There she goes again. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is once more in the political limelight with comments that made even some in her own Republican Party gasp.
Last month, the conservative congresswoman and Donald Trump loyalist compared mask mandates and vaccination efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic to measures taken against Jews in Europe during the Nazi regime. Greene called businesses that insist on vaccinations for their employees “just like the Nazis [who] forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.” She said that attempts to push for mask mandates and mandatory vaccination of politicians in the Capitol Building were like the dark days of Hitler’s Third Reich, when Jews were “put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany.”
House and Senate GOP leaders scorned Greene’s comments while doing nothing about their Republican colleague’s seemingly endless pursuit of attention and campaign cash. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “Marjorie is wrong and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust to wearing masks is appalling.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Greene’s latest stunt “outrageous” and “reprehensible.”
Still, Greene prattles on with her incessant spiel of conspiracy canards and her fealty to Donald Trump’s Big Lie of a stolen election. While Greene made noises about Nazis, her own Republican Party on May 29 blocked an inquiry into the causes of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a right-wing gaggle of Trump supporters including white supremacists.
Greene made a limp attempt at justifying her latest comments by saying that she was referring not to the Holocaust, but only to “the discrimination against Jews in the early Nazi years.” The congresswoman could use a history lesson, and one book that should be on her required reading list is Diary of a Man in Despair by Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen, a citizen of Hitler’s Germany who despised the Reich and who died in a concentration camp along with untold millions of others—not only some 6 million Jews, but also gay people, ethnic outcasts, disabled Germans and political dissidents like the “Man in Despair” who left the world his diary of life in Germany as Hitler rose to power in the 1930s.
Calling Hitler “a middle-class antichrist,” the author recalled the madness of Nazi rallies and the crowd’s cultish devotion to the dictator. “Oh, truly, men can sink no lower,” he said of a 1937 party rally when frenetic Nazi women swallowed gravel pebbles that their leader had walked upon. “This mob, to which I am connected by a common nationality, is not only unaware of its own degradation but is ready at any moment to demand of every one of its fellow human beings the same mob roar, the same gravel-swallowing, the same degree of degradation.” In 1939, the diarist attended another Nazi rally just days before Hitler’s invasion of Poland sparked World War II. “I reflected again on this thick-witted mob and its bovine roar; on this failure of a Moloch to whom this crowd was roaring homage; and on the ocean of disgrace into which we have all sunk,” he wrote. Less than six years later, the dissident diarist was dead at Dachau—one of the millions of casualties of a regime built upon white supremacy, militarism and the big lies of the Nazi Party.
Today in America, the specter of mob madness stalks this land. Today in America, attacks against Jews and Asians are on the rise. Today in America, grandstanding politicians grow their campaign coffers by backing the Big Lie of a former president who lost the 2020 election. Today in America, the Republican Party mouths platitudes about law and order while hiding the misdeeds of a mob of marauders who stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6. Today in America, it is time for the GOP to remember the words that Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower said in 1953: “Don’t think that you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed.”
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