Right wing insurrectionists with backgrounds in violence, antisemitism, and fascism are plotting to overthrow the United States government and protest a legitimate presidential election won by a Democrat. It must be 1940.
I prided myself in knowing something about American history especially around the time of the Second World War as it was drummed into my head as early as the sixth grade a mere 15 years after the war’s end. I knew about Franklin Roosevelt and his defeat of Wendell Willkie and I thought I understood that there were forces in the United States that embraced Nazi Germany having seen the film of the Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden. Surely, I believed that after Pearl Harbor, those forces went away. They did not.
I had read Phillip Roth’s book The Plot Against America and was aware of the strains of antisemitism that pervaded the country in the 1930s and 1940s. I thought I knew all this. I knew nothing.
In this excellent podcast put together by Rachel Maddow (I know that my conservative friends hate her, but you cannot argue with her brilliance), she relates the history of a large movement to overthrow the federal government, successfully destroy military production facilities, and actually have emissaries of the Third Reich writing speeches for 24 members of Congress, having the members give the speeches, and then sending copies of the speeches to their constituents using the franking privilege paid for by American tax payers. All of this was in 1940.
That’s right. The insurrection of January 6, 2021 was nothing compared to that year’s (1940) long attempt to install a dictatorship in Washington, DC that was largely based on the propaganda that Jews were running the world and they had to be stopped, by force if necessary.
After listening to this podcast, I began to understand my parents’ fears of the “knock on the door” a little bit better. There really were large swaths of the American people who wanted to kill them and, I guess, me with them. These same strains of antisemitism, anti-immigrant, anti-minority bigotry is alive and well today and it is very much alive in Congress where a vocal, rowdy minority of Republicans held the entire House chamber hostage by reducing Kevin McCarthy to a bowl of Jello in his quest to become Speaker. It was the worst display of mischief by a minority blocking the election of a Speaker in over 100 years.
So those of you who support the current Republican Party need to take a hard look at exactly what it is that you are supporting. And that goes for the Democrats, too. Even Congress cannot spend our grandchildren’s tax dollars forever. This is precisely why I will not support most politicians with my dollars.
I urge you to listen to this podcast about a long-forgotten era when fascism, and in particular, Naziism were embraced by a large number of our elected representatives and senators. It took the investigatory work of newspaper men and women, the federal Justice Department, and even independent, amateur infiltrators of the Silver Shirts, and other Nazi sympathizers to finally purge the country of this blight. But, of course, the blight is not gone. We still have the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys plotting to overthrow the government and kidnap governors.
We can never be too vigilant, especially we Jews. The Nazis will come after us first, but they won’t stop there. You’re next.