“The disinformation, distortion and denial of human rights and democracy that resulted in the Holocaust must not happen again. We must speak truth to fascism.”
“Four years ago, we could not have guessed that rioters with Nazi symbols would break into the Capitol to subvert a fairly elected president. None of us can afford to be a bystander to history. We all must confront racism and hatred when we see it. We must establish a record, encourage witnesses and others to speak out, and teach truth. Each of us can and must make a difference.”
“The horrors we saw and heard in Charlottesville in 2017, with White nationalists and neo-Nazis spewing the same anti-Semitic bile we heard in the 1930s in Europe, are the reason I ran for president,” he said — although he did not mention the events just three weeks ago on Capitol Hill.
This actual quote from the Oregon GOP is the type of disinformation and distortion Butter is talking about: “Whereas there is growing evidence that the violence at the Capitol was a ‘false flag’ operation designed to discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans; this provided the sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power, in a frightening parallel to the February 1933 burning of the German Reichstag.”
It might be the most deranged non-ironic argument you’ll ever hear. A state party backing a President whose followers wore symbols of the Nazis and physically stormed the Capitol to stop the counting of votes are officially arguing the other party — the one elected by voters — is more like the Nazis.
There’s a pattern for this type of total distortion. Trump twisted accusations of fake news online helping his 2016 campaign into his “Fake News” mantra about legitimate media before his 2020 campaign. As president, he cried about a “witch hunt” against him as he purged people he didn’t feel were loyal in the federal government.
Historians have tried to tamp down on comparisons between Trumpists and Nazis. The author and professor Thomas Weber, who wrote a book about Hitler’s rise, warns against a false equivalence, and argues anyone making the point today should look closely at Germany of the 1930s, when Jews were being rounded up and sent to camps.
Still, it is alarming and sad, today, that parts of the GOP have completely bought into the conspiracy theory mindset and false narratives that thrive online, like the “false flag” silliness about the Capitol insurrection. Even if they’re not themselves storming the Capitol, the energy in the GOP isn’t looking for any accountability from Trump, who helped incite it.
Backlash to accountability. Those few Republicans that expressed anger at Trump or, even fewer, voted to impeach him, have been vilified rather than celebrated for their courage.
Thrasher said the power of Trump remains strong at the local level and the former President could sway any local party election in the country: “If he interjected himself in any of the state party elections, it would go in his favor … I know in Kentucky, if he called for the removal of the whole apparatus, we’d vote them out.”
Maybe McConnell, who had earlier spoken out against Trump on the Senate floor, heard the same thing. He did not follow his public condemnation of Trump up with a vote that the impeachment trial was constitutional. He did the opposite and joined the party.