On Monday, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) used his time on the House floor to call Donald Trump’s critics (namely Democrats and the media) Nazis, but in the process actually cast them in the role of German and Austrian Jews in the lead-up to World War II. Oh, and he quoted Mein Kampf in the process. Just another normal, totally chill day.
Brooks accused Trump’s detractors (“socialist Democrats and their fake news media allies—CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, Washington Post and countless others”) of promoting a “big lie” about the president colluding with Russia during the 2016 election.
“A ‘big lie’ is a political propaganda technique made famous by Germany’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party, but more on that later,” the Congressman said, especially emphasizing the word “socialist” in an attempt to equate Democratic Socialists with Nazis. While the Nazi party did indeed have “National Socialist” in their name, they were not socialists in any substantial way. In fact, socialists were among those imprisoned in early concentration camps.
“The Mueller report vindicates President Trump and his 2016 campaign from the socialist, baseless, reckless and false big lie charges of Russian election collusion,” Brooks continued, further emphasizing how Trump detractors were all participating in a “big lie.”
The Washington Post’s Isaac Stanley-Becker explains how, by accusing Democrats, members of the media and any Trump critics of propagating a “big lie,” Brooks was actually invoking Nazi rhetoric and put himself in the fascists’ place:
The expression was first coined by Hitler to describe how Jews used their “unqualified capacity for falsehood” to blame a top German military commander for the country’s losses in World War I. A lie could be so big, Hitler claimed, that it perversely defied disbelief.
It was unclear if Brooks grasped that by leveling charges of the “big lie,” he had inverted his own analogy, making Democrats the equivalent of interwar German and Austrian Jews. He set out to compare the other side to fascists, but he was the one employing a fascist smear—one that, ironically, came to define Nazi propaganda.
Later on, Brooks quoted from Mein Kampf to further argue his point, saying, “Quote: ‘In the big lie, there is always a certain force of credibility because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily.’”
He added, “The author was socialist Adolf Hitler, in his book, Mein Kampf.”
Just another day in the U.S. of A. Let’s face it: No one knows more about Nazi ideology than someone who once claimed that the Democrats are waging a “war on whites.”
Brooks’ spokesman did not reply to The Washington Post’s request for comment.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.