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Noam Chomsky on Why It's Wrong to Compare the 'Trump Era' to 1930's Germany

'I wouldn't compare [the Trump era] with Weimar Germany. Hitler was a sincere, dedicated ideologue. Trump isn't. He has no known ideology, other than 'me.''

Noam Chomsky on the new Trump era - UpFront special
Noam Chomsky discusses the new Trump era on al-Jazeera. November 29, 2016. Screen grab

In a sweeping interview, linguistics professor Noam Chomsky talks with al-Jazeera's Mehdi Hassan about what he expects from President-elect Donald Trump and how Trump stacks up historically to other presidents Chomsky has lived through. 

In the twenty-five minute interview, which covered a range of topics, from Russia-U.S. relations, to the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. and the Cuban missile crisis, Chomsky took a somber tone, but warned against alarmism.

"If you look at the European reaction, every far right nationalist, neo-Nazi party was encouraged and excited by his victory. Whether he'll go in that direction, we don't know," Chomsky cautioned. 

Al Jazeera English

"On the issues of intervention, international violence, it is not very clear what his positions are, he has been all over. He is in favor of a substantial buildup of the American military," Chomsky continued.  On Trump's relationship with Putin, Chomsky took a more hopeful tone, suggesting that whatever Trump's motivations may be, any attempt to ratchet down tensions between the U.S. and Russia is a good thing, as the risk of nuclear war is far to perilous to maintain. 

"He's also talked about reducing tensions with Russia, which is probably the most dangerous flashpoint in the world. So it is hard to predict. The most predictable aspect of Trump is unpredictability. I think it’s dangerous, very dangerous," added Chomsky.