You Can’t Scream Holocaust or Fascist Without Consequences
For decades now, the anti-abortion right has had an argument.
Every abortion is a murder.
Because there are so many abortions, there are so many murders, which means America and the world is in the middle of an unacknowledged holocaust.
Abortion doctors are mass-murderers. They kill, and kill, and kill again.
Rhetoric has consequences. If you believe that there is an ongoing campaign of mass murder against, one notes, people who cannot protect themselves, your duty to stop it is clear, and it is not clear that duty stops short of violence.
Indeed, there has been violence around abortion clinics, up to, and including, murder and not of fetuses.
Left-wingers, as a group, accept the argument that this rhetoric has led to the anti-abortion violence.
Donald Trump is a fascist. This has been proclaimed repeatedly.
To most Americans fascist = holocaust, Hitler, and World War II. To be a fascist is to be the worst thing possible.
Popular culture is full of references of going back and killing Hitler before he became powerful. We bewail that no one did anything. We blame Neville Chamberlain for responding to Hitler’s provocations by making concessions.
To try and make peace with a fascist, it is generally accepted, is foolishness.
Donald Trump is a fascist, so are many of his followers, and those who follow him but who aren’t fascists are still working to try and get a fascist into power. They must be stopped, and our culture believes violence is justified in stopping fascists.
That is the logic of the rhetoric.
So, yesterday, we had someone bomb a GOP field office. A swastika was painted, along with this message: “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.”
No one was killed. This time.
Meanwhile, we have the constant, frankly deranged, insistence that Russia is behind Trump; in many cases, this has escalated to calling Trump one of Putin’s agents. Claims are constantly made that Wikileaks is the Russian cat’s paw, on quite weak evidence. The leaks themselves are all legitimate, despite what many have claimed, but they have largely been neutralized by anti-Russian rhetoric.
The government has announced that it will “cyber attack” Russia in retaliation.
Next to a Nazi, what is the worst thing in the world to most Americans, especially old ones? Bla… uh, I mean, Russians. Commies (true, Russians aren’t Commies any longer, but people still think of Russia as the big bad).
Trump has stoked xenophobia throughout the election–Mexicans, Muslims, and so on. But those who support Clinton have massively demonized Trump’s supporters as Nazi third-columnists supported by big, bad Russia.
This has consequences. It is especially insane with respect to Russia, which still has enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world, multiple times over, and which feels very threatened by the US and NATO–for rather good reason. Russian elites really do think Clinton wants war with them.
Rhetoric has consequences. Americans have been whipped, by both sides, into hatred of their fellow citizens, with Democratic supporters as guilty as Republicans. All this fascist rhetoric is not harmless and the fact that its targets are white, and therefore it is not “racist” rhetoric, does not make it less dangerous. And whipping up hatred and fear of Russia is playing with something so dangerous it could lead to nuclear war.
Rhetoric does have consequences. We all understand that Trump’s rhetoric is dangerous, but those on the Left seem to not understand just how much damage the Left has done by using the “fascist and Russia” rhetoric to demonize Trump and his supporters.
If you’re going to say people are trying to install a fascist, you’d both better be right and ready for the logical consequences. You cannot scream “Fascist!” and also say, “But, hey, it’s not worth fighting to stop him.” The two do not compute in a society in which fascist = holocaust.
Rhetoric has consequences. For abortion as holocaust. For racism. For fascism. For demonizing a nation with nukes.
Play with fire and be burned.
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