So what would you do if you met an SS stormtrooper, in mid-depredation? One of the people who conquered Europe and ran the concentration camps? An actual “fascist”?
We’ll come back to that.
So what defines an authoritarian, whatever label (“fascist”, “Nazi”, “Communist”, “Banana Republic”, and on and on?).
Here’s one trait.
Remember when this scene, from 1984, seemed fictional?
Authoritarians, from the Pharoahs to Kim Jong Un, knew that total authority rested on having a boogeyman – simultaneously the nadir of depravity and an existential threat – to divert the attention and energy of the people.
(Funny bit of trivia – at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Democrats tried to capture the magic of the scene from the movie. Didn’t work.)
Staring At The Social Ceiling
Remember that old trick from junior high, where you’d stare up at ceiling until other people started staring up with you to see what you were looking at?
“White Supremacist” groups have been shedding members at the rate of an order of magnitude per generation: they had millions of members in the 1920s (they the KKK drew 50,000 to a rally in Rocherster Minnesota in the ’20s), to hundreds of thousands in the ’60s, to tens of thousands in the early 80s (which saw the last great spasm of militant violence from those groups – the Posse Comitatus, the Alan Berg murders, and of course Oklahoma City).
Notwithstanding that, about the time Barack Obama got elected, Big Left started chanting “there’s going to be a wave of white supremacist/ultra-right terror that’ll dwarf 9/11. Any day now”.
And they’ve done their darnedest to tell that story – from portraying 100 doughy losers parading with tiki torches while outnumbered 10 to 1 in Charlottesville a “White Supremacist Uprising”, to shaking and baking more “right wing attacks” from the ether…
…almost as if they’re trying to goad someone into doing something as stupid and destructive…
…as the stuff “Anti”-Fa and BLM have been doing nationwide for the past couple of years.
But it’s not just about deflection.
It’s about making your side think the other side is just a little less noble, worthy and human than the people on your side.
All You Others
Which is what we’re getting from Democrat politicians. Last week, New York governor Kathy Hochul told all 5.4 million Republicans in her state to leave (she later clarified that to say she only wanted to expel the leaders and politicians that oppose her).
Charlie Crist, taking the next step on his road toward being the Harold Stassen of the deep south, told Republican voters to take their votes elsewhere, for their “hateful” act of (checks notes) supporting Ron DeSantis. .
Which is mostly par for the course, these days.
What, Are You Gonna Cry? Huh?
The propensity for bullies to try to goad their opponents to strike first, so they can appear to be defending themselves, is pretty much bully human nature. Extremists benefit from extreme responses; among the biggest supporters of German president Von HIndenburg’s “Hitler Cabinet” were the Communists, who bet long (and, while ultimately mistakenly, not without good reason) that promoting extremism in their opposition would benefit them.
But as we wait for the “President”‘s speech on “the soul of the nation” tomorrow, the chanting point has been deafening.
If brains were gasoline, Eric Swalwell couldn’t drive a Vespa around the inside of a Cheerio. But that’s the nice thing about being a “useful idiot” – being an idiot won’t count you out of the job:
Doesn’t he sound like that red-faced bully in sixth grade?
Speaking of sixth grade: don’t some of them sound like they learned “debate” from the mean girls in junior high?
Just some schmuck lefty who’s not the definitive opinion of the whole left?
OK – how about the President’s press secretary?
And this, er, person:
Berg’s Seventh Law alert; who said anything about a civil war?
And this next bit, from Brandon – is it yet another senile rant, or does he actually think that “right wing Americans” are killing cops?
Or does he just want his dumber, less critical supporters to think it?
Well, clearly Big Left wants people to think someone’s itchin’ to do some killin’:
(Note: not gonna say “this didn’t happen” I am going to say it happens all the time, and like Ilhan Omar’s “death threats” just in time for the state fair last year, calling them out, especially on the part of an intentional incendiarist like Swalwell, is more a matter of political optics than actual law-enforcement. I’m going out on a short little limb to suggest this is but one of many threats people on all sides of the aisle get – but this one happens to fit a narrative. Prove me wrong)
But the larger point is, Big Left is trying to make half the nation into “boogiemen”.
“But the right does it too! What about Willie Horton? What about Reagan’s ‘welfare queens'”?
Say what you will about both of them; nobody ascribed their traits to half of the entire electorate.
Big Left is “othering” half the population; social media is a “90 Seconds Hate” that never ends.
You Travel Back In Time And Meet Teenage Hitler…
To answer the question from the first paragraph – what do you do if you meet an actual SS Stormtrooper?
Because the “fascist” of cultural lore was an enemy of humanity. There is no “semi”-concentration camp guard, is there?
You do what our grandparents did at Normandy or Bastogne or Saint Lo? You attack and destroy them. Right?
They are making about half the population into boogiemen so the other half doesn’t see them as human beings with political differences, but rather as villains to be feared, hated, subjugated, destroyed metaphorically or literally.
Let’s see if that’s part of Biden’s speech about “the nation’s soul” later today.