The Danger of Hysterical Rhetoric
Imagine a time traveler appears on your doorstep. She offers you the chance to return to Germany 1933 and stop Hitler. Would you take it?
Imagine having the power to stop the Holocaust, or the war that took hundreds of millions of lives. Even Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence failed against the reality of the Nazi regime, leading Gandhi himself to make such bizarre pronouncements as “Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs. As it is, they succumbed anyway in their millions.” He even advised the British to surrender to the Nazis and lay down their arms, stating if the Nazis “do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.” Thankfully the defense of Humanity wasn’t left up to Gandhi but instead to the likes of Churchill and Roosevelt, and Hitler and his Thousand Year Reich ended up charred, half-burnt bones in a shell crater.
Looking back we realize the Nazis posed such a moral threat to Humanity that no moral person of conscience could waste such an opportunity if given the means to stop Hitler and his regime, since inaction would itself be considered immoral. One would have to act and would have all the moral justification needed to do so.
Fast-forward to today and the recent anti-Trump hysteria propagated in leftist social media echo-chambers.
- The Anne Frank Center in a Twitter post warns of the alarming parallels between the Trump administration and the Nazi regime, including “He exploits youth at a rally,” and “He strips vulnerable people of their families, jobs and ability to live.”
- Wikipedia lists the detention centers housing children and families for deportation alongside the Jewish concentration camps of the Nazi regime.
- A 2017 article in Foreign Policy in Focus states, “The presidency of Donald J. Trump, hoisted on the shoulders of white supremacists, is a glaringly dangerous period for our country. It’s important to recognize this dangerous mix of moral turpitude, dereliction of duty, and incompetence before we fall deeper into fascism and moral tragedy.”
- Adam Roy’s essay for the Jewish magazine Forward is titled, “Yes, We Should be Comparing Trump to Hitler.”
- In a New York Times Op-ed, Charles Blow notes the following similarities between the two leaders (as summarized by Kyle Smith).
- HITLER: Wanted to make Germany great again.
- TRUMP: Wants to make America great again.
- HITLER: Wore funny little mustache.
- TRUMP: Wears funny little hat.
- HITLER: Shunned alcohol.
- TRUMP: Shuns alcohol.
- HITLER: Time magazine Man of the Year, 1938.
- TRUMP: Time magazine Person of the Year, 2016.
- HITLER: Fascist.
- TRUMP: Republican.
- HITLER: Lied about Jews being the source of Germany’s misery.
- TRUMP: Lied about ratings for The Apprentice, his Electoral College victory being the biggest since Reagan’s, and whether anyone else had been on the cover of Time more than he.
But if you truly believe that Trump = Hitler, you are morally obligated to act not just against him, but against his regime and those who continue to support him. We are seeing this sentiment appearing in the following recent examples:
- In the refusal by the manager of a restaurant in Virginia to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckebee Sanders and her family.
- In the harassment of Florida Attorney General, Republican Pam Bondi by Leftists at a movie theater.
- In the harassment of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at her home after a DOJ employee verbally assaulted her at a Mexican restaurant.
- In the attacks by actor Peter Fonda on Barron Trump, stating “We should RIP Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles,” as well as Fonda’s misogynistic reference to DHS Secretary Nielsen as a “lying g-sh&*.” “The g-sh* should be pilloried in Lafayette Square naked and whipped by passers by while being filmed for posterity.” Consider that Barron Trump is a 12 year old boy. Kirstjen Nielsen a 46 year old graduate of the University of Virginia Law School and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Peter Fonda is a 78 year old actor with father issues.
More ominous incidents have occurred which the liberal media has refused to link in a patter of dangerous behavior caused by liberal incitement.
- 2017 Shooting of Republicans at a baseball game. The shooter, 66 year old James Hodgkinson, was a Bernie Sanders supporter and an anti-Trump activist.
- 2016 Trump supporters including children are attacked by anti-Trump activists outside a rally.
- 2016 murder of Trump supporter Mitchell Mormon, Jr after telling an Hispanic man that he voted for Trump and would soon be deported. The man shot him to death.
- 2013 Shooting at the Family Research Center, a group targeted by the Southern Poverty Law Center, as a hate group for its opposition to gay marriage. The shooter, Floyd Corkins, told investigators and the judge in the case that he hoped to intimidate gay rights opponents.
When you demonize your opponent using hyperbolic rhetoric, not only do you dehumanize them and their supporters, but you claim the moral right to act. If you believe that you are living in Weimar Germany in 1933 then you must act now to prevent the Holocaust and war which looms. As Gandhi’s statements prove, there is ultimately no non-violent alternative. Misogynistic Twitter screeds and kicking those you disagree with out of restaurants will only take you so far: Trump and his administration still stands. Ultimately a liberal convinced of the Nazi analogy will have no choice but to act as Hodgkinson and Corkins acted – and that is why the hysteria over Trump has gone too far, and why the remaining adults among liberals need reign in the crazies on their side, because if they don’t someone is going to take the Hitler analogy to its ultimate violent conclusion.
As we see the danger isn’t limited to the President: anyone associated with his administration is at risk. Some of those shot at in 2017 weren’t even Trump supporters, but they were Republicans and that was good enough for Hodgkinson.
Kyle Smith in the National Review challenges these comparisons, pointing out the obvious differences between the two leaders:
HITLER: Murdered 11 million according to one analysis.
TRUMP: Has murdered no one thus far.
HITLER: Invaded the sovereign states of Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Free State of Danzig, Denmark, France, Guernsey, Hungary, Italy, Jersey, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia.
TRUMP: Has invaded no sovereign states.
HITLER: Started a world war that killed more than 5 million in his armed forces alone, plus many millions more in other countries.
TRUMP: Has started no world wars.
In 2005 Evan Derkacz at AlterNet wrote, referencing Andy Warhol’s famous quote as a base, “In the future everyone will be Hitler for fifteen minutes.” The future has arrived and the Hitler Hysteria is at a fever pitch. This time no time machines will be needed in the eyes of the self-appointed, delusional moral guardians of History. Their myopic view of the past is enough to blind them to present realities that Trump is not Hitler, that his administration is not populated by Nazis, and the true threat to our freedom does not emanate from the White House but the indoctrinated footsoldiers of the liberal elites willing to do anything to achieve their righteous goals.
The social upheavals of the 1960s gave the US the Black Panthers and SLA, and Europe the Red Army and Bahder-Meinhoff Gang. Antifa’s antics and the showboating of a DoJ employee are merely the early warning signs. Unless the liberal elites act, there will be blood, and the destruction of the country which they’ve desired for 50 years will be at hand.
*I’ve lived 50 years unaware of this word, believing the “c” word was the worst epithet one could level against a woman. Having grown up with four sisters the “c” word was one that was scrubbed from my vocabulary in my youth, so I am greatly disappointed in Mr. Fonda teaching me at this late age yet another insulting word that – unlike Mr. Fonda himself – I will not use against those (like his sister Jane) I personally despise. Such an insult damages the character of the person using it much more than that of its intended target, as is surely the case with Mr. Fonda’s usage here.
Photo by jfxgillis