Just Like Göring - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1723073

Just Like Göring

I am reading Erik Larson’s book “The Splendid and the Vile.” It’s a great read about Winston Churchill and his defiance during The Blitz. Erik Larson is primarily a writer of non-fiction who does his own research and says that anything that appears in quotes comes from a historical document.

Of course, Mr. Larson’s book deals extensively with Hermann Göring, the Supreme Commander of the Luftwaffe, who bombed London in The Blitz. Hitler appointed Göring to this position after Göring established the Gestapo.

In reading this book, I was fascinated with the personality traits that Donald Trump shares with Hermann Göring. Larson describes Göring as large, buoyant, ruthless, cruel … using his corrupt personality to become Hitler’s No. 2 man.

Göring held many positions, including president of the Defense Council and president of the Reichstag; he wielded enormous power and used it to enrich himself on a massive scale. On the side, he ran a criminal empire that acquired a museum’s worth of 1,400 pieces of “ownerless Jewish art” (Monet, Botticelli, Van Gogh). He was enamored with all things gold and gilded.

General Carl Spaatz wrote that “despite rumors to the contrary, Göring is far from deranged. In fact, he must be considered a shrewd customer and a professional liar.”

Göring was easily influenced by a “small clique of sycophants,” said Adolf Galland. “His court of favorites changed frequently since his favor could only be won and held by means of constant flattery.”

Like Göring, Trump is large, ruthless and cruel (he separated children from their mothers at the border). And, rather than putting his business interests in a blind trust, like all former U.S. presidents, Trump has used his presidency to enrich himself personally — just like Göring. And, like Göring, Trump is a professional liar.

Lastly, they both have/had an overwhelming need for constant flattery by their small and ever-changing cadre of sycophants. Sadly, our 1st District congressman, Lee Zeldin, is one of Trump’s most loyal sycophants.

As the old saying goes, you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Many of Trump’s closest associates have been convicted of crimes and sentenced to jail. And the foreign leaders that Trump is cozy with are authoritarian dictators: Putin, Kim Jong-un, Erdogan, Duerte, MBS. And he treats our long-term allies as adversaries: Germany, France …

Hopefully, this dark period in our history will end in November.

Dick Sheehan

Westhampton Beach

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