By Nathan Barton
It’s more and more common these days, in politics and elsewhere. Federal, state, local level politics especially. Social controversies. Nasty playground fights. Even divorce court.
It is the ultimate ad hominem attack: “she’s just a *^&)& Nazi.” Or “He’s a %^&% Fascist.” Or “our opponents are just another bunch of Nazis eager to repeat everything that Adolf did.” Often general, they can sometimes be very specific in accusations: a specific comment or opinion or action. Sometimes just what they (the “fascists”) are wearing.
I’d say it is predominantly the “Left” that does this, at least here in the Fifty States. Not to say that right-wing types don’t do it just like their Regressive comrades do. Even lovers of liberty (and libertarians) will do it, at least now and then. Sometimes with great attention to detail. (Consider the excellent book, now a bit dated, “Liberal Fascism” by Jonah Goldberg.)
It is picking up right now, as we are well into possibly the longest presidential election campaign in American history. (Folks, it is JUNE – we have more than SIXTEEN MONTHS of this garbage to survive.) The latest “Nazi-baiting” comes from our good comic relief characters on the national political stage, Robert Frances O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez launched a rant against Trump and the current regime’s immigration policy, declaring that illegal immigrant detention centers were the same as WW2 concentration camps and death camps: specifically both Nazi camps for Jews (and others), and the FedGov’s “relocation camps” for Japanese Americans.
Some things to note about her rant. She didn’t come up with the idea:
- The “World Socialist Web Site” last week claimed that the administration was “sending a signal” by housing 1400 illegal immigrant children at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, which was also the site of one of many Japanese-American internment camps. To WSWS’s credit, they did point out that Obummer also kept immigrant kids at Fort Sill several years ago.
- The Los Angeles Times, mainstream media and apparently sister site to WSWS, also carried an editorial equating them.
Meanwhile, O’Rourke, in a public speech, equated the treatment of illegal immigrants by the Trump regime with the Holocaust, specifically to the 1939 refusal of the FedGov to allow the SS Saint Louis, carrying 900 Jewish refugees, to deliver them to the US. Ultimately, they returned to Europe where 250 of them died at the hands of the National Socialists.
Both of these attacks have already gotten a whole lot of blowback, and not just from conservatives: some Democrats and other neo-liberals (at least for now) hit back. But most did not.
The comparisons are, of course, incredibly bad. They trivialize the evil nature of the Holocaust and both the SS concentration camps in Europe and the hundreds of relocation camps in the United States. And the callous nature of the decision to reject refugees in 1939.
But I want to consider something else.
Exactly WHO did these horrible things that are so much like what Trump is doing now? Oh, my, the FedGov at that time was controlled by the Democratic Party. And led by the idolized (if not deified) Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As big a “Progressive” and as great an American Fascist as his cousin Theodore and his mentor and former boss Woodrow Wilson. And beloved, by their own words, of both Ocasio-Cortez and O’Rourke. This hero of “Progressivism” and democracy!
O’Rourke at least mentioned FDR in his South Carolina speech. Ocasio-Cortez did not. Even so, they both share the hypocrisy that so characterizes the Democratic Party. (No less than the GOP, I add.)
Of course. we should not be surprised. Lying is an essential part of the politicians’ job descriptions. When they are in government (as Ocasio-Cortez is and O’Rourke was), it is even more essential. Because government is built on lies.
The Nazi Card will continue to be played, especially by politicians in government. We have to expect it, and look past it to find the truth. And the truth is (among others) that often, those who scream out the loudest about the supposed sins of their political opponents are themselves as guilty. Or more so.