When I watched the Republican Convention of 2016, I was struck by how often the Presidential nominee raised his arm as he spoke at his acceptance speech. A rigid L-shape… punctuated with the hand in a white power “ok” gesture of the thumb and forefinger. Maybe an innocent mannerism but… again and again and again and again.
And at that same convention… seeing Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham full out Nazi salute the crowds before she realized the optic downside… pretty much underscored the whole of the awful that the next 4 years portended. It reminded me of the numerous clips I watched of Adolf Hitler filmed at his megalomaniacal rallies. His arm repeatedly raised in the same manner to emphasize his terrible oratory.
Fast forward to January 6th, 2021 and the smiling faces rambling through the United States Capitol with flags, faux Native American costumes, guns, pipe bombs, Carhartt pants with matching multi-pocket tactical vests, camo helmets and back-packs, zip ties for kidnappin’ and baseball bats for bashin’. Another sad reminder of history.
A reminder of November 8th, 1923. After rousing his followers at a local beer hall, Hitler marched with 2000 of them to the city center of Munich to overthrow the legally elected Weimar Republic. 16 of his followers (who were later honored as martyrs) and 4 policemen died in the failed attempt. He was sentenced to 5 years for Treason but served only 9 months.
Hitler used his trial and imprisonment to publicize his propaganda. The circulation of Nazi newspapers and books exploded. He used his time in (comfy, minimum security) prison to write his autobiography outlining everything he would do during his regime. Numerous government officials and members of the police were sympathetic to his rhetoric while others let it slide as petty rantings that would never amount to much.
Because of this attempted coup and the subsequent events in Germany, my parents (pictured below, both of whom were life long Republicans) decided to join the “Antifa” .
They thwarted Hitler’s goal of eliminating Socialism and Making the World German Again… by joining a world-wide cabal of an anti-fascist military who used violent means to ensure global dominance (including burning property and dispatching soldiers). Dad was part of a organized invasion of the Japanese island of Bougainville and Mom was a feminist WAV officer.
I suppose the gist of this long winded post is to remind folks that when they hear the term Antifa as a pejorative, they are talking about my Mom and Dad. And pretty much any other WWII veteran.
And that they fought against tyrants. So maybe it’s time we do the same.