Many political scientists, focusing upon the concept of "political power," define politics as the pursuit of political power and competition for
political power. John M. Pfiffner and Frank P. Sherwood define politics as "the process by which political power is acquired and exercised." [Note 5]
Politics involves the pursuit, acquisition, and exercise of political power.
Okay, many of you are probably expecting me to compare one or more of our Presidents to Hitler. What I am actually trying to show is that because of
our political structure, it would be much harder to achieve in our political climate. However, I also believe that politicians do want power, who
wouldn't, and attempt to gain more power whenever they can.
here is an overview of Hitler's rise to power according to Wiki. I know, I know [insert anti Wiki statement here]. I am just using it for basic
information, not an empirical source.
Hitler's rise to power began in Germany (at least formally) in September 1919 when Hitler joined the political party that was known as the
Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (abbreviated as DAP, and later commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). This political party was formed and developed during
the post-World War I era. It was anti-Marxist and was opposed to the democratic post-war government of the Weimar Republic and the Treaty of
Versailles; and it advocated extreme nationalism and Pan-Germanism as well as virulent anti-Semitism. Hitler's "rise" can be considered to have ended
in March 1933, after the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act of 1933 in that month; President Paul von Hindenburg had already appointed Hitler as
Chancellor on January 30, 1933 after a series of parliamentary elections and associated backstairs intrigues. The Enabling Act—when used ruthlessly
and with authority—virtually assured that Hitler could thereafter constitutionally exercise dictatorial power without legal objection.
Hitler rose to a place of prominence in the early years of the party... He was aided in part by his willingness to use violence in advancing his
political objectives and to recruit party members who were willing to do the same.
Once in power, the Nazis created a mythology surrounding the rise to power, and they described the period that roughly corresponds to the scope of
this article as either the Kampfzeit (the time of struggle) or the Kampfjahre (years of
The Enabling Act of 1933:
The Reichstag has passed the following law, which is, with the approval of the Reichsrat, herewith promulgated, after it has been established that
it meets the requirements for legislation altering the Constitution.
Article 1. National laws can be enacted by the Reich Cabinet as well as in accordance with the procedure established in the Constitution. This also
applies to the laws referred to in Article 85, Paragraph 2, and in Article 87 of the Constitution.
Article 2. The national laws enacted by the Reich Cabinet may deviate from the Constitution as long as they do not affect the position of the
Reichstag and the Reichsrat. The powers of the President remain undisturbed.
Article 3. The national laws enacted by the Reich Cabinet shall be prepared by the Chancellor and published in the Reichsgesetzblatt. They come into
effect, unless otherwise specified, the day after their publication. Articles 68-77 of the Constitution do not apply to the laws enacted by the Reich
Article 4. Treaties of the Reich with foreign states which concern matters of national legislation do not require the consent of the bodies
participating in legislation. The Reich Cabinet is empowered to issue the necessary provisions for the implementation of these treaties.
Article 5. This law becomes effective on the day of its publication. It becomes invalid on April 1, 1937; it also becomes invalid if the present Reich
Cabinet is replaced by another.
Reich President von Hindenburg
Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler
Reich Minister of the Interior Frick
Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs Baron von Neurath
Reich Minister of Finances Count Schwerin von Krosigk
Here is an Overview of the Presidential duties:
Checks and Balances
Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests the executive power of the United States in the president and charges him with the execution of federal
law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers, and concluding treaties with foreign
powers, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and
adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. Since the founding of the United States, the power of the president
and the federal government have grown substantially and each modern president, despite possessing no formal legislative powers beyond signing or
vetoing congressionally passed bills, is largely responsible for dictating the legislative agenda of his party and the foreign and domestic policy of
the United States. The president is frequently described as the most powerful person in the
What are checks and balances?
In the federal system of government, each branch of government (Legislative, Executive and Judicial) has some form of control over each of the other
branches. The interactions based upon these overlapping responsibilities form the system of “checks and balances” and prevents one branch of
government from being much stronger than the others. State governments also operate on a system of checks and balances with responsibilities and
“checks” similar to the federal system outlined below.
Now, with all that I wish to say that In my opinion, it would be much harder in our political climate for a President to gain the type of totalitarian
control that Hitler had. The 3rd Reich rose our of a war torn and devastated economy and political climate, but one can argue we are in a similar
position. But this is where I see the paradox, we compare all
modern presidents to Hitler. Also they are limited to 8 years, so they have a
pretty small time frame to do it. I realize it didn't take long for Hitler to take control after the enabling act, but he joined the DAP ( future nazi
party) in the 20s, so to me it was a longer time frame and evolution.
I don't think it is impossible to get to that point. I still believe the President is relatively powerless in comparison to Congress, but that was the
point of showing what the checks and balances are. I believe all of them would have to be dissolved for an individual to seize that type of control.
So, with this post I wish to not only give my opinion, but to see if we can show how many, if any of these obstacles have been circumvented in any
way. We know how Hitler came to be, can we find evidence that we are going through, or have gone through, the same motions as Post WWI Germany?
P.S. I would really encourage that we avoid turning this into a partisan debate over Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush1.0, etc. if we can
edit on 24-5-2011 by GringoViejo because: (no reason given)