As Jews around the world prepared to fast for Yom Kippur, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was working on something worthy of repenting. Asked how he would counter President Trump’s claim that Biden was pushing a socialist agenda, he replied that Trump was ‘sort of like Goebbels,’ the Reich minister for propaganda in Nazi Germany, a fanatical devotee of Hitler, a virulent antisemite and an avowed supporter of the Final Solution.
It’s hard to take Biden seriously. At another point in the interview, he starts talking about the Paycheck Protection Act, realises he’s got the wrong bill and can’t remember what he’s talking about until prompted by the interviewer. He also brings up someone called ‘John’ and accuses him of avoiding what needs to be done, whatever that might be. Then, in a speech to mayors made on the same day as his Goebbel’s jibe, he says he has been in the US Senate for 180 years and has been Vice President for 10 years. Maybe it feels like that but if he does become President, it’s likely to be a lot shorter if Kamala Harris can help it.
Most of the time, Biden seems like a mean version of Chauncey Gardiner, the accidental president in the 1979 film, Being There. When asked about economic recovery, Gardiner burbles harmlessly about seasons of growth in the garden; Biden lashes out at people who question him, calling one ‘a lying dog-faced pony soldier’ and telling an audience of US veterans who he didn’t find sufficiently enthusiastic to ‘clap for that, you stupid bastards!’ Why? As Mark Steyn put it, ‘presumably on the grounds that he and General Patton worked together to win the Spanish-American War.’
That the man who aspires to be the leader of the free world reduces Goebbels to a mere spin doctor, shows how far the Democrats have strayed from mainstream politics into the moral relativism of the hard Left. Worse, this is not just the garbled line of a man who cannot read his teleprompter, it is an established trope of so-called progressives.
On Tuesday, the Jewish Democratic Council of America’s political action committee released an ad directly comparing Trump’s America with the rise of Nazism in Germany, juxtaposing images of Trump with the Nuremberg rally, white supremacists at Charlottesville, and graffiti on a synagogue in Massachusetts that says, ‘Expel the Jew.’ It plumbs a new depth by turning the victims of Nazi Germany into stage props for a Democratic campaign ad. As Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said, ‘The president is not Hitler,’ and the comparison ‘degrades the memory of the Shoah.’ The American Jewish Committee asked the JDCA to take down the ad immediately.
Biden has said that it was the riot in Charlottesville in 2017 when protesters clashed over calls to remove a statue of Civil War general Robert E Lee that convinced him to run for president. He returned to Trump’s comment that there were ‘very fine people on both sides’ in the the first presidential debate on Wednesday. Biden has repeatedly made the false claim that Trump was praising white supremacists. In reality, Trump has repeatedly condemned them and recently declared both the KKK and Antifa terrorist organisations. That Trump, whose daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren are Jewish, is antisemitic is absurd. His foreign policy achievements speak for themselves; he recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Jewish state, brokered peace between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain and tore up up the disastrous Iran nuclear deal of the Obama-Biden administration.
In Australia, the ABC’s Q+A is always interested in someone who derides Trump as Hitler. Two weeks ago, an audience member was invited to ask the panel, whether Trump was ‘another Hitler?’ She explained that ‘Hitler didn’t start out this big. It was a small thing and it grew. … We don’t know at what point in the trajectory it is, but it doesn’t sound far-fetched to me at all.’ Panellist Cole Brown, who describes himself as ‘born to an Ethiopian lineage but calls Philadelphia home,’ ‘totally’ agreed accusing Trump of ‘dismantling’ democracy, a ‘descent into fascism’ and a ‘descent into chaos.’
Last year, British PM Tony Blair’s former campaign director Alastair Camp- bell was invited onto Q+A after he compared Trump to Hitler, saying that while reading The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich he felt the resonance ‘on every page.’ Asked about that comment, he said when Trump tweeted that the Squad — four hard left congresswomen ‘of colour’ — should ‘go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came,’ that ‘Hitler was doing that stuff’, ‘the seeds of fascism’ were being sown,’ and ‘if we’re not careful we’re heading in a dark and dangerous place.’
Explaining why Trump was like Goebbels, Biden said,‘ You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge.’ Ironically, this is meant to be a Goebbels quote; it’s not. It’s a phrase that people have repeatedly misattributed to him. The quote that progressives should worry about when they smear others as Nazis is what Goebbels said at a 1934 Nuremberg rally. He claimed that ‘the cleverest trick used in propaganda against Germany during the war was to accuse Germany of what our enemies themselves were doing.’ Whether that was true then, it does not hold true in the US today. Democrats repeatedly accuse Trump of racism, when their woke supporters are aggressively racist about everyone other than left-wing blacks. They accuse Trump of fomenting violence when ‘progressive’ BLM and Antifa mobs have been looting and shooting in ‘mostly peaceful protests’ in Democrat-controlled cities for months. They accuse Trump of supporting white supremacists, when antisemitism is rife in the left. The result? Trump has increased his support with blacks, Jews and suburban voters concerned about violence and mayhem.
The relentless trivialisation of Nazi crimes against humanity is possible in part because of a disturbing level of ignorance in the US; in 2018, 22 per cent of millennials hadn’t heard of the Holocaust and 41 per cent believed that only two million Jews or fewer were murdered. Two weeks ago, it was even worse. Almost two thirds of Americans under 40 do not know that six million Jews were murdered, almost half couldn’t name a single concentration camp and more than a tenth believe that Jews caused the Holocaust.
Yet this is hardly likely to be the case amongst Jewish voters who will play an important role in the outcome of the election. Biden may think that, as with African Americans, he can take the Jewish vote for granted. Before he indulges in more gratuitous Nazi smears, he would do well to reflect on the old Yiddish proverb, Patsh zikh nit in baykhele, ven fishele iz nokh in taykhele, ‘Don’t pat your belly when the fish is still in the stream.’
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