Nazi slurs have been flying fast and furious from Democrats at their big national convention. First it was noted root canal patient and California Democratic Party chair John Burton, who said the Republicans, particularly vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, “lie and they don’t care if people think they lie… Joseph Goebbels… it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it… a bold-faced lie and he doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.”
Burton was quickly ushered offstage, as Democrats quietly assured us he’s a well-known crackpot given to saying any crazy thing that rolls into his head, sometimes with semi-articulate grunts about famous Nazis. Sometimes the man just starts Goebbeling like a turkey on Thanksgiving morning! But then Pat Lehman, described as the “dean of Kansas Democratic delegates,” bumped Ryan up the National Socialist hierarchy and compared him to Der Furhrer himself.
While explaining how the Republican’s sinister mathematician secretly longs to “dismantle Medicare and Medicaid and every other social program, including education,” Lehman erupted, “It’s like Hitler said – if you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big lie, and if you tell it often enough and say it in a loud enough voice, some people are going to believe you.”
Okay, so maybe she’s a little confused about which Nazi said what, but at least her heart is in the wrong place. But she and Burton were soon joined by Dick Harpootlian, chair of the South Carolina Democrats, who compared his state’s female Republican governor, Nikki Haley, to Hitler’s mistress. “She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun,” croaked the odious Harpootlian, referring to Haley’s news briefings from the NASCAR Hall of Fame studio.
I’m already hearing the same excuse-making from Democrats about Harpootlian that they deployed for Burton: Everyone knows he’s an idiot, nobody takes him seriously. But he’s the chair of the state Democrat Party, and Burton head up the party machine in California. Why are the Democrats putting crazed imbeciles in charge of their state party organizations? Have they got anyone who can get through a week without comparing their political opponents to the Nazis?
The truth is that Democrats have a profound fixation upon the Nazi Party, for reasons of both intellectual laziness and political insecurity. The lazy slander advantages of calling someone a Nazi are easy enough to understand. It’s like the old joke about how “racism” can be defined as “winning an argument with a Democrat.” They want you to shut up, and when the fires of hatred blaze hot in their brains, the smoke of Nazism belches from their mouths.
It’s an insult of mass destruction, so radioactive that a near-miss can still destroy the target. Notice how they keep falling back to the “big lie” anecdote. That’s the sign of a dim bulb who thinks he or she is being clever, by connecting their target to the Third Reich with a few degrees of separation. They always proceed as if they were bestowing some stunning revelation upon the listener, as though they were the first to ever make the horrifying connection: Goebbels said you can make a lie seem like the truth, if you make it big enough, and repeat it often. Republicans are telling big lies. Wow, do you realize that makes Republicans just like Nazis?
The Nazi analogy also flatters the intellectual vanity of liberals, who love to view themselves as noble crusaders against powerful and sinister forces, even though their agenda is all about using compulsive force to bend political enemies and recalcitrant citizens to their will. The deathless menace of Hitler reborn makes a great boogeyman for their mythology. It is not necessary to know many hard facts about the boogeyman – actually, that would make him less scary, and therefore less satisfying as a fantasy opponent.
And that’s the “insecurity” part. Angry, slow-witted Democrats throw out Nazi analogies because they’re terrified the same will be said about them, and they worry about lacking a satisfying response to the charge. They’re insecure about the cult of personality they’re running these days. They’re eager to reinforce the silly liberal consensus that fascism is a “right-wing” phenomenon.
Fascism is not the same thing as Nazism, but the subjects are related, and equally unsavory in the eyes of most people. That’s too bad, because the total defeat of a poisonous idea obliges us to fully understand it. Boogeymen have a nasty habit of escaping, if you refuse to look directly at them.
It might be fun to hear what the likes of John Burton, Pat Lehman, and Dick Harpootlian think “fascism” means, or ask them to list a few planks from the Nazi domestic platform, beyond the obvious, inhuman ones. Those bloody monsters certainly did tell plenty of Big Lies… but that’s not all they said.