Quote# 141146

One of the most evil aspects of Nazi ideology was the dehumanization of its opponents: the Jews, communists, Poles, Gypsies, gays and so forth. It was a necessary precondition, psychologically, for what ultimately became mass murder.

But it takes other forms, too, that are harder to spot. We may use them ourselves occasionally in considering political opponents and not even realize it. The effect, though, is no less dehumanizing.

A very recent example of the dehumanization of conservatives came against Sen. Ted Cruz, who was confronted by activist Tammy Talpas over his support for repealing Obamacare, “If you force me into a high-risk pool, you will either bankrupt me or kill me. I take these threats of medical aggression personally and seriously, and I can assure you I’m not the only Texan who does. My question is: Will you pledge to submit to a DNA test to prove that you’re human?”

The implication, of course, is that if you support repealing Obamacare, you lack human compassion. You’re less than human.

This is a rather mild form, yet still pretty common, of dehumanization tactics by the left.

It has also been used to legitimize forms of political violence. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), said to be a serious contender for the Democratic nomination in 2020, when asked a silly question by Ellen DeGeneres on television of who she’d rather be stuck in an elevator with, President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Vice President Mike Pence, joked, “Does one of us have to come out alive?”

Now potential political violence against the President and those in his administration has become a punchline on daytime talk shows.

Last year, other forms of political violence described against the President included portraying the assassination of President Donald Trump in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” or Kathy Griffin’s depicted decapitation of Trump.

President Trump himself has been repeatedly portrayed as a modern-day Hitler. If you support him, you must be a Nazi. “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams has written often on the dangers of this Hitlerization of our politics.

The “punch a Nazi” campaign itself was a somewhat ironic twist of history, insofar as the dehumanizing tactic since World War II has become to portray one’s opponents as Nazi monsters, in this case Trump supporters, who are similarly bereft of the right to live without fear of violence.

To be clear, neither Trump nor his supporters are Nazis. They are being portrayed as Nazis by the left, which makes it easier, psychologically, to deck one on the street.

Ask yourself: Do you own a “Make America Great Again” hat? Would you think twice before putting it on and walking down a city street today? If you answer the latter in the affirmative, congratulations, you too are a victim of political intimidation.

There is little wonder why this demonization led to violent riots in San Jose and Chicago during the election campaign with Trump supporters being physically assaulted. Then there was the attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, Sen. Rand Paul and other Republicans at a Congressional baseball game practice in June 2017 by James Hodgkinson, a radicalized nut who thought President Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election.

This dehumanization also legitimizes using the color of law to prosecute one’s political opponents, for example with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecution of Trump campaign officials as somehow being foreign agents in league with Russia.

In a recent Saturday Night Live skit portraying Mueller, Becca K. played by Cecily Strong, representing Democrats, is devastated to learn that President Donald Trump might not be prosecuted by Mueller. But, Kate McKinnon, depicting Mueller, offers a consolation prize: “If it makes you feel any better, the Kush is cooked,” referring to the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner as potentially being the target of prosecution.

In short, they might not be able to get the President, but destroying the First Family will have to do. That’ll show him and everyone else what the consequences of opposition are.

Similarly, any communication by Trump with Russia — principal among the President’s Article II constitutional power to conduct foreign affairs — is viewed as tantamount to treason. This has manifested itself even at the White House, where almost every diplomatic visit or call with Russia instantly leaks and then is criminalized by media outlets.

Most recently President Trump’s conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin calling for talks on preventing another nuclear arms race — you know, which might prevent a nuclear war — was leaked and again used to portray the President as a foreign agent. This, despite a long history of American presidents since John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev installed the red telephone after the Cuban Missile Crisis, who engaged with talks with Russia first on strategic arms limitations and then eventually, reductions.

Elsewhere, this dehumanization has resulted in opponents of gun control measures — which really amount to gun confiscation — by the March for our Lives movement being accused of complicity in the murdering of children by Nikolas Cruz. Surviving Parkland student Cameron Kasky told Sen. Marco Rubio, at the CNN forum on Feb. 21, “Senator Rubio, it’s hard to look at you and not look down the barrel of an AR-15 and not look at Nikolas Cruz.” Disagree with them, and you support mass murder. You’re an accomplice.

The dehumanization of the opposition can even be used to delegitimize reasonable discourse itself. There was the push to “unfriend” Trump supporters on Facebook. Actor Robert De Niro’s reaction to the success of the new Roseanne show, said to be pro-Trump (perhaps insofar as it’s not anti-Trump), was to suggest it wasn’t worth discussing, “We’re at a point … where it’s beyond trying to see another person’s point of view.”

In 2016, De Niro blatantly used the dehumanizing tactic, calling Trump a “dog” who he’d like to “punch in the face.”

Mind you, this is not merely about the animalization of the opposition, portraying opponents in the guise of animals or other creatures, often quite common for example in political cartoons. That’s not what we’re talking about here.

When combined with some of the other elements described above, fed by a genuine belief that the opponent truly is less than human, then yes, the animalization of political enemies — which was absolutely used by the Nazis — can become a potent weapon. Couple it with, say, a call to violence or use it to portray entire groups or races of people as subhuman, and you’ve probably crossed that line.

That’s plenty of examples. They are by no means exhaustive. And dehumanization is not merely the province of the left, but recently it has become increasingly prevalent with gathering support in the mainstream.

It should be alarming.

But it isn’t.

The Ted Cruz story where he’s supposed to take a DNA test to prove he’s human was shared tens of thousands of times as it was reported across media outlets almost as an afterthought. Maybe you saw it on your Facebook feed this week. It’s just a joke, right?

The question perhaps we should ask is what impact this might be having on the nation at large? Because it appears that it is really beginning to take its toll.

Recall, not only can dehumanization be used to legitimize political violence, in its most extreme form, in Germany, after years of endless state-run propaganda, it was channeled toward the destruction of millions of people.

Right now, we’re clearly not there yet in this country. But when one half of the nation starts to believe the other half is no longer worthy of rights or even basic respect, the country is in trouble.

There are consequences for this tactic, which on the surface may appear to simply serve a partisan agenda. Something to agitate supporters in preparation of the next round of elections. But underneath, it seems to bear all the hallmarks of pure hatred. This is not how you win elections. It’s how you create social discord.

The real danger is that this demonization of Trump, his supporters, conservatives and others is that it could be generating true believers, who no longer see their opponents as fellow Americans — and perhaps not even from the same species.

Robert Romano, Tennessee Star 16 Comments [11/4/2018 1:19:17 PM]
Fundie Index: 6
Submitted By: Shakesmyhead

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hydrolythe

Since when is punching people with bad ideas the equivalent of dehumanizing them? Not to mention the tolerance paradox. If you tolerate Nazis and their views become mainstream there'll be no tolerance anymore. Seriously, he didn't think at all.

11/4/2018 1:25:38 PM

Kanna

DARVO seems to fit this post pretty well: deny, attack, reverse victim and oppressor. Mr. Romano seems to be somewhat of a drama queen, as well as a delicate little flower who cannot deal with the flaws of his own party directly, but must counter-attack because the GOP of today is indefensible.

11/4/2018 1:27:09 PM

Canadiest

If they don't want to be shunned and berated like selfish uncaring elitist Nazis bitches then quit being selfish uncaring elitist Nazis bitches.

11/4/2018 1:49:50 PM



"This is a rather mild form, yet still pretty common, of dehumanization tactics by the left."

From the fundie 2 posts above:

"As you will notice,the sins of not having regard for the poor and needy,being overfed and complacent,although sinful are not punishable by death under Levitical law....homosexuality however is."

11/5/2018 5:22:54 AM

Anon-e-moose

This man did more than just punch Nazis:



In the air in his P-51 Mustang, or on the ground with the Resistance in France, inferior subhuman Nazis don't look all that human in a plane gunsight's crosshairs, the sights of a gun or prior to an explosion in the distance.

There's an extremely good reason why hero of WWII and veteran of Vietnam Chuck Yeager refused to endorse Donald Fart.

You can ask his US Army/Marine comrades who were at Omaha Beach: about the many more who never returned from that charnel house.

Certainly about Nazis' right to exist. WWII, post-Charlottesville, makes no difference.

Would a human being so much as think the same way as Shitler & co.: or the Alt-Shite & those... things on r/The_Donald...?!

It wouldn't have killed a certain Austrian to have been the proto-Willy Brandt. It wouldn't kill Donald Fart to be exactly like Obama.

Would it kill the GOP & Trumptards to be exactly like Arnold Schwarzenegger: and he's a Republican.

Supreme Commander of Yeager & co. in WWII & Commander-in-Chief of the same US Armed Forces he was SC of previously Dwight D. Eisenhower was a Republican: and President:



Now, who to respect: Trumpo or Ike. My, but that one's a toughie, eh...?! [/Doug Piranha-levels of sarcasm]

Donald Fart or Dwight D. Eisenhower: who truly made America great, again...?!

11/5/2018 5:58:59 AM

Chloe

Fuck off. Anyone who reads real news can see how shitty the GOp and Trump are, even before he admitted to being a nationalist.

11/5/2018 1:34:19 PM

HS

Your side engages in constant dehumanisation of 85+% of humanity. Their side maybe said some nasty things about your Gawd-Emprah, his retard spawn and their acolytes and bootlickers, as well as pointing to well-substantiated evidence of their criminal activity.

Kindly, fuck off with your bullshit, OK? If your side was the target of even 0.1% of what you dish out on anyone even slightly different to you, you'd just spend the rest of your life crying about how mean everyone else is to the poor, little yous.

11/5/2018 4:12:46 PM



sounds like a special snowflake to me. especially when a joke about ppl bein proscuted somehow counts dehumanization.

11/6/2018 1:46:00 AM

Swede

I’d say it’s Ted who’s the activist here. He’s the one wanting to refuse people necessary care, and thereby dehumanizing them. And yes, depriving people of medical care is seriously lacking in compassion.

You think a silly joke is dehumanizing? What then do you think about Trump stating he wants to use nukes on human beings? All the right-wing “comedians” liking the former president with a monkey?

Actually, political violence is not dehumanizing. It’s when you start calling other people “vermin” or “infestations” that you are removing their humanity.

Yup, if you support the suppression of the free press, you're some form of Nazi or fascist.

Again, the Nazis were human beings. Portraying your right-wing opponents as Nazis is not dehumanizing.

No, I don’t own any stupid red hat made in China, by a leader portraying himself as bringing jobs back to the US.
Would you dare to wear a Bernie Sanders t-shirt, while walking down a city street, Bobby?

Quite a few people, in many parts of the world, think President Trump (or at least members off his staff) colluded with Russia to steal the election. If they did, it would be illegal, close to treason, and that’s why it’s being investigated. Your lot would chant “string her up” if it was Clinton that was suspected of this. But that’s somehow not dehumanization, right? Just like comparing the former president with chimpanzees, or theorizing that he’s not an American, isn't dehumanizing...

The gun control measures are limited to making guns at least as regulated as driving or getting an abortion. That is all.
Guns are the ultimate dehumanization tool. With them, you turn a human being into a corpse.

11/6/2018 3:45:05 AM

Doubting Thomas

The implication, of course, is that if you support repealing Obamacare, you lack human compassion. You’re less than human.


Well, what else would you call someone who wants to take away people's health care? Or at the very least, someone who doesn't care that some people have no access to health care?

11/6/2018 7:27:49 AM

NonProphet

"To be clear, neither Trump nor his supporters are Nazis."

Not even the ones wearing swastika armbands? You know, the ones marching down the street with torches, sieg-heiling and running down nonviolent protesters with their cars?
And especially not Richard Spencer, the guy who was the spark for the "punch a Nazi" trend? The guy who was an outspoken white supremacist was just a good ol' innocent conservative, was he? I guess the jury agrees; they found his assailant guilty. Oh, but wait, the jury of mixed liberals & conservatives sent him home with a whopping $1 fine and no other punishment.

Spare me your fake outrage and outright lies. Conservatives have been dehumanising other people for centuries. You did it before & during the Civil War, you did it in response to the Civil Rights Act being proposed. You dehumanise pro-choicers, non-whites, progressives, Democrats, LGBTQ+/MOGAI folks, atheists, Muslims, left-leaning Christians, the mentally ill, and poor people. Stop pretending that you don't.

11/6/2018 4:42:32 PM

Churchy LaFemme

If Trumpettes are so upset at dehumanizing people, then they should tell The Donald to stop calling people by dismissive nicknames and lumping groups of individuals into an enemy group. Case in point: the caravan currently moving from South America towards the US border are refugees, not an organized criminal mob. There are undoubtedly criminals in the crowd, just as there are in groups of Trump supporters, but they are fleeing insupportable living conditions. How many millionaire supporters of Trump owe part of their business to the labor of illegals?

11/6/2018 7:11:34 PM

Canadiest

There are lots of articles in the vein of BS out right now. The RW violence and outright racism has escalated (Trump base) instead of any admission of that or attempt to calm it their tactic is to assert that the others are violent and uncivil.

Business as usual, fear mongerling with lies.

11/8/2018 6:00:00 AM

creativerealms

We shouldn't dehumanize the right, that is a good point. This is still bullshit but there are a few good points.

One thing that Caesar play was going on for ten years when Trump became president. Ten years with that same gimmick. That means Obama was being killed for eight years and no one batted an eye. Not to mention the story of Caesar is that your most trusted friends and advisers will could turn on you. That play could very much be a warning that Trump has much more to fear from the right then the left. Why is the idea of republicans getting sick of Trump and killing him offensive to you? Maybe you think it can actually happen?

Trump's supporters include Neo Nazis. Most of his supporters are not Nazis and Trump is not one but yes they are included.

Obama was also compared to Hitler, he was also compared to Sadam, Stalin, and Bin Laden to name a few. He was called a closeted gay man, his wife was called a man. He was called a communist, there was that claim he was born in Kenya.

I bet Robert Romano never so much as blinked at the stuff republicans and far right said about Obama. It didn't matter because there was a D next to his name.

11/8/2018 7:48:29 AM

Anon-e-moose

Oh, we don't need to dehumanise Donald Fart...:



...because nary 24 hours ago that orange... thing dehumanised itself.

It's behaviour in the White House press briefing room. Question: Did Obama behave the same way for eight years? And since then? Did the occupant of the White House before him do the same?

Because no normal, sane human being would so much as think of doing what the world witnessed today.

11/8/2018 12:33:44 PM



So when the alt-right (fascists really) does it, it is just as bad? Or are you hypocrite?

11/8/2018 5:46:04 PM

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