Godwin’s Law, you may recall, states that if any argument on the Internet goes on long enough, one of the parties will inevitably mention Hitler. In the modern interpretation of Godwin’s Law — a post-modern Godwin’s Contention, if you will — he who evokes Godwin’s Law first gets to smear all dissenters as Nazis. He is making the accusation not that those opposed to him are metaphorical Nazis, or fellow travelers with Nazis. No, he accusing those at the end of his extended finger, on the receiving end of his florid-faced screeching, of being actual, literal Nazis.
Given the popularity in discovering such Nazis under every rock and behind every tree in modern America, the progressives who are so quick to make these accusations find themselves presented with a very real supply versus demand problem. Specifically, the demand for Nazis far out-strips the available supply.
There are so few legitimate white supremacists, so few actual Nazis, that progressives yearning to be victimized by these enemies (so they may then appeal for redress of their imagined grievances) have only two choices. They may either redefine white supremacy to include everything from July 4th and Mount Rushmore to the day-to-day activities of white people simply existing… or they may fabricate crimes that never actually occurred.
Certainly we have seen an explosion of the latter in the last few years. What was purported to be a sudden explosion of “hate crimes,” attributed to Trump and Trump supporters without evidence (and taken on blind faith by a largely left-leaning media presence in the United States) was, in fact, an explosion of hate crime hoaxes. Hijabs pulled off innocent Muslims? Fake. Spray paint invoking MAGA and Trump on a church? Done by a parishioner. MAGA-hat wearing ruffians accosting Jussie Smollett? Hired by Mr. Smollett himself. Rope noose hanging in a NASCAR garage? A garage pull present for at least the last year. Hateful racist notes left on restaurant receipts? Faked by the servers, every last one. And so on.
Because progressives cannot successfully defend their philosophies and their political platform — ideas that inevitably and invariably lead to destruction, totalitarianism, rape, and murder (as evidenced in CHAZ/CHOP in Seattle, and literally everywhere else these ideas are implemented) — defaming their enemies is the only tool they have. Thus, they posited as their action line from the first moments of the Trump campaign that Trump — a lifelong Democrat who counted among his casual acquaintances the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton — was a racist.
They proceeded to screech “raaaaaacissssst!” so often and so loudly that the term lost all meaning, leaving anyone with even the slightest hint of a backbone to dismiss the accusation out of hand. In other words, calling somebody a “racist” has no power these days (or shouldn’t). As nothing has changed from the Progressive side of the aisle — and given that it is arguably worse, now that a mentally enfeebled serial child-sniffer is their presumptive presidential nominee — they have ramped up their attacks. The Orange Man in the Oval Office is no longer merely a racist; he is now a literal Nazi, dog-whistling to his Twitter stormtroopers whilst cackling in evil glee.
The Trump campaign issued a t-shirt that has an eagle with its wings outspread over a circular symbol? Why, everyone KNOWS the Nazis (TM) used this symbol. Never you mind that everyone from the United States Army to the BMW motor company have used similar symbols (or that EVERY symbol of an eagle with its wings outstretched looks more or less similar). No, this MUST be evidence that Trump wants to put his enemies into camps!
Trump retweeted, then deleted, a video in which those in the video mockingly shouted “white power” back at people who accused them, falsely, of being white supremacists? Why, it couldn’t be that Trump, a notoriously casual Twitter user who rarely spell-checks or vets material he retweets, saw Trump signs being waved and hit the retweet button. No, he knew, in his evil orange genius, what he was retweeting, and he wanted the nation’s imaginary white supremacist militia hordes to know he’s One Of Them.
Deliberately misconstruing simple mistakes or benign actions becomes easier the more you do it. The Trump campaign used a tiny red triangle icon in one of its Facebook ads? Why, EVERYONE knows this was a symbol used by the Nazis. Never you mind that nobody knew that until the muckrakers told them so in finding an excuse to take down the advertisement. It was clearly an open signal to the tens of Nazis out there who will push Trump to victory in November.
And therein, of course, lies the rub. There aren’t enough Nazis or legitimate white supremacists in the United States to fill a single football stadium. They’re a dying breed, a fringe group that has held no significant political influence in the United States for the last 50 years.
Setting aside the fact that at every turn, Trump has resisted taking more power for the Federal Government, preferring deregulation in all matters not directly related to trade or border control, the concept is dumb on its face. There aren’t enough Nazis in the country for their votes to mean anything. This means nothing is gained by whispering coded messages to them.
When you start with the conclusion that someone is a literal Nazi, that absurd contention — no matter how little credibility it might have — becomes easy to “support.” The faintest coincidence, the longest reach, the most convenient gaffe can be used as “evidence” of the contention, reinforcing the conclusion you have already embraced.
Trump cited “America First” in his rhetoric? Why, The Atlantic says this idea has been linked to antisemitism (stage gasp)! Never you mind that it’s also the name of a prominent credit union (and convenient shorthand for a common and legitimate ideology in which one places the interests of one’s own nation before other considerations). No, Trump MUST be a literal Nazi who thinks Nazi things while wearing Nazi clothes to pursue his Nazi-ing Nazi-ism!
It’s a stupid, absurd contention. It always was.
The Left may never admit that all it has to attack its enemies is fabrications and defamation, but these have always been its methods. Trump has suffered for it, and in trying to fight it has done himself few favors. At the end of the day, however, the Orange Man may be Bad… but he is not now, and never was, a Nazi, a racist, or a white supremacist.
If you can’t or won’t acknowledge that, fine, but you’re still wrong.