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Germans saluting the head of Nazi Party, Adolf Hitler, during a birthday celebration.

Germans cheer Adolf Hitler on his 51st birthaday as he stands on the balcony of the Reich Chancellory. (Photo: Bettman / via Getty Images)

Americans Now Have an Opportunity to Determine Their Response to Rising Fascism

It is now clear what direction this cult known as the Republican Party is taking.

Nancy Braus

Every week we witness a new, sometimes hidden or subtle, sometimes very blatant step toward normalizing violence as the solution to political problems. The Republican party is taking the late 1920's-1930's strategy of the Nazi party in Germany and using this model of bringing fascism to our door and manipulating voting so it will appear to be an elected choice.

When I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC about ten years ago, I was mesmerized by the portion of the museum dedicated to propaganda that brought the German public into the acceptance phase of a government committed mass murder of Jews, Communists, the Roma people, and people with disabilities. Also accepted was the notion that the above named groups were not human, so cruel and painful medical experimentation on these subjects was just fine with the German public. The newspapers and the radio broadcasts moved gradually from vilifying these German citizens to justifying rounding them up (in order to purify the German people) to eventually an accepted "final solution."

So with a model like this, how do we interpret the current, ever more hate filled and violent rhetoric emanating from the Republican party, which can now be called the white supremacist far right? If I tried to list all the hate speech that has threatened death or bodily injury to people of color, the many acts of racist violence since 2015, the ways in which state sanctioned violence aimed at left and environmental activists and people of color are proliferating—legalizing running down protesters with cars, using water cannons on peaceful protesters at Standing Rock, I could go on and on—this essay would be hundreds of pages long.

So where is the far right, aka the Republican Party, headed? Well, if we are to believe them, and why should we not, there is a violent confrontation ahead. For those of us who work for racial and social justice, peaceful resolution of conflicts, and that radical notion of teaching our children our true history, this is all potentially going away if Republicans take control of all the branches of government. If we are to believe those who are currently leading the Republican Party, and the vast majority of those who belong to this cult, elections are only legitimate if they win. We are at a point now where Donald Trump's absurd and ridiculous whine that he really won in 2020 has taken hold among his minions in a non-reversible way. This creates a real dilemma for the leadership, as most if not all know that Trump really lost the numbers count by millions of votes.

As has been stated by every pundit who is not a member of the far right, the voting restrictions and extreme partisan gerrymandering likely will have the effect of electing ever more extreme House representatives espousing violence such as Congressman Paul Gosar. The fact that almost no Republicans feel the need to protect a fellow member from armed thugs such as Gosar who openly threaten her with death says loudly and clearly that if they don't get their way, the solution is violence. None of the current crop of the far right in the House or Senate has any interest in negotiation, open communication, or even any sort of issue debate. It is clear from the direction this cult is taking, as they have told us and showed us with their unequivical support of the January 6 traitors, that violence and intimidation are the direction they prefer.

So what are our solutions?

PRIORITY: Call your senators and House representatives today and demand breaking the filibuster in order to pass a strong voting rights law. Joe Manchin promised to get Republicans on board, but he failed completely, It is up to the Democrats right now before the midterms, because if not now, it will be too late for decades or maybe for ever. We will be opening the door to permanent minority rule, and all the insanity and cruelty that the Republicans have been salivating over for the past 5 years.

Should we fail, and the current violent, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, heteronormative regime of Republicans takes over the House and Senate it is time to talk secession. Why should we pay taxes to a government that wants us dead? Why should we be part of a country run by deniers of climate destruction when the crisis is upon us? When we see the truly racist and biased "judge" in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, is this the "justice" system we crave? If the Republican base can hurl death threats at members of the House for voting in favor of roads and bridges in the infrastructure bill, and yet support the most hateful members wholeheartedly, it is time for us to move on.

Pre-Trump, people sometimes played with the thought exercise "if you were alive during the rise of Hitler in Germany, what would you have done?" Well whatever that might be, going along to get along, or risking your life and livelihood to speak up and resist, you are doing it now.


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Nancy Braus

Nancy Braus is the co-owner and buyer for Everyone's Books in Brattleboro, Vermont. She has been an environmental and peace activist for decades, as well as a volunteer for Bernie Sanders and other progressive candidates.

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