In my last column, I described how I have come to better understand the moral problem of the “‘good German,’ the term used to describe the average, presumably decent German, who did nothing to hurt Jews but also did nothing to help them and did nothing to undermine the Nazi regime.”
Watching America accept the rationally and morally indefensible physical and economic lockdown of the country, I concluded: “Apathy in the face of tyranny turns out not to be a German or Russian characteristic. I just never thought it could happen in America.”
In one week, it has gotten worse. Now we are faced with a lockdown on speech the likes of which have never been seen in America. And the parallels with Germany are even more stark. The left-wing party (the Democrats) and the left-wing media (the “mainstream media”) are using the mob invasion of the Capitol exactly the way the Nazis used the Reichstag fire.
On Feb. 27, 1933, exactly one month after the Nazis came to power, the German parliament building, the Reichstag, was set ablaze. The Nazis blamed the fire on their archenemy, the communists, and used the fire to essentially extinguish the Communist Party and its ability to publish, speak or otherwise spread its message. Using the Reichstag fire as an excuse, the Nazis passed the Enabling Act, a law that gave the Nazi chancellor, Adolf Hitler, the power to pass laws by decree — without the Reichstag.
Now to America 2021.
On Jan. 6, 2021, a right-wing mob of a few hundred people broke away from a peaceful right-wing protest involving tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of American conservatives and forced its way into the U.S. Capitol. One Capitol policeman was killed after being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, and one of the right-wing Capitol invaders was shot by a Capitol police officer. (A handful of others who died in the vicinity of the Capitol did so of nonviolent causes.) Aside from smashed windows, the mob seems to have done little damage to the Capitol. Their intent is still not clear. It seems to have been largely catharsis. They hurt no legislators, and if they intended to overthrow the government, they were delusional.
Beginning the next day, the American left used the Capitol mob just as the Nazis used the Reichstag: as an excuse to subjugate its conservative enemies and further squelch civil liberties in America — specifically, freedom of speech.
Twitter not only permanently banned the account of president of the United States but permanently banned him from Twitter. Any Twitter account found tweeting Donald Trump was permanently banned.
The left was able to do all this not only by using the Capitol mob incident but also by engaging in a series of lies.
The first was blaming the attack on President Donald Trump. Over and over, in every left-wing medium and stated repeatedly by Democrats, Trump is blamed for “inciting” the riot in his speech just before it took place. Almost never is a Trump quote cited. Because there is none. On the contrary, he did say, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard” (italics added).
Another lie was the immediate labeling of the mob attack on the Capitol as “insurrection.” All left-wing media and Democrats now refer to the event as an “insurrection,” a term defined by almost every dictionary as “an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.” As morally repulsive as the actions of the mob were, they did not constitute a revolt against civil authority or an established government. Disrupting the work of legislators for a few hours — as wrong as that was — does not constitute a “revolt.”
But what proves the left’s “insurrection” label is a lie is that Democrats and their media never once labeled the left-wing riots of 2020 — which involved the destruction by fire and/or occupation and vandalizing of police stations, and the establishment of “autonomous zones,” which, by definition, revolted against “established governments” — as an “insurrection.” The enormous number of businesses burned down, looted or otherwise destroyed was barely covered by the mainstream media, and their violent perpetrators were almost never prosecuted, let alone condemned, as engaging in an insurrection.
Dozens of people were killed in these riots, yet there was more outcry and condemnation against the hourslong occupation of the U.S. Capitol than against six months of left-wing violent riots.
Then, like the Nazi regime after the Reichstag fire, the left immediately moved to further curtail civil liberties, specifically conservatives’ ability to promote their ideas. Twitter and Amazon made it impossible for the alternative to Twitter, Parler, to exist, all in the name of preventing another right-wing “insurrection.”
In the name of the Capitol “insurrection,” the Democrats announced they would impeach the president of the United States, though he had only 14 days left in office.
In the name of the Capitol “insurrection,” the editor of Forbes, Randall Lane, announced that Forbes media was “holding those who lied for Trump accountable” in what he called “a truth reckoning”: “Hire any of Trump’s (press secretaries),” Lane warned, “and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie.”
In the name of the Capitol mob attack, 159 law professors at Chapman University have called for the firing of John Eastman, a tenured fellow law professor and holder of an endowed chair at Chapman — because “his actions Wednesday (that) helped incite a riot.” Eastman had spoken at the Trump rally.
The professors ended their Los Angeles Times letter: “He does not belong on our campus.”
Words well chosen.
What the left is doing is announcing — and enforcing — that conservatives “do not belong” in our society. The parallels to 1933 are precise. And most good Americans are keeping silent, just as did most Germans. Though they do not risk being beaten up, are Americans in 2021 as afraid of the American left as Germans in 1933 were of the German fascists? We’re about to find out.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.