Monday, October 24, 2016

Trump Supporters Shout "Lügenpresse" At Rally

As much as the GOP establishment - and even some Republican friends - try to deny the ugliness that is now synonymous with the GOP, everyday Trump supporters continue to give evidence of the hatred and fascism that motivates much of the party base.  Trump has claimed repeatedly that the media is crooked and/or working against him and now we are hearing Trump supporters chanting a term much used by Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party as they clawed their way to power. True, the term originated in World War I as Germany found itself surrounded on East and West, but it was the Nazis who took the term to prominence.  Is it a mere coincidence that Trump - who, like his BFF Vladimir Putin - has modeled his demagoguery on Hitler's model now has supporters shouting slogans favored by the Nazis?  Candidly, I think not.  A piece in the Washington Post looks at the frightening phenomenon.  Here are excerpts:
BERLIN — When a video of two Donald Trump supporters shouting “Lügenpresse” (lying press) started to circulate Sunday, viewers from Germany soon noted its explosive nature. The defamatory word was most frequently used in Nazi Germany. Today, it is a common slogan among those branded as representing the “ugly Germany”: members of xenophobic, right-wing groups.
Its use across the Atlantic Ocean at a Trump rally has worried Germans who know about its origins all too well. Both the Nazi regime and the East German government made use of it, turning it into an anti-democracy slogan.
The verbal attacks against journalists soon turned into physical violence in Germany.
It is without doubt that the word “Lügenpresse” has an extremely ugly meaning in modern-day Germany.
Its history is even worse, though.  The term emerged way before the Nazis took over in Germany. . . . the term was coined by Reinhold Anton in 1914. In books, Anton used the term mainly in a foreign context to refer to “enemy propaganda.”
A decade later, it had turned into an explosive and stigmatizing propaganda slogan, used to stir hatred against Jews and communists. Critics of Adolf Hitler's regime were frequently referred to as members of the “Lügenpresse apparatus.”
Until today, the word has an anti-Semitic connotation, and it implies hatred not only against journalists but against everyone who opposes the “will of the people.” That abstract concept emerged during World War II when Hitler sought to propagate the idea that Germans were a "master race" superior to all others, especially Jews and Slavic people.
The consequences of that rhetoric — of which the term “Lügenpresse” was an important component under propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels — were horrifying. Millions of people were killed in concentration camps by the Nazis, including Jews, political opponents and homosexuals.
Although the word disappeared from public discourse for almost half a century in democratic West Germany, it continued to flourish in communist East Germany, where it was used to condemn Western countries, including the United States.
As I have noted before, I was raised to remember that you are known by those with whom you keep company.  With much of the GOP base now acting like active KKK members and/or Neo-Nasis, how do supposedly "decent Republicans" justify the company that they are keeping? 

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