Over the past half-century, there has been a concerted effort by the Left to paint mainstream conservatives as fascists. The constant drumbeat of “everyone I don’t like is literally Hitler” has so desensitized many Americans to the real threat of actual vile neo-Nazis, that many don’t know if the media are actually talking about real neo-Nazis or just conflating conservatives with fascists again.
Then when you add in the violent anarcho-communist group Antifa, which truly believes that all conservatives are fascists, you have a recipe for disaster. White supremacists and neo-Nazis are disgusting thugs. They should have no sway in the American body politic. That is why it is so dangerous for the media and Left to conflate conservatives with these vile creatures.
CR’s Chris Pandolfo showed last week that when those on the Left equate all conservatives with fascists, they embolden the real Nazis. Pandolfo’s point is spot on, but the problem goes back well before just this past week. Here are nine times the Left has falsely smeared conservatives and Republicans as fascists.
1. 1968 Convention coverage and the “crypto-Nazi”
Larry Elder recounted the long history of conservatives being called Nazis and fascists in a 2012 column. Elder recalls the 1968 nominating convention coverage, when ABC pitted the left-wing Gore Vidal against William F. Buckley. Vidal called Buckley a “crypto-Nazi” and Buckley quickly hit back.
2. The GOP/Nazi connection
The left-wing non-profit Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting wrote in September of 1988 about the supposed GOP/Nazi connection. The story was about how it was uncovered that some people that George H.W. Bush had appointed to ethnic coalitions had possible ties to Nazis in Europe during WWII. The implication that FAIR makes is that these ties were known, and therefore, Republicans are Nazis.
3. After 2004 election, “fascists control all three branches of our government …”
After the 2004 election, Bob Fertik of the blog Democrats.com became unhinged. He said:
Americans did not vote for fascism – but the fascists now control all three branches of our government: the Presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court. In 1935, Sinclair Lewis warned against the rise of an American fascism in ‘It Can’t Happen Here’. Well, it can – and it will, unless we stop it now.
This is the same sort of thing that the Left said immediately after Donald Trump was elected. The only thing that changed about the Left’s tune is the date it was performed.
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4. MoveOn.org video contest gets Bush-is-Hitler entries
In 2004, MoveOn.org asked their readers to submit 30-second spots about George W. Bush for use as a television spot. Two of those spots featured strong correlations between Bush and Hitler. When asked about the videos, MoveOn.org said that they did not endorse the content – that they left up – and quickly pivoted to compare it to something a conservative once did.
Rachel Maddow and Dick Armey argued about the ads. Here is one of the ads:
5. D.C. teacher instructs students to compare Bush to Hitler
The comparisons of Bush to Hitler were so strong that a sixth-grade teacher in the District of Columbia thought it was cool to ask her students to compare the two men in a homework assignment. USA Today reported on the story in 2014:
Now that we have read about two men of power who abused their power in various ways, we will compare and contrast them and their actions,” the assignment reads. “Please refer to your texts, ‘Fighting Hitler – A Holocaust Story’ and ‘Bush: Iraq War Justified Despite No WMD’ to compare and contrast former President George W. Bush and Hitler. We will use this in class tomorrow for an activity!”
That isn’t education; it is indoctrination.
6. Keith Ellison compared Bush to Hitler in 2007
In July of 2007, Rep. Keith Ellison, D. Minn., compared George W. Bush to Hitler. Ellison was a serious contender to chair the Democratic Party after its 2016 election debacle. Ellison stopped just short of going full-truther.
Addressing a gathering of atheists in his home state of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, a Democrat, compared the 9/11 atrocities to the destruction of the Reichstag, the German parliament, in 1933. This was probably burned down by the Nazis in order to justify Hitler’s later seizure of emergency powers.
“It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that,” Mr Ellison said. “After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted.”
To applause from his audience of 300 members of Atheists for Human Rights, Mr Ellison said he would not accuse the Bush administration of planning 9/11 because “you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box – dismiss you”.
That’s a normal mainstream thought right there. Remember this guy was a SERIOUS contender for the chairmanship of the Democratic Party.
7. Bush paints like Hitler …
The Weekly Standard highlighted a Huffington Post piece in 2013, in which an art critic reviewed the painting style of George W. Bush, and compared it to Hitler’s. Of course the critic said that he was only comparing the painting styles, and how it was evocative of student painting.
Umm, yeah … of course — because there were no other student painters you could have compared Bush to. This trope resurfaced in 2017 when the Boston Globe got someone to compare Donald Trump’s signature to Heinrich Himmler’s. Yes, that happened.
8. Former NYT “journalist,” and professor, Chris Hedges urges crowd to “Fight GOP fascism”
Everyone Chris Hedges doesn’t agree with is a fascist. Watch:
9. Massachusetts Democrats’ “Lock-Step” ad featuring Limbaugh “Nazi salute”
During the 2010 special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, the Massachusetts Democratic establishment got scared around two weeks before the election when they realized that Scott Brown would probably win over Martha Coakley. I wrote, at the blog I then owned (Red Mass Group), about an ad that put Brown’s face on the screen with Rush Limbaugh, whose hand was raised to simulate a Nazi salute.
Here’s the ad. The Limbaugh “salute” comes at 0:07:
That’s an overt dog whistle to Democrats, who were warming to Scott Brown the “fascist” in the Massachusetts Democrats’ eyes.
These are just a few of the instances in which the Left has irresponsibly reached far and wide to call all Republicans and/or conservatives “fascists.” There are countless more examples. Is there any wonder, then, that some conservatives feel they need to be convinced that evil groups really are evil, when they themselves have been smeared for so long?
Editor’s note: The Scott Brown for U.S. Senate campaign was a client of Rob Eno’s during the 2010 and 2012 elections for U.S. Senate.
Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.