Thursday, March 22, 2018

Some People's Tinfoil Hats Are On Just A Little Too Tight

The Detroit Free Press ran a rather interesting opinion piece. Interesting not so much for any factual content but more for its rather over-the-top "Trump Is Like A Fascist Hitler" approach. No, it's not an ironic humor piece. The author is desperately serious, or seriously desperate.

The piece is from an author who purports to be a lecturer of history at Wayne State university, no less. Methinks she didn't actually learn history, but instead picked up a weird feminist intersectional insanity, delivered with an earnest straight face.

The Detroit Free Press: Understanding Donald Trump in a modern post-Hitler world | Guest column

Yep, she badly needs to have you understand Trump in a post-Hitler world. The problem is quite simply that in reality Trump isn't Hitler, and it's a rather disgraceful comparison and besmirches the memory of those who were you know actually killed and harmed by Hitler to try to make some weird claim that Trump is just like him. Newsflash: We're all living in a post-Hitler world, and thankfully have been doing so for over 73 years. After 73 years anyone who doesn't know we're in a post-hitler word needs to be flunked fromt heir history class.

When Donald Trump was elected 45th president of the United States, the fear was real and justified.

Sigh, what an opening, really? In reality it was less fear and more a giant tantrum that Hillary didn't win.

Historical analogies to the dawn of Nazi Germany were made everywhere, and questions about Germany in the 1930s came at historians from many unexpected places. In my case, graduate students in the English department at my university asked me to join a teach-in on fascism, where I was supposed to talk about “fascism in America” and draw historical parallels between Trump’s America and Hitler’s Germany.
Thus is because English majors at Wayne State really know history and can see obvious paralells. No wait, they really, really don't.

Still, I had to acknowledge that this time the comparisons and analogies drawn between Trump and Hitler were different. For one, there was the frequency and the urgency with which they were being made — and I’m not just talking about the comment sections.

Ah, so if enough people are delusional enough to believe in the comparison, a historian should not explain the clear differences but should instead jump right in, neh?

On November 18, 2016, Irish Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin remarked that “America has just elected a fascist;” a couple of months earlier; shortly after Trump was elected, the British historian Jane Caplan brilliantly wrote about how the whole repertoire of the “fascisms of interwar Europe” seemed to have returned.” Most notable was Timothy Snyder’s bestselling pamphlet, "On Tyranny," which tried to summarize how we can preserve our democratic freedoms under a Trump presidency.

The Labor party is hardy a hot bed of realism, and as always, the dark night of Fascism keeps falling upon America, but somehow keeps landing in Europe.

Snyder had no doubt that the latter were in jeopardy. In an interview with Salon in May 2017, he warned that within a year, it was “pretty much inevitable” that Trump and his administration will try to stage a coup against democratic rule similar to the way the Nazis had used the Reichstag fire of February 1933 to justify taking full control of the German government.

So much for that prediction. No Coup for you, oh pamphleteer. Heck, no concentration camps have been setup, Gay marriage is still intact, women are not constrianed to be barefoot and in the kitchen, the government is fully dysfunctional much as it ever was, AntiFa Communist types are still allowed to commit acts of mob violence, and the trains still don't run on time. Worst Hitler evar.

As much as I share the noble concern of Timothy Snyder and others for the survival of American democracy, it is worth pointing out that, despite some striking similarities, there are also many similarly striking differences between America under Trump and Germany under Hitler – such as the fact that Germany did not have a strong democratic tradition in 1933, and that Trump’s following didn’t have a paramilitary wing comparable to the infamous SA that helped Hitler get into power.

Noble concern, please tell me that's the polite Wayne State euphemism for mass hysteria, oh it isn't? She serious? Well, thank goodness that at least she can find some minor differences between Hitler and Trump's rise to power. I'm surprised that she didn't point out the similarity that they were both elected to power and both were white males, cause that's just proof they're complete doppelgangers man, totally.

After parroting all the Trump is Hitler canards, nodding sagely wiht the purveyors of such hysteria, and stating its a noble valid fear, she tries to dance away from it a little bit.

There is also the “Hitler factor” itself: the very fact that we all already know about Hitler, whose inhuman and ultimately disastrous policies completely discredited Nazism. After all, one of Hitler’s biggest advantages was the fact that he represented something new, whose consequences most people were unable to anticipate. Hitler’s initial success was tied to just how much people inside and outside of Germany underestimated him, largely because they kept seeing him through the prism of their own past. His ascendancy to power marked, in effect, a “zero hour” of sorts. There was no precedent

No precedent of such a similar ascendancy to power? Really? Anybody have any examples of previous dictators from the past invading their neighbors and trying to take over the world and kill those they disagree with? Maybe we should ask a historian, 'cause this one seems to lack historical knowledge and is in over her head.

That brings me to my ultimate concern: While I believe in studying the past for the benefit of better understanding the present, I also strongly believe in the potential of human creativity – both for good and for bad. Fascism was the political innovation of the 20th Century. Don’t we risk overlooking and misinterpreting the new challenges represented by the Trump phenomenon if we keep looking at it almost entirely through the prism of our past? Apropos our past: Isn’t it interesting that Trump’s political rise has led many uneasy observers to look back into Germany’s past, but much less so towards that of the US – as if the ugliness of the current political moment can best be historically explained by looking away from home?

Ah, an appeal to mass idiocy. If it is interesting that multiple progressive idiots think Trump is Hitler then there must be something to it. But wait, she's now decided not to look to Europe but proclaims that we need to find something bad in America's past just like Trump to explain him.

And then the whole thing ends not with a bang, but with a "Quit focusing on Europe, America is bad too!" whimper:

Donald Trump is, however, clearly made in America. He is a symptom of a society that, as a whole, values economic success more than public service, that places entertainment (and I include cable news in that category) above responsible journalism, and that cherishes its nationalistic rituals of swearing oaths and raising flags more deeply than knowing where and why American soldiers are currently risking their lives.

The point is that this is a moment not just to look at Europe’s past: A societal reckoning with the history of the United States is long overdue. Carpe diem.

Sadly, she completely fails to give an American historical example to explain Trump Fascism. Mainly because Trump isn't an actual fascist, and because bringing up FDR would hurt her dear liberal heart. (You know, lock up citizens in camps on the basis of their race, commandeer the economy, adopt a Bismarckian socialist system, threaten the judiciary when it disagrees with him . . .Ah wait, Trump hasn't done any of that yet.). Ah well, no American history points for you.

The point actually is instead of going along with the Trump is Hitler delusion of the progressive left, it would have been far more useful for a so called senior lecturer of history to instead of playing up such nonsense is to note why such a delusion is plainly wrong. Instead we find her playing up the Trump is Hitler fears and then segueing into we must look at the bad history of bad America but then she can't give you any pertinent examples that carp her diem.

An Ominous and overdue societal reckoning indeed, or not as the case may be.

No comments: