Monday, November 13, 2023

Don’t Say You Did Nazi That Coming

From the Washington Post:

Former president Donald Trump denigrated his domestic opponents and critics during a Veterans Day speech Saturday, calling those on the other side of the aisle “vermin” and suggesting that they pose a greater threat to the United States than countries such as Russia, China or North Korea. That language is drawing rebuke from historians, who compared it to that of authoritarian leaders.

“We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country that lie and steal and cheat on elections,” Trump said toward the end of his speech, repeating his false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. “They’ll do anything, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America and to destroy the American Dream.”

Sound familiar?  Perhaps you need to refresh your memory:

Nature is cruel; therefore we are also entitled to be cruel. When I send the flower of German youth into the steel hail of the next war without feeling the slightest regret over the precious German blood that is being spilled, should I not also have the right to eliminate millions of an inferior race that multiplies like vermin?

That was Adolf Hitler in 1942 while the ovens were running full-blast at Auschwitz and other camps in Europe.

More from the Post article:

“The language is the language that dictators use to instill fear,” said Timothy Naftali, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. “When you dehumanize an opponent, you strip them of their constitutional rights to participate securely in a democracy because you’re saying they’re not human. That’s what dictators do.”

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian at New York University, said in an email to The Washington Post that “calling people ‘vermin’ was used effectively by Hitler and Mussolini to dehumanize people and encourage their followers to engage in violence.”

And here’s Trump’s campaign mouthpiece doing a great impersonation of Josef Goebbels:

Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesman, told The Post “those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their entire existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House.”

“Their entire existence will be crushed”?  Lining up the boxcars and dusting off the Arbeit Macht Frei banners are you?

The first question at every Republican news conference, debate, and TV interview with a member of that party should be “Do you think your opponents are vermin?  Yes or no?”  And don’t let them off the hook.  And if they are shocked, shocked to hear that kind of language, remind them that he has been talking like that since the beginning.  Don’t say you didn’t know; you were counting on it.

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