The Great Equivalency
George Will, in a recent article equating Trumps lies with all politicians’ political behavior, falls into the “false equivalency” trap. This same trap destroyed the Weimar Republican, when it looked as if Hitler was done for, trapped in a prison cell as the political opportunity passed the Nazis by…..rich conservative corporatists bailed him out! This was done because the corporatists thought that Germany was headed to communism and that between communism and fascism they were equal threats; they chose fascism.
This false equivalency saved him and killed 55,000,000 people. The corporatists saw both as equivalent threats to their power, equal in their evil, so they took what they thought was the more manageable of the two.
And they were very wrong.
The right wing in Germany, was rejuvenated by the Great Worldwide Depression. The Great Betrayal, the Treaty of Versailles, that was depicted as a leftist liberal concession to the liberal democrats, weak, a sellout, unfair.
They sold that it was the leftists who were at fault for WWI, not the autocratic right wing monarchy. In fact the causes of WWI were many, including the colonialism, the rotting Ottoman Empire and yes the autocratic leadership of Europe.
And Hitler was saved at the last minute by economics, the unfairness of the Versailles Treat, and finally by unbalanced commentators like George Will, who sees some kind of balance between the planned untruthfulness of the right and Trump versus the arguments of the left that Trump is a liar and a fascist.
In essence truth tellers are equated with the truth deniers! And that is exactly what happened with huge disconnect with truth that led Germany to Nazism.
Trump is a fascist….in any definition in political science he is…a political opportunist, devoid of morality, who uses authoritarianism and propaganda for a political effect that attacks civil rights and ALWAYS a minority to be scapegoated. At least that’s who he pretends to be. I don’t think Trump really has a politically consistency at all. He is an opportunist plain and simple.
It is classic fascism. It is the fascism of a Mussolini, who used the support of the Catholic Church to subjugate Italy, who “made the trains run of time” but inevitably steered Italy into a war that it had no hope of winning.
And Will uses an incredible stretch of reason to equate liberalism. with fascism. That is simply impossible by any standard of political behavior.
It is what it is…fascism is still practiced in Germany, even though it is outlawed…it is making a comeback in Europe in the breakup of the European Union, a nationalism based on fear and stereotypes and always, always benefits the corporate elite.
It’s called Plutocracy by some Political Scientists. It is what governs Russia.
I have been criticized by some for using the term, since it connotes Nazism.
Fascism is a much broader term than Nazism. It includes a broad range of corporate backed political movements ranging from Franco’s Spain to the Christian Democratic Fascist Parties of Italy. Putin for example and his Russian oligarchs are a fascist movement. That’s right, in the midst of the left over socialism of Communism, a classic fascist political movement has emerged into a mafia patterned plutocracy.
Fascists are depicted often in the press of WWII propaganda as mobsters, because their political movements are patterned after criminal syndicates. And there is much truth to this depiction.
The Nazis even hid their true intentions behind their name, National Socialism Party…..Hitler was owned by large syndicate, corporate power, it fed him, it bankrolled him, it got him out of prison. The large corporate powers needed something to revitalize their war based power after WWI; the reparations were killing them. They found it in Hitler, and his propaganda base attacking the Jews as an international (global get it) movement who were selling Germany away. Of course this was a lie, a very big lie, international Jewish economic power is a myth, but Hitler didn’t care, it worked. Just like Brexit is based on the myth of an evil globalism, so did Hitler base his appeal on some nefarious and invisible (because it really wasn’t there) international Jewry conspiracy..
This systematic lying, like Trump, who has lied at last count over 3000 times since he was inaugurated. The liberal left…probably about 7!
But this is equivalent according to Will, somehow it is the political norm: it is not. It is the same thing Nixon tried to convince us of, after his men broke into the Watergate, “I am not a Crook” remember?
But he was a crook, because the REASON HE AUTHORIZED THE BREAK IN WAS HE THOUGHT THE DEMOCRATS HAD PROOF THAT HE DELIBERATELY HAD SABOTAGED THE PARIS PEACE TALKS IN 1968, WINNING THE ELECTION AND COSTING OVER 40,000 AMERICANS AND 1.5 MILLION VIETNAMESE THEIR LIVES. If that isn’t crooked behavior I don’t know what is!
That was part of Nixon’s big lie, that only he could end the war with his secret plan….which was bullshit, Nixon only escalated the war when he became President…his secret was that he had directly scuttled the Paris Peace Talks that LBJ had almost closed with a peace plan.
Nixon cynically sabotaged this with a secret promise to the North that he could offer them a better deal.
He did alright: he bombed them once he was President. The secret peace plan was to bomb North Vietnam into the Stone Age.
Some Peace Plan!
The peace protests of the late 60s and early 70s finally broke Nixon’s propaganda fed support for the war and ended it. The Republicans knew that the truth would come out from Watergate; it didn’t until two years ago, because of classified information laws; that kept it buried for decades. And the lie of Vietnam got Nixon elected again, fed a resurgence of the Republican Party that exists even today.
Trump follows Hitler’s playbook much more than Nixon. Trump just lies and depends on political writers like the apologist Will, who says basically it is just politics; all politicians are liars
And some of it is true, some politicians don’t always tell the truth.
Democrats are being punished right now for TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE! WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS PHENOMENON YOU UNDERSTAND WHY TRUMP WON’T TELL THE TRUTH. THE TRUTH GETS YOU BEAT!
When it come to the truth about war and peace, survival or death, then the truth is much more important. Nixon and Hitler both lied about matters of war and peace, both causing wars to happen and continue, for political power. Putin does the same thing. Trump is a master at it.
Roosevelt and Churchill told the truth about the war and why it was essential to win it. They told the truth about the need to defeat fascism…the fascists lied to their people to the bitter end. Japanese fascists told their citizens that the allies would eat their children if they won and the Japanese fought without surrendering. This fact led to the first, and hopefully only, use of Atomic Bombs. It was a good bet that taking Japan would have cost over 1 million allied casualties and millions of Japanese. Only the shock value of the truth of atomic bombs snapped the lies that the fascist regime had created.
Moreover, only the discovery of the concentration camps broke the almost hypnotic spell Hitler had led the Germans with; suddenly as civilians were forced to bury the emancipated corpses they realized the con, the horror of genocide broke Hitler’s magic….
Trump lies about the Wall, he knows that the migration of people will only increase across the world because of global warming.
People flee when the climate goes bad, they flee for survival or death reasons.
And Trump has committed the equivalency of a war crime by debunking global warming as the major existential threat to mankind ever.
He knows that admitting that will require taking attention away from global warming’s causal factors that have caused the migration that Trump build his popularity upon: the wall issue.
The wall represents a containment of reality, a lie that criminals and rapists are behind the migration of families when it is really to escape the ravages of global warming.
Of course, the truth is global warming is the culprit and reacting to it positively and with great sacrifice, immediately is mankind’s only chance.
But like Hitler, the propaganda is more important than human survival. Hitler was a narcissistic madman, who sacrificed the German people to maintain his self-serving lies to the catastrophic end. Trump is the same.
Trump knows that global climate change is an existential threat, he knows it. But he hides it, he lies about it, because to admit it would reduce his power; and expose him as the charlatan fascist that his always was. It is indeed the curtain of deceit that was so famously depict in the anti-fascist populism in the “Wizard of Oz”….it’s all about the con job.
And Will, and other conservatives, uses the equivalency argument to hide Trump’s evil con job. And not unlike the Germans who finally saw the truth as they carried their fellow citizens to their mass graves are we to wait for a mass awareness of lies as we bury our global warming caused dead?
The future of mankind depended on the outcome of WWII…the future of mankind depends on the outcome of Trump’s fascist party denial of global warming….
Truth is not determined on false equivalency!