Dare I compare?
Because of all their similarities, I’ve tended to compare
the American Radical Right to Nazis and other fascists. I knew I would get flak
for that, and I suppose I’m begging for it again.
Recently I was informed that I was uninformed, of some
Brownshirt/Nazi history, although the correct information was never offered.
The Brownshirts were Hitler’s Nazi storm troopers during his ascent to power.
They were his “security”, but more accurately they were his brawling street
thugs. They were his early versions of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, itching for
fights with commies or anyone they declared a commie. He purged them the year
after he became chancellor, awarding the security duties and brutality to
I was told, “Comparing anyone to Hitler is an insult to
the Holocaust victims and the millions of other victims”. I can understand
equating mask requirements and vaccinations to the Holocaust would be an
insult, but Holocaust victims HAVE compared Trumpism and its white nationalist
core to the early Nazi movement, and rightly so.
I’m pretty sure my comparisons of similarities don’t meet
the same level of insult as Marjorie Taylor Greene saying, “We can look
back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they
were definitely treated like second-class citizens — so much so that they were
put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany,” and days later,
tweeting, “Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s
forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.”
Readers are free to make their own call on comparing our
I do stand guilty of comparing the rise of the current
American radical Right with the rise of Nazis and other fascists of Europe in
the past. Similarities draw those comparisons, but in my defense I did not
equate them. Fascists come in all sizes and colors, creeds and races. Nazis do
not. They come almost exclusively in white.
I don’t want to be a blog Nazi, but I insist on an
understanding of the difference between “compare” and “equate”. (Just joking. I
suppose the olden days when Jews could joke about a “Soup Nazi” were too wild
for today’s PC sensibilities. If so, I apologize to Holocaust victims and
survivors on our joint behalf.)
I’ll summarize my case.
Remember "Godwin's Law"?
Mike Godwin updated it.
Now he says this:
"I came up with Godwin’s Law. In its original form, Godwin’s Law goes like
this: “As an online discussion continues, the probability of a reference or
comparison to Hitler or Nazis approaches 1.”
First, let me get this Donald Trump issue out of the way: If you’re thoughtful
about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler
or Nazis when you talk about Trump. Or any other politician."
I'm comparing the similarities of radical Right movements
and their common roots of fascism. Authoritarians have always been the
minority, but that doesn't stop them from taking power.
Yes, I'm comparing racist American authoritarians to Nazis because Nazis
were/are racist authoritarians.
Nazis didn't start out with camps and Kristallnacht. They started in the same
place as other racist authoritarians. They had to win a propaganda war first.
Today's radical Right are doing just that. The anger, resentment, scapegoating,
accusations, and lies from FOX(R) and Limbaugh and all the rest of the radical
Right's hateful messaging has been sinking in to millions of Americans.
They have indoctrinated a significant percentage of our population into
believing Democrats are Socialists and the radical left "hates
Good God, MOST Trump voters believe HE WON! This degree of brainwashing and
delusion is a lethal cancer on the republic.
As with Hitler, all opposition is demonized as "Marxist" and
communism. Why in the world should I NOT compare such similar ideologies?
As I noted, Tucker Carlson denied the existence of white
nationalism, but he attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar for “hating America,” saying, “We
have every right to fight to preserve our nation and our heritage and our
culture.” He fanned outrage at, “non-white
people cheering the extinction of white people”.
denial of systemic racism is actually systemic racism. No wonder the radical
Right sees the study of racism and its effects as a Marxist assault on our
freedom, and is why they want to ban the 1619 Project and anything that looks
while we’re at it, let’s ban masks and vaccines. It’s just patriotic,
unabashedly American, common sense.
Some think I went too far with, “I get a lot of flak for
comparing America’s radical Right to Nazis. But racists are racists.
Authoritarians are authoritarians. They spring from the same fetid mire of
bigotry and hatred. They are enemies of democracy and equality. They share the
bloody trait and heritage of a violent coup and Putsch... They desecrated the
“Back the Blue” and US flags by beating police officers who thwarted their coup
and protected our Congress and Constitutional rule of law. Are they really that
different from Hitler’s Brownshirts?”
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Nazi anthem called “The Horst
Wessel Song”. He was a brown shirt storm trooper killed in a 1930 brawl,
possibly by communists. Nazi propagandists, led by Joseph Goebbels,
elevated him to martyrdom.
Not to equate anyone, it seems Trump has his own martyr.
by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America”
spoke to the wonderful mother and devoted husband of Ashli Babbitt, who was
murdered at the hands of someone who should never have pulled the trigger of
his gun. We know who he is. If that happened to the “other side,” there would
be riots all over America and yet, there are far more people represented by
Ashli, who truly loved America, than there are on the other side. The Radical
Left haters cannot be allowed to get away with this. There must be
Donald J. Trump
It’s quite clear who to hate and blame in all this, and
they are not the “very special” terrorists he “loves”.
He promoted and basked in a renewed elevation of
nationalism. Flagrant patriotism was the new norm. Flag displays, many of him,
were more abundant than any time since 9-11. National security, as in a strong
military, was paramount. Without his leadership the military was
“out of ammo” and weak. After he became president the military suddenly became
the “most powerful military in the world”.
He wanted to expand interrogation torture tactics “beyond
waterboarding”. "I would absolutely authorize something beyond
waterboarding and believe me, it will be effective," he said on ABC's
"This Week With George Stephanopoulos." "You have our enemy
cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the
"Do we win by being more like them?" asked
"Yes," replied Trump. "I'm sorry. You have
to do it that way."
The pro-torture serial sex offender pretended to embrace
traditional family values. Denial of women’s reproductive rights was a
priority. His appointments to the Supreme Court had to be pro-business and
History has echoes:
“The National Government...regards Christianity as the
foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national
life." - Adolf Hitler "My New Order" -
Proclamation to the German Nation, Berlin, February 1, 1933
In 1941 Hitler said, “I am now as before a Catholic and
will always remain so."
On October 10, 1936 Heinrich Himmler created the Reich
Central Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortion, or Special Office (II
S), a sub-department of Executive Department II of the Gestapo.
Incidentally, Hitler’s “My New Order” was the only book
his wife Ivana saw him read.
But Trump brought religion back to government,
surrounding himself with preachers in the Oval Office. Better yet, Black
preachers. After gassing protesters for exercising their First Amendment right,
he brandished an upside-down Bible in a calculated campaign photo-op.
He anointed an unhinged woman as his “spiritual advisor”
who reveled in her “assignment from God”. Paula White was the typical
“prosperity” preacher who sucked up cash from unwitting dupes before
bankrupting the church.
She employed the old scam of “speaking in tongues” to
secure Trump’s reelection, as Jesus surely would have wanted. "We declare
that we overcome every strategy of hell that has been aligned against this
election, that has been aligned against your will, that has been aligned
against the church," she said.
White claimed that "demonic
confederacies" were attempting to steal the election from Trump.
"I hear victory, victory, victory, victory in the
quarters of heaven," "Angels are being dispatched from Africa right
now," she said, adding, "They're coming here."
Can I get an “Amen”?
He told us who the bad guys were. We’re not talking about
ISIS, the Taliban, Russia or China, but fellow Americans. The enemies are
everywhere, and they would be his scapegoats and targeted for blame for any and
all ills within our borders. He blamed immigrants for gangs and crimes,
saying Mexico and other “shithole countries” were sending rapists and murders
to the US. He wanted to have protestors and people crossing the border
illegally to be shot.
Athletes taking a knee to protest police violence were
“sons of bitches” who deserved to be fired, “Radical left Democrats”, antifa,
"The radical left democrat communist party" were more of his hated
enemies. “Like it or not, we are becoming a communist country. That’s what’s
happening.” The message is, “The Left hates America”.
He ran on a promise to ban Muslims from entering the
country. His supporters were delighted to share his hate for all those
“Anti-American others”. When he ordered the assassination of an Iranian bad
guy, he pushed us to the brink of another war. Luckily Iran was satisfied by
retaliating with a missile attack on a US base in Iraq.
Also, whenever the press portrayed him in any negative or
unflattering way, they became “fake news” and “enemy of the people”. He led the
media in circles with daily outrages and rants against journalists. In one week
in 2018 he singled out three African-American women journalists. The women -
Abby Phillip, April Ryan and Yamiche Alcindor - earned his contempt apparently
just for asking him questions. Trump, the Birther President, called one of Ms
Phillip's questions "stupid," described Ms Ryan as "a
loser" and scolded Ms Alcindor, saying her question was
In the radical Right’s twisted world, only Blacks, BLM,
and liberals are racists. They will tell you they “don’t see color” and judge
only on the “contents of one’s character”. They will tell you racism isn’t
really a problem anymore, but white conservatives are the real victims of
The far Right’s primary Big Lie was “liberal media” in
their war on journalism. Journalism has always been seen as a threat to
totalitarians and authoritarians.
The German Nazis used the term “Lügenpresse”, or lying
press, in their campaign to replace journalism with their party propaganda. Now
American fascists replaced “liberal media” with “fake news” and
“enemy of the people” when journalists threaten their agenda with truth.
He cut taxes and regulations for corporations and the
economic elites. He scorned organized labor and embraced opponents of unions
and labor rights.
He proposed cutting activities funded by the National
Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Following the Goebbels playbook, he projected his
dishonesty onto the press and opposition. “That’s what they’re doing. You know
what it’s called? Disinformation. They make up a lot of crap and they say it
over and over and over…”
This projection is to deflect away from Trump’s 30,000
plus lies in office, as well as the stolen election “big lie”.
the Jewish Virtual Library:
original description of the big lie appeared in Mein Kampf. Adolf
Hitler applied it to the behavior of Jews rather than as a tactic he
advocated. Specifically, he accused Viennese Jews of trying to discredit the
Germans’ activities during World War I. Hitler wrote of the Jews’
“unqualified capacity for falsehood” and “that in the big lie there is always a
certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always
more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than
consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds
they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they
themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to
resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to
fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have
the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which
prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still
doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other
explanation…. From time immemorial, however, the Jews have known better than
any others how falsehood and calumny can be exploited.”
OSS psychological profile of Hitler described his use of the big lie:
primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or
wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave
room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time
and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie
sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will
sooner or later believe it.
did describe the big lie in different language in an article he wrote in 1941,
“Churchill’s Lie Factory,” but he was accusing the British of the ploy: “The
English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick
to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”
Hollywood Access personality Billy Bush, of the infamous
“Grab ‘em by the pussy” interview, reported Trump’s telling response after
being called out for inflating his ratings. "People will just believe you.
You just tell them and they believe you,"
He claimed the mantle of “law and order”, but he had
different standards for BLM protestors and his own insurrectionist mob. He
praised his violent mob, saying they were special and he loved them. He and his
party are dug in on protecting violent and crooked cops with “qualified
immunity”. They resist any reforms to police powers and practices.
He placed unqualified family members and loyal cronies
into the Cabinet and high lever advisory positions. His daughter Ivanka would
be an advisor. Her husband Jared Kushner was to solve every problem from the
Middle East to the opiod crisis, in addition to being Liaison to Mexico and
Trump assured us, "I know all the best people".
Roger Stone **
General Flynn **
Michael Cohen *
Tom Barrack ***
Rick Gates *
Allen Weisselberg *****
* Convicted & imprisoned
**** Raided by FBI
He undermined and interfered with elections with his big
lie that he won the 2020 election, and by demanding Georgia “find” him enough
votes to win. He twisted arms at the Justice Department and demanded acting
attorney general Rosen to, “Just say that the election was corrupt and leave
the rest to me.” In self-serving subservience his party actively works to
restrict voting rights, registration, and ballot access. Minorities are
specially targeted for disenfranchisement of both the vote and fair
There is no doubt that the American radical Right, like
all fascists before them, are absolute enemies of democracy and equality.
But are they really fascists? If that’s not clear by now,
here’s a handy guide for your search for any similarities and shared
characteristics between our American Radical Right and fascism.
Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently
wrote an article about fascism ("Fascism Anyone?," Free Inquiry,
Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany),
Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile),
Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the
identifying characteristics of
The 14 Characteristics of Fascism
by Lawrence Britt
The 14 characteristics are:
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans,
symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag
symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist
regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because
of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of
torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners,
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to
eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious
minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a
disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is
neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively
male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more
rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay
legislation and national policy.
6. Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other
cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or
sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war
time, is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the
nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and
terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the
religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones
who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial
business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist
government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher
education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics
to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked,
and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce
laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego
civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police
force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates
who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and
authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in
fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or
even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times
elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of
opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or
political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations
also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.