Nazi. Oh, no, you can't use that word! Not even if the Jan. 6 Trump Insurrection seems like a direct descendent of the 1933 Reichstag Fire. Now, we have a new Big Lie that nefarious forces in several states, some of them governed by Republicans, somehow stole the election.
The original Big Lie emerged from "Mein Kampf" as the author boasted a strategy of telling a colossal falsehood that people would believe because “no one could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” In short, never underestimate the gullibility of your followers.
We report, you decide.
Mark Twain is loosely credited with saying “History doesn't repeat but it rhymes.”
Well, traitors are red, violence ain't new ...
OK, the “Nazi” label makes you uncomfortable. What about “fascist,” then? After all, corporations are people, right, only with far more power than voters in our system of legalized bribery. And surely you noticed the Mussolini preening. Too harsh? Maybe we could settle on “authoritarian” or, more accurately, “Republican.”
Oh, now you're mad, huh, oh noble conservative? Please. Don't call yourself a conservative. Not anymore. Anyway, aren't they extinct? Historically, conservatives were stodgy, hypocritical scolds — cavemen and church ladies with wedgies and hemorrhoids but you could trust them to stand up for things like the Constitution, democracy, free elections and single-malt Scotch.
If indeed conservatives still exist they've gone mute.
DISCLAIMER: At this point, we're obligated by the Columnist's Code of Fair Play (it's one side of a recipe card) to remind everyone that Republicans are the Party of Lincoln. You guys freed the slaves! Way to go! BLUM! (Black Lives Used to Matter.) Obviously, not everyone got the memo, least of all the frothing white supremacists who stalked Mike Pence and killed cops at the U.S. Capitol. Blue lives once mattered, too.
Now, only power matters — Republicans are goosestepping right over democracy in a bad-faith effort to discredit a legitimate election. It's a dangerous ploy, and most Republican politicians are just watching the parade like kids hoping to score some candy. Well, just “going along” with Donald J. Trump's dictatorial ambitions is complicity. Silence is complicity.
Wasn't there a time when leaders had ethics and stood up for truth, justice, and the American way? Or maybe that was Mighty Mouse. Some courage and patriotism would surely be welcome now. Seriously, the best we can do is Liz Cheney? Well, her father once shot a lawyer in the face, so some might argue that there's some pedigree there.
Today's mutant Party of the Purge no longer embraces democracy. If they can't win an election, they'll pretend they did just to rile up the ignorant. Damn the consequences. If they can't get voters to support their “Save the Rich, Screw the Poor,” platform, they'll simply make it harder for poor people to vote.
The truth is Trump lost the election because he was dishonest, dangerous and incompetent, but few Republicans dare speak that truth. Many members of his blindly allegiant base are just sad, ill-informed pawns duped by far-fetched conspiracy theories; others, politicians prominent among them, simply don't care about democracy, and probably never did. They only care about power — about themselves.
So what are we supposed to call people like that? Nazis? Fascists? Authoritarians? Republicans?
The lines are getting increasingly blurred.
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this publication, nor Forum Communications ownership.