July 13th, 2019
François-Marie Arouet, aka ‘Voltaire’ once famously said, ‘Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.’
The other day, Mike Pence, trumpenfuhrer toadie, visited a couple of the concentration camps America is running along the border. One was a model camp, where the inmates were reasonably clean and fed, although forced to sleep on child-size nap mats with only foil covering. Pence said the detainees appeared “well cared for,” something that reminded me unpleasantly of the Third Reich propaganda films that showed happy Jewish children playing in the sun and singing songs while German matrons watched, beaming approvingly. The Germans got the kids to go along by telling them if they did, they would see their parents again. None of them did, of course. Most of them were dead within weeks. Those who weren’t made sex slaves for the country’s elite, that is.
The second visit was to a much more typical American concentration camp, one where hundreds of men were jammed into hideously overcrowded pens without room for them all to lie down at once, and not given access to showers or any other elements of basic hygiene, and the toilets were little more than open pits. Many had been there for 40 days or more. Guards wore masks to keep the stench out. The only things missing were the German slogans and the Strauss waltzes being piped in over loudspeakers.
Josh Dawsey of the Washington Post wrote: “VP [Pence} saw 384 men sleeping inside fences, on concrete w[ith] no pillows or mats. They said they hadn’t showered in weeks, wanted toothbrushes, food. Stench was overwhelming. [Customs and Border Protection] said they were fed regularly, could brush [their teeth] daily [and] recently got access to shower (many hadn’t for 10-20 days).”
Even Pence was taken aback, saying “This is tough stuff.” But of course Pence is and always has been a loathsome coward, so instead of calling for the immediate release of the inmates—most of whom have committed no crime—he blamed Democrats in Congress, condemning them for not passing a $4.6 billion “humanitarian relief bill” to build many more concentration camps (and eventually death camps). In fact, the House passed the bill several days earlier.
A word about Pence: he exemplifies the pseudo-Christian fundamentalist filth, the Dominionists, who are working to take over the country entirely. Once they accomplish that, the death toll from their efforts to purify us all will soar, and only violent revolution or complete social collapse will get their boots off our necks.
Let me tell you a disturbing truth about Hitler. From the time he became Chancellor right up to the point where the utter defeat and ruin of Germany could no longer be denied, he was immensely popular. Children begged to be allowed to climb in his lap, women swooned, men waved at his parades and rallies, unfeigned tears of joy and pride running down their cheeks. Hitler was loved, and it was easy, in the face of such adoration, to pretend that the work camps really did house people who meant Germany harm. Hitler was wise. He wouldn’t allow harm to come to innocents.
Trump is every bit as vicious and vile as Hitler. Our only real hope is that he is not as smart as Hitler was, not as charismatic, and no orator.
Even Hitler knew to conceal the death camps outside of Germany in the captive lands, knowing there was a limit to what the German people would stand for, but as long as people only entertained horrid suspicions rather than grim certainties, he could get away with what he was doing.
The reason he lies so blatantly and so frequently is to help prevent horrid suspicions from become grim certainties. You can’t commit atrocities without absurdities.
To that end, he used endless streams of propaganda. I suspect if Facebook was around in 1939, most of us would be speaking German now and the rest of us would be dead.
The American right, aided and abetted by Vladimir Putin, who knows how pernicious and enervating the far right can be to a society, have also been unleashing endless propaganda.
For example, a message, almost certainly a concern troll, showed up in a liberal group on Facebook—indeed, it probably showed up in dozens for such groups. It was a query for information about liberal views and values, asked by “Kathy Aston, Iowa farm wife.” It’s very unlikely “Kathy” actually exists, being a reassuring figleaf pumped out by the actual authors of the hit piece, whether 4Chan, Breitbart, or the Russians. While an obvious troll, her sentiments are all ones I’ve seen kool-aide drinkers from the far right earnestly state as truths.
The message read:
Hi. Ok. I’m not a liberal. Please help me understand a few things that has us scratching our heads. I will be polite as possible, but these things are what is told to us, that makes us think you are a special kind of stupid. I’m not good at PC speech. Just cant say what I mean in your language. I really want to know!
#1. Killing newborn babies and calling it abortion. Why not adopt them out? Infanticide is really unnecessary.
#2 welcoming invaders that overwhelm the country’s resources. One of the oldest war tactics on record. Calif is starting to yell for help, and we just shake our heads in wonder at the lack of smarts in your people.
#3. Welcoming in the enemy of our country that openly states they will overthrow us, rape our women, children, and kill all who will not believe their way. Also openly hostile to gay people, as in throwing them off rooftops.(last we knew, you guys really love your alphabet people.- LGBTP). Also stoning, beheading, and other barbaric behavior… Huh??? You really want this Sharia stuff??? Don’t you realize they will kill or gang rape you too??
#4. Freedom of religion, or none, if you wish. You already have it! Why the fuss?
#5. Women’s rights. Totally incompatable with #3 Islam gives no rights to women. They are puppet slaves to the males. A piece of property, worth less than an animal. Again, you really WANT this?
#6. What the heck is a “theybe”???? Medically, there are 3 sexes. Born with a penis, born without, and those who are born with both, a Hermaphrodite. We understand what it is to be gay.
Finally….black people. My favorite boyfriend was a huge black guy with such a gentle disposition. He did not worry about slavery. Or being recompensed for it. No one alive has been a slave, or has owned a slave. You are smart and have all opportunities to be anything you wish! Why keep the shame of the South alive?
Let’s run down this classic propaganda piece briefly:
#1. Blood libel. Liberals do not commit infanticide. The hideous belief that Jews drink the blood of Christian babies goes back to the middle ages, but Hitler and Trump flogged it endlessly to stir up hatred. I’ve been saying for years that some of the far-right trash in this country use the word “liberal” but they really mean “Jew.”
#2 “Invaders that overwhelm the country” –- Most of Germany’s Jews had lived there for generations, just as many of America’s Hispanics date back to the 17th century. But when you can lump them in with non-existent invaders, it makes it so much easier to stir people into a murderous rage against them.
#3 “Enemy of our country”. In Germany, that meant Gypsies, Slavs, and of course “Semites.” They are THEM. Please feel free to hate them.
#4 Freedom of religion, in the eyes of the Kathies of the world, is the freedom to place their religious boots on my neck. We wouldn’t be free to believe, but we would be free to believe what Kathy believes. It’s a stance that has informed the bloodiest pages in history.
#5 Womens’ rights. Frankly, I don’t give a shit what the governments of Iran or Saudi Arabia think as far as womens rights go here, not as an excuse to ignore them here. I just note that there is no difference in the attitude towards womens’ rights between fundamentalist Moslems, Jews, or Christians. They all hate and fear women. Trump’s role model from 1942 forced abortions for women deemed ‘impure’ while putting to death women who were pure, but got abortions, since ‘pure’ is a very slippery word.
#6 Sex isn’t just the plumbing. The main sex organ is the brain. Kathy would understand that if she actually had a brain. But death camps welcome “deviants,” too.
“Finally…black people.” That says it all right there, even if Kathy had a big, black, strapping young buck as a boyfriend. Batteries not included. We should forget all about slavery, just as Kathy no doubt hopes we’ll forget all those lessons we learned from Hitler.
About 30% of the country avidly swallows the nonsense promulgated by the Kathies of the far right, and tell themselves Trump and Pence are godly and good men, just as Germans told themselves the same about Hitler, and crying Russians in the camps in Russia did about “Uncle Joe” Stalin.
‘Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.’