On Sunday, MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan spoke with Jason Stanley, a professor at Yale University and the author of “How Fascism Works,” and discussed Trump’s frightening Veterans Day rally speech, where he called his detractors “vermin” within our country that he would “root out” if he were president.
Hasan asked Stanley whether connecting Trump’s use of the word “vermin” with antisemitic propaganda pushed during the Nazi Party’s 20th-century rise to power was ahistorical or hyperbolic. Stanley responded, “No. I mean, this is straight—it doesn’t echo ‘Mein Kampf.’ This is, you know, textbook ‘Mein Kampf.’”
The professor broke down the parallels further:
Except for the explicit mentioning of Jews as behind the left, any antisemite will hear this vocabulary as directed against Jews. But Hitler himself was an antisemite. He took it that Jews were behind the international left—Marxism, communism. But his real target was democracy. And anyone who was pro-democracy—a labor union, trade unionists—he labeled as Marxists.
So this overbroad use of “Marxist” to target basically any political opponent, this is familiar from fascism and the way you attack democracy. And of course, labeling your political opponents “vermin,” yeah, I mean, the Nazis targeted their political opponents. They targeted [them] for incarceration and concentration camps. They targeted suspected communists, socialists, as internal enemies. So this is right out of ‘Mein Kampf.’
The band is back together, and it is a glorious day as Markos and Kerry’s hot takes over the past year came true—again! Republicans continue to lose at the ballot box and we are here for it!