Have you ever been accused of something you didn't do or weren't? It stings, no matter your age or position or the number of times you've been exonerated. False accusations seem to be the new normal for America and they are everywhere.
Take Democratic Congresswoman, Yvette Clark. Recently, she stood in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs building and compared the people inside to the Gestapo - the Gestapo, mind you! For those too young to remember, the Gestapo (the Nazi Secret Police) rounded up millions of innocent Jews, among others, and shoved them into cattle cars. The destination? Concentration camps and certain death. And she delivered these remarks: “We are standing in front of a building that has become the headquarters for the Gestapo of the United States of America,” on Holocaust remembrance weekend!
I get the fact that she is angry and wants to make a point about recent ICE arrests, but her words were more than just insensitive; they were incendiary and slanderous. They should have never been uttered. I suspect that Ms. Clark has never been violently removed from her home, dragged by her hair to a waiting paddy wagon, taken to a delousing station, beaten, robbed of her valuables, branded with a number on her forearm and then transported by rail car to a work camp.
I suspect, too, that she has never been the victim of wanton attacks on her person because she looked different or that her race was considered inferior and worthy of total eradication. Ask the Holocaust survivors which is worse, the Gestapo or ICE. Show films of Gestapo treatment to those arrested by ICE and ask them which they'd prefer. You will not be surprised by the answers. If it were just the idiotic comments of one Congressman or Congresswoman I would say it was an aberration, an anomaly, but it's not.
The alleged Nazification of the Trump Administration is pervasive, and it is the Trump-obsessed loonies of the Left that are responsible. This week, we also saw and heard the bigotry of yet another Congresswoman and former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Ms. Pelosi made what is perhaps her most vicious remark to date, this time about the White House' (and the President's) proposal on a DACA fix.
Her quote should live on in infamy and precede any remarks on the 'crawl' underneath her picture on television every time she is interviewed if only to remind the viewer just how far off her axis this lady is: “The administration’s anti-immigrant framework is an act of staggering cowardice which attempts to hold the DREAMers hostage to a hateful anti-immigrant scheme. The 50 percent cut to legal immigration in the framework and the recent announcements to end Temporary Protected Status for Central Americans and Haitians are both part of the same cruel agenda. They are part of the Trump administration’s unmistakable campaign to make America White again."
Nazis, White Supremacists, misogynists, vile unfounded name-calling. They all point to a political party that is running on empty, is bereft of ideas and has resorted to labeling a whole administration and a president as supporters of a fourth Reich, conducting a war against the defenseless and engaged in a form of ethnic cleansing to "make a America White again." Shame on you, Nancy Pelosi and shame on you Yvette Clark.
If there are comparisons to be made, one might liken remarks like yours to the feverish attempts of Nazis to root out Jews by encouraging average citizens to believe their phony propaganda and inform on them. It is but a short step from hateful rhetoric to hate-filled actions. It is also worth remembering that bearing false witness is the ninth Commandment, and that in 16 European countries and Israel, denying the Holocaust actually happened is a crime. Though it is not a crime here in the United States to say such things (free speech being defended by our First Amendment), we have no protection against idiotic and inflammatory speech, except for our own good judgment on what is fair and appropriate.
When our Congressional Representatives feel free to compare our government and its employees to Nazi death squads and our President to an advocate for racial purity, perhaps it's time we imposed some requirements on them, like taking refresher courses in history and civility.
Stephan Helgesen is a retired U.S. diplomat and now political analyst and author. He has written eight books and over 750 articles on politics, economics and social trends. He can be reached at: email@example.com