What purpose did it serve for President-elect Joe Biden to liken Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) to Adolf Hitler’s top propagandist Joseph Goebbels? …
Biden said, “I was being reminded by a friend of mine…when we’re told [about] Goebbels and the great lie, you keep repeating the lie, repeating the lie.”
Although Biden’s comparison was imperfectly stated, it was clear enough to follow. He was saying that the lawmakers’ efforts to challenge the Electoral College votes from disputed states was a Nazi-like effort.
By speaking this way, Biden did many things at once. First, he whitewashed Goebbels’ barbaric crimes. Goebbels was the chief architect of totalitarianism in Nazi Germany and one of the lead architects of the Holocaust.
In his literary warning about the fragility of freedom and the allure of totalitarianism, 1984, George Orwell demonstrated that total control over a society is achieved through total control over the information its members can see.
Goebbels implemented this in Nazi Germany. As Hitler’s propagandist, Goebbels exerted total control over information. He ensured that Germans would view Hitler as their infallible savior. He conditioned them to view Jews as subhuman vermin, to be exterminated like cockroaches. And he made them believe that all Germans who didn’t accept what they were told were enemies of the people.
Goebbels achieved all of these things by blocking public access to accurate information while inundating the Germans with images and words that repeated and amplified his monstrous lies. Goebbels’ success in controlling information was the necessary precondition for all he and his comrades unleashed on Jews, and on humanity as a whole.
The second thing Biden did by comparing Hawley and Cruz to Goebbels was to whitewash the unspeakable crimes of Nazi Germany. After all, if merely questioning certain election returns is the moral equivalent of Goebbels’ “Big Lie,” then the Big Lie was actually no big deal.
The third thing Biden did by comparing Hawley and Cruz to Goebbels was set them up for what Orwell referred to as “un-personing” — or in today’s culture, “canceling.”
Obviously, if Cruz and Hawley are Goebbels, then all right-thinking people must work to silence them and remove them from positions of influence in the Senate and larger society.
As if on cue, shortly after Biden said what he did, Senate Democrats began debating whether to censure the lawmakers. Senate Republicans, for their part, began discussing the possibility of denying the two members cherished committee assignments. According to Senate officials, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is leaning toward denying the two their subcommittee chairmanships — thereby removing them from the line of seniority.
Outside the Senate chamber, major corporate donors also announced they will cease all political contributions to the two men, and to all 149 federal lawmakers who supported the efforts to challenge election returns from various states. Simon & Schuster canceled its contract to publish Hawley’s forthcoming book about the tyranny of Big Tech.
And this brings us to the fourth thing that Biden did by comparing the two senators to Hitler’s satanic propagandist. Whether one supports or opposes their decision to formally raise questions about the Electoral College vote count, the indisputable fact is that their actions were both legal and widely supported by their constituents. A Rasmussen poll released on January 6 found that 52 percent of politically unaffiliated Americans were less than fully confident about the integrity of the election results. The senators, and their colleagues in both houses who worked with them, noted that they had been flooded by requests from their constituents to question the returns from the states in question — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada.
Cruz and Hawley incited no riots. To the contrary, they tried to channel the concerns of voters the American way — through constitutional, peaceful deliberations in Congress. Cruz, for his part, denounced the January 6 riot in real time, referring to it as “a despicable act of terrorism.”
By conflating the constitutional, democratic behavior of the senators and their colleagues with Goebbels’ crimes, Biden accomplished a fifth goal. He demonized as Nazis these officials’ voters who had urged them to act — and by extension, threw under the bus the shockingly high percentage of Americans who questioned the election returns.
What is in dispute here is of course the foundational lie about the current optics — that the recent US presidential election was fair. Hence the savage and extreme suppression of anyone who points out that it was probably stolen.
The Goebbels comment? More projection.
hat-tip Kat H.