Are Democrats the real Nazis?
According to conservative writer Dinesh D’Souza, the answer is a resounding yes, in spite of the absurdity of such a claim.
D’Souza’s latest bestseller “The Big Lie” aims to turn the tables on the frequent attacks that President Trump is a fascist by proving that his enemies are actually the real fascists.
There are two essential elements to D’Souza’s argument: fascism is a phenomenon of the Left, and the Democratic Party inspired the Nazis.
Recently, D’Souza has been at the forefront of promoting the idea that “Democrats are the real racists” and his last book/movie, “Hillary’s America,” was heavily dedicated to the subject.
Now he’s taking that talking point and adding a swastika to it.
“The signature concepts of Nazism–lebensraum, concentration camps, genocide–were all invented in this country by the Democrats,” reads one of D’Souza’s typical tweets promoting his book.
Even though this argument is advanced for the primary purpose of countering liberal framing of Republicans as fascists, it ends up with conservatives accepting left-wing history.
Leftists see American history as one of genocide, oppression and white supremacy. D’Souza agrees, but instead blames Democrats for all those terrible deeds instead of whites, southerners or just plain ole Americans.
He first starts off in the 19th century with Jacksonian Democrats. Ignoring how the Democrats stemmed from the party of Thomas Jefferson, the conservative author posits Andrew Jackson as the true founder of the evil political organization.
The main villainy of Jackson is his treatment of Indians, which D’Souza characterizes as a genocide. Considering Old Hickory’s policies were not that different from how Americans had previously interacted with the native tribesmen, that would mean America as a whole committed genocide.
Not so, according to D’Souza.
In a typical passage from the book, Dinesh rebuts a leftist historian for arguing there was a holocaust perpetuated against the Indians at the start of European colonization. The conservative author says the historian, David Stannard, “invents a fake genocide in order to avoid blaming Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party.”
According to D’Souza, the Amerindians who died prior to Jackson were primarily victims of epidemic, while the seventh president had a direct plan of extermination. Thus, only Democrats are guilty of genocide.
That’s a creative interpretation, but incredibly conceited. The colonists were long locked in brutal warfare with Native Americans that resulted in numerous casualties and expulsion of the defeated tribes. The American government kept fighting Indian tribes and expelling them from their land from the Revolution on.
Democrats did not invent conflict with Amerindians, nor did they monopolize the conquest of their land.
D’Souza demonizes manifest destiny as proto-Nazi, but it remains unanswered how the California resident thinks America would have acquired all this territory without conflict.
The next sin of Ameri… excuse me… Democrats is slavery. It is true that the Democratic Party was usually the biggest defender of slavery in antebellum days, but the racist views used to defend the institution were quite common in the day. Alexander Stephens, the man who delivered the infamous Cornerstone Speech that declared the Confederacy was based on the inequality of races, was actually a Whig, as were many members of the planter caste.
Abraham Lincoln, one of D’Souza’s heroes, also believed in the inequality of the races, as he expressed in the famous Lincoln-Douglass Debates. The great emancipator also supported colonization for pretty much of all his political career due to his belief that whites and blacks could not freely live together in the same republic.
Like Jackson, Honest Abe has also earned the smear of being a genocidal oppressor for his involvement in the execution of Dakota prisoners during the Civil War. (RELATED: UW Madison Dismisses Demands To Brand Abe Lincoln A Genocidal Oppressor)
When entering the 20th century, the term Democrats transforms into progressives when D’Souza begins addressing eugenics. That’s because most of the figures he criticizes were actually Republicans, a fact left out of The Big Lie. Margaret Sanger was a Republican. So were Lothrop Stoddard and many of the prominent eugenicists D’Souza names to attack the Left.
Left unmentioned in The Big Lie is that the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Buck v. Bell, which upheld the constitutionality of eugenic policies, was issued by a Republican, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
The only 20th century progressive supporter of eugenics he admits was a Republican is Theodore Roosevelt, whom D’Souza incredulously claims only became a progressive after he left the presidency. Even the Heritage Foundation acknowledges that his presidency upheld the progressive ideals of the early 20th century.
D’Souza’s claim that “Democrats are the real Nazis” is undermined by his inadvertent observation that Republicans are the real eugenicists.
Besides exposing Republic… I mean, progressive support for eugenics, D’Souza also shows how racist “Democrats” were busy promoting immigration restriction in the 20th century, which apparently is a bad thing for Dinesh.
This is once again a policy that was spearheaded by Republicans like Henry Cabot Lodge. The fruit of these efforts, the Immigration Act of 1924, was drafted by Republicans, earned wide-spread support from Republicans, and was signed into law by Republican President Calvin Coolidge — a man much-respected by modern conservatives and who was certainly no progressive.
D’Souza sees immigration restriction as equivalent to national socialism, which echoes the Left. These arguments were quite common from liberals when the Trump administration announced its support for the RAISE Act, which aims to reduce immigration to the U.S.
D’Souza is more than willing to deploy these arguments as well if it means it can help his poorly-thought out conspiracy theory of secret Democrat Nazis.
Another weak point of The Big Lie is how he defines the political Left and Right, and then applies it. According to D’Souza, the Left wants big government while the Right wants limited government. In the Age of Jackson, that would put the Democrats on the Right, while the Whigs on the Left. Jacksonian Democrats feared centralized government and worked to keep power at the state level. The Whigs, on the other hand, supported centralized, “big” government.
But somehow the Democrats of the 19th century are left-wing because the current party is led by Nancy Pelosi.
The worst part about the book is that it is convincing many well-meaning people to view American history with this distorted vision. Many Americans are tired of being called racists and fascists for voting for Trump or expressing certain views.
It’s tempting to throw back the charges at the accusers in an act of political judo. But it comes at the price of accepting the views of those very same leftists.
In D’Souza’s world, America is only good because of low taxes and unrestrained consumerism. The winning of the West and other daring exploits are foul deeds perpetrated by Democrats.
What an inspiring national identity for America to have.
In the book, D’Souza audaciously asserts that his previous arguments that Democrats are the real racists have shut down the Left’s talking points, and that his new line of attack will now take away all the cards of liberals.
Considering that Trump and his supporters are still called racists and that label still frightens Republicans, that claim seems dubious at best. No matter how much you call the Democrats the real racists, they will still use the race card against you.
Instead of operating in the framework set by liberal journalists and academics, rightists should adopt an unapologetic view of our nation’s history. We’re never going to win arguments with bombastic claims that Democrats are the real Nazis, especially when using left-wing works to buttress our arguments.
It’s only a short step from thinking Jacksonian Democrats are proto-Nazis to the Founding Fathers were Hitler’s predecessors. Conservatives should avoid that Big Lie entirely.
WATCH: D’SOUZA GIVES HIS TAKE ON TRUMP’S INSURRECTION WITHIN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY