One of the first things the Nazis did at the start of their program for the total oppression of the Jews was to make it unlawful for them to vote. The Jews were declared treasonous, unpatriotic, unproductive and anti-German. The Republicans are saying the same things about the poor and the unemployed.
At a legal proceeding at the agora in Athens in 330 BC, Aeschines brought evidence against his opponent Demosthenes with the following introduction:
A fine thing, my fellow Athenians, a fine thing is the preservation of public records. Records do not change, and they do not shift sides with liars, but they grant to you, the people, the opportunity to know, whenever you want, which men, once bad, through some transformation now claim to be good.
He could have been talking about any Republican running for president, and a lot who aren't.
Demosthenes defended himself by artfully avoiding any substantive discussion of the evidence or any events relating to the charges. The evidence of his wrongdoing was not considered and Aeschines lost the contest.
We don't have to look back 2300 years to find examples of Republican style chicanery, obfuscation, prevarication and lying to avoid the evidence. We only have to look back 80 years to the 1930s in Germany to find an example that is being reflected by Republicans today.
The Nazis started their program for the total oppression of the Jews by making it illegal for them to vote. Then they declared the Jews treasonous, unpatriotic, unproductive and anti-German.
All of those declarations by the Nazis about the Jews are being repeated, verbatim, today by the Republicans about the poor and the unemployed.
Frank Gaffney, a Republican propagandist and misinformer, in his own words:
On people who associate with Muslims, Gaffney says that, "It's called misprision of treason. And that's a crime"" "I think at the very least a new House Anti-American Activities Committee."
When Joseph McCarthy became Senator from Wisconsin, he realized he was a nobody going nowhere unless he could gin up a controversy about some issue. He got with his staff and they kicked around various issues, unemployment, poverty and leftism. They finally decided on communism because it was such a nebulous, unknown and unfamiliar issue with the population and could be lied about with confidence. He made thousands of false accusations against people being communists and ruined untold numbers of people's lives. At the time, the Communist Party of America was perfectly legal.
Gaffney's and McCarthy's level of ignorance didn't allow them to know that "American" is a geographic term. It describes people who are residents of North and South America, made up of about 27 countries, one of which is the United States. When studying animals and people the zoologists and the sociolologists look at their habits to determine what they are. Everything the animals and people do are a part of what and who they are. All of an American's activities determine what is American. An American can not do anything that is un-American, just as a gorilla can not do anything that is un-gorilla or a goose can not do anything that is un-goose. Being an American is a self-defining term. All of the people compelled to testify before McCarthy's committee could have refused on the grounds that being un-American was impossible because they were Americans. Gaffney is not and McCarthy was not smart enough to know that.
Self-styled conservative libertarian (read Republican) Matthew Vadum in his own words:
"It is profoundly antisocial and un-American (there's that word, again) to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country."
Antisocial, un-American, nonproductive, destroy the country. All in one sentence. Those are the exact same phrases and wording used by the Nazis as they marched the Jews to the death camps to be exterminated. No one has been able to understand how the Nazis turned a whole civilized country against a totally innocent portion of their population and willingly participated in their extermination. Read that sentence by Vadum again and you'll see what did it. When the Republicans repeatedly tell the people that the victims of their policies, the poor and unemployed, are the cause of the problem with the country, a large enough portion of the population will believe them to start a program such as Vadum proposes, against them. It's happened before, and the Republicans are starting it up, again.
When a progressive group organizing a jobs related rally at a hotel in Richmond, Virginia where Republican Eric Cantor (he of the no disaster relief funds unless we cuts some funds to put more people out of work) was also holding some kind of event, the jobs rally group were ejected from the hotel to avoid any kind of confrontation with Cantor. Cantor said that the people holding the jobs rally were "unproductive." There's that word, again.
It's ironic that Cantor would refer to people who are trying to get jobs to go to work and produce something as unproductive. Cantor doesn't have to punch in at 8:00 and punch out at 5:00 at any kind of job. I would challenge Cantor, Gaffney and Vadum to just show me one thing that they have produced that is of any use, any utility, any benefit to anyone.
When will the people notice that the Republicans have started a program to demonize and subvert the rights of the most vulnerable of us and that caused the extermination of millions in the past?
When will the people notice that those who produce the most make the least and those who produce the least make the most?
When will the people notice that the most profitable things being sold by those who make millions from their no-cost inventory are fear, greed, hate, ignorance and lies?
All this has been done before. It's being done again.
Ed Martin is an ordinary person who is recovering from being badly over-educated. Born in the middle of the Great Depression, he is not affiliated with nor a member of any political, social or religious organization. He is especially interested in the phenomenon of those who view the glaringly obvious with total incomprehension, in other words, out political, social and religious leaders.