From the example of Scott Walker in Wisconsin, we can see clearly what we’re going to end up with if the Republicans are in charge: a return to the Articles of Confederation’s ineffective federal government and a bunch of petty little banana republic(an) despots owned by corporate interests, ignoring the law, running their states like private enrichment schemes and pretty much doing whatever they want in contravention of morality and decency and all accepted standards of proper conduct for elected officials.
There’s your Republican model of the future.
We’ve seen this before: from 1933-1945. The National Socialist Party, like the Republican, was in league with industrialists – Krupp, I.G. Farben, and others, a case of one devil selling his soul to another to get what he wanted. I.G. Farben, for example, contributed 400,000 RM (Reichsmarks) to Hitler’s campaign pocket book leading up to his seizure of power in 1933. Koch Industries, like those German industrialists, is buying the government so that Republican government and industrialists can both get what they want.
Extremism begets extremism; as Hitler himself was, he had subordinates whose behavior was so erratic that they had to be dismissed, including those who ruled the various German regions, known as Gau. These men, called Gauleiters were provincial governors who looked out not for the interests of the people they governed, but the corporate-political-military interests of the National Socialist Party. Scott Walker is doing a fine impersonation of a Nazi Gauleiter in Wisconsin.
Extremism of ideology brings out all the low-IQ, unqualified whack-jobs from the sidelines and gives them the field of play. This was true in the ’30s and it is true today. Thus we see people like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell and others – including Walker. Walker was encouraged enough by Republican extremism to engage in public thuggery on a level not usually seen today, if less uncommon in the past (Huey Long for example). But Walker is a symptom of a larger problem. He’s the head of the pimple. What is truly going on is a Republican Reich, and states have become regions, or “Gaus” of the Republican Reich. Walker is a Gauleiter, running his state like a fief, like other Republican governors, enforcing the state’s war on the worker (Hitler abolished labor unions too, remember on May 2, 1933), as well as the Republican Party’s Sexual Hygiene Laws.
We can and should equate these Sexual Hygiene Laws with National Socialism’s Racial Hygiene Laws. As Susan Bachrach writes of their Nazi incarnation,
“In democratic societies, the needs of public health sometimes require citizens to make sacrifices for the greater good, but in Nazi Germany, national or public health – Volksgesundheit – took complete precedence over individual health care” with the object of “implementing Nazi policies aiming to ‘cleanse’ German society of people viewed as biologic threats to the nation’s health.”
This is how we see our own fascists speak of the “homosexual threat” – as a disease that threatens the body politic, or feminism or atheism or liberalism or women’s reproductive rights. Every perceived threat is couched in these terms. Where it was the Jews who were primarily seen as the threat in Nazi Germany, it is homosexuals the Republicans view as one of the major threats to the so-called American way of life. Mike Huckabee says he will run on an anti-abortion platform, that it is the biggest threat to America today. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association sees out of wedlock births as that major threat.
In the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, none of them takes on the economic situation – or wars, or social injustice, or poverty, or crime. Their enemy is sex, with the same Christian-based focus on sexual impurity embraced by the Nazis in the 30s. The sexually repressed seem to take an almost prurient delight in sex, in obsessing about sex, and banning and then engaging in sex. In short, there is a lot of projecting going on by these sexually repressed bigots.
They even pull out some of the old Nazi excuses, like a declining birth rate. Marriage is for procreation, they say. It is not for pleasure. Same-sex marriage cannot produce offspring and it is therefore against nature and because (they insist) marriage is a religious institution (in reality, it is a social institution) it is against God. The Jews believed God would “vomit you out” for that. Hitler did vomit you out and the Republicans want a piece of that action too.
Look at the image below: “You also bear the burden!” it tells us, speaking clearly to you as a white male.
You are nearly overcome supporting the lesser men, the inferior men, those who are not “real” Americans. This is the “small government” argument today, that the rich should not have to pay taxes, corporations should not have to pay taxes, and nobody should have to be responsible for anybody else’s healthcare needs, or abortion or out of wedlock births or welfare support of those births (or tax dollars that could have prevented those unwanted births through contraception and sex ed) – thus no socialized medicine can be allowed. Everyone else is a burden: you also bear the burden!
No we don’t! the Tea Party and the Republicans have shouted. Don’t Tread on Me!
Interestingly, the Republicans and Tea Party, despite their call for small government and their opposition to government interference in their lives, want and demand government interference when it comes to what we do in our own bedrooms.
The Nazis believed in controlling reproduction and marriage. The Republicans feel the same. They want to control who can marry whom: no same sex marriages allowed. They don’t produce children; they’re an abomination and are to be equated with bestiality or pedophilia; they will lead to people marrying animals, etc. Opposition is all couched in language very familiar to that National Socialism. The solution is also the same: the state will control reproduction. Women’s bodies are no longer their own. The Republican Reich believes in invasive sexual politics. Prove to us your misscarriage wasn’t really an abortion! Prove to us you weren’t coerced into having that abortion!
One of the first things the Nazis did on taking power in 1933 (after banning the labor unions) was to ban abortion in Germany, turning back the more liberal laws of the Weimar period and increasing the penalties. We have already seen that Republicans treat abortion as a similarly important issue, if not more so even than the Nazis. No Nazi law, so far as I’ve been able to find, permitted the murder in “self defense” of an abortion doctor. Nor did the Nazis make miscarriages illegal, as the Republicans in some states have tried to do. While the Nazis were apparently sane enough to understand that miscarriages happen, Republicans are convinced that there are no accidents: first and foremost it must be proven that it was not a nefarious plot to murder the unborn.
Yes, the Republicans are capable of being even wackier than the Nazis, and that is saying something. It wasn’t until 1943 that the Nazis made the death penalty the legal punishment for abortion, after ten years in power. At least the Nazis didn’t pretend to be a pro-life movement. Even Göbbels couldn’t make that float.
Interestingly, conservatives ignore this Nazi interference in women’s reproductive rights and focus instead of the Nazi use of abortion for the “inferior” races, which was encouraged. This conservatives use as an argument against abortion: all pro-choicers are to be equated with Nazis because the Nazis promoted abortion (except that they did not – abortion was illegal for Germans). This is taking history and twisting it like a pretzel to make it say something it is not.
The issue here is interference in reproductive rights of the woman. Even in Weimar Germany before the rise of Hitler, abortion was a shady affair, reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor in 1926 with shorter prison sentences and a small fine. But there are no shades of gray in fascism.
The Nazis didn’t like homosexuality either. The modern conservative claim that Nazism was a homosexual plot is laughable since the Nazis sent homosexuals to the concentration camps.
The Nazis disliked homosexuality so much that in 1936, Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, went so far as to create the “Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion”. Himmler placed responsibility for the decline in the “Aryan” birthrate on male homosexuality and abortion, which the Nazis had banned in 1935. Homosexuals ran Nazism about as much as Pagans did (another modern conservative lie). In fact, what the Nazis did to the Jews Republicans want to do to the LGBT community today.
We’ve all heard the rhetoric: homosexual plots to take over America, to corrupt or school children, homosexual agents in government (when it’s not a Jihadist agent – maybe it’s a homosexual jihadist?). It’s the same rhetoric once used of Jews in Germany.
We might equate modern efforts with Nazism’s Nuremberg Laws, which aimed to strip Jews of all their rights. The Republicans disingenuously argue that any laws aimed at protecting homosexuals from persecution grant “special rights”. But equal rights are the goal, and no law aimed at leveling the playing field per the Constitution can be an example “special rights” – the result will not be a group with more rights than anyone else but a situation in which all groups have the same rights.
The truth cannot be avoided. A Republican Reich has come to America, the fascism spoken of by Henry Wallace in 1944, “spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest” who desire “to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”
They will achieve their goal through familiar Nazi tactics: divide and conquer and scapegoating, and, of course, diverting the public’s attention from the real problems facing the country. Ironically, Hitler shares the Republican fascist view of America, that it is internally rotten from the influence of its undesirables. It will be left to Americans to determine whether or not diversity is a strength, as our motto “E Pluribus Unum” claims, or whether, as both Hitler and Republican fascists claim, it makes us weak and decadent.
 Susan Bachrach, “In the Name of Public Health – Nazi Racial Hygiene,” New England Journal of Medicine (July 29, 2004), 417.