Quote of the week

Jack Baruth tells off a commenter:

When you use words and phrases like “horrible fascist regime” to describe the Trump Administration, you are wantonly destroying any power that those words and phrases might have to warn people of authentic NASDAP-style fascism in the future. The irony here is that Trump was elected because people like you used your “power words” like “racist” and “sexist” and “fascist” to describe people like GHWB and Mitt Romney and John McCain. You used those words so often that you effectively inoculated sensible people against them.

Twenty years ago, if I heard that someone was a “racist” I took that accusation seriously and it changed the way I looked at them.

Today, if I hear that someone is a “racist” I assume that it’s a hyperbolic accusation born from political differences.

You’re doing the same thing to “fascist”. You’re using it to describe a man who is to the left of Reagan. So guess what? In 2048 when some Generation Z fellow runs on a platform of racial purity and mass murder, everybody is going to shrug at “fascist” the way they shrug at “racist” and “sexist” now. Great work.

Furthermore, when you call Trump a fascist, you are spitting in the face of the six million Holocaust victims and all of the other people who were assembly-line murdered by an actual fascist regime. You are trivializing their deaths. You are making light of their suffering. Earlier this week I explained to my son how the Nazis melted the gold out of Jewish teeth before sending them to the camps. You’ve taken that horror and used it to score political points against somebody who campaigned with a rainbow flag, somebody who received the highest rating from Jesse Jackson, somebody who has donated his own money to democratic and humanitarian causes over and over again.

You don’t know what a Nazi is. You’ve never met one. All the real Nazis were handled for you well before you were even born. If you walked around the corner and met a resurrected 19-year-old blonde, blue-eyed corporal of the Waffen SS you would piss your pants and run away. You live in a cotton-candy padded-cell world protected on all sides by cops, soldiers, and other “fascists”.

And the distance imposed by the very nature of the Internet. Any idiot can tweet, and many do; but people who will actually put themselves at risk to “speak truth to power,” as the children say, are few and far between.

1 comment

  1. hollyh »

    21 August 2018 · 8:12 am

    Yes, the word “Fascist” has been overused. But when you live in a time when a significant portion of the population can ignore the suffering inflicted on migrant children who are taken, sometimes permanently, from their parents, who often are trying to escape violence in their home country…..and just say “Well, if those parents had followed the rules, this wouldn’t have happened?”.

    How is that so different from the Germans who watched as the Jews were mistreated, and shrugged their shoulders and said, “Well that’s just them. It won’t happen to me or MY family if I keep my mouth shut and follow the rules”.

    To me, these are shockingly similar.

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