, that a democracy that perpetuates royalty in the twenty-first century is almost as cancerous (and oxymoronic) as one that perpetuated slavery in the nineteenth.

To be fair, though, if royalty has any politically redeeming value, it is in Charles using his position to champion the abiding principles of liberal democracies – the irony and anachronism his title represents notwithstanding.

But I would be remiss not to mention the latest hacking scandal, which exposed the greedy, seedy ways soccer star David Beckham schemed to no avail to get a knighthood. Especially because what it really exposed is the inherently rigged nature of the British Honours System.

Truth be told, Faustian pursuits of knighthoods have been making royal fools of men like Beckham for years – as I duly ridiculed in “Pardon Me, Sir, but How Much Did You Pay for Your Knighthood,” July 14, 2006 and, rather presciently, “’Sir Becks and Lady Posh?!’ God Help the British,” November 15, 2013.

Related commentaries:
Trump is wrong
Russia and China
Royal marriage
The problem
British honours

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