It wasn’t that long ago that the hypocritical right was outraged over Terri Schiavo, a woman in a persistent vegetative state whose husband wanted to remove her from life support and It has only been a handful of years since the Republican rallying cry was “All Lives Matter.” It doesn’t really surprise us how far Republicans have fallen, but it does amaze us how quickly Trump has turned them into screaming that sacrifices be made.
Yet that is exactly where we are now. Trump’s reelection and the GOP’s hold on power is so critical in their minds, they are demanding sacrifices be made.
Here’s an example of their rhetoric:
“We’ll gradually bring those people back and see what happens. Some of them will get sick, some may even die, I don’t know. “—Dick Kovacevich, former CEO of Wells Fargo
“The damages of keeping the economy closed as it is could be worse than losing a few more people.” —Tom Golisano, the founder and chairman of payroll processor Paychex Inc.
Putting aside the immorality that making money for rich people should take precedence over a public health emergency, the very concept of allowing vast numbers of Americans to die to “save the economy” is completely illogical. By relaxing social restrictions too soon, the death rate will skyrocket. Our extremely fragile healthcare system will then collapse, and more businesses will crumble. Ironically, opening prematurely won’t just kill more people, it will cause even more devastating economic harm.
Social Darwinism has been a core tenant of Reaganomics and Republicans
The concept of social Darwinism and arbitrary human classification is based upon Friedrich Nietzsche’s Übermensch theory of superhumans. These are people not impeded by the needs of others deemed inferior. The weaker humans—characterized as the burdens of society—are to be left to fend for themselves. Hitler used this theory as the ideological foundation for his belief in a master race. Another person known to borrow heavily from this theory is the prophet of American conservatism, author Ayn Rand. Born, raised, and educated in Russia, Rand’s entire philosophy is centered around the concept of individual supremacy and radical free-market fundamentalism. Rand and her ilk applied the Übermensch theory to capitalism, which justifies the wealthy’s belief that they have an absolute right to plunder. She called it ”the virtue of selfishness.” Her philosophy was simple: The weak are weak and should be taken advantage of, because it is the natural order of things. Therefore, society needs to focus only on developing the strong, and allow the weak to suffer or die.
Rand’s theory did not spare anyone, even children. Two years before her death in 1982, she appeared on Phil Donahue’s eponymous talk show to explain why it was wrong for our government to ever consider the needs of “subnormal” children and the “handicapped.”
Under Donald Trump, the Republican Party is racing toward a transformation that mimics the greatest evil of the 20th century. Long before the Nazis fully engaged with genocidal murder against the Jews, there were persecutions of people deemed “unfit.” These were people whom Adolf Hitler’s extremists arbitrarily deemed insufficiently able to contribute to the greater German society. They included the infirm, people with learning disabilities, the mentally ill, those suffering from epilepsy, the physically disabled, and those struggling with alcohol issues.
According to the Nazis’ white supremacist ideology, those people were not only impediments to their quest in perfecting their master race but were also economic burdens to society. The Nazis started a campaign of propaganda to mock them. They were called “unworthy of life” and labeled as “useless eaters.” The propaganda even expanded to math textbooks, which were revised to include arithmetic problems on how much it costs to care for these undesirables. This was the first stage.
Then the Nazis moved to the next stage; they worked with political and medical authorities to divide communities between who they deemed as the “fit” and “unfit” members. The arbitrary classification system would serve a deadly purpose.
This ultimately led to the final stage: the systematic and targeted killing of those labeled as a burden. At that point, the Nazis had groomed the German population by getting a little bit worse every single day—just enough to normalize the inhumanity. By the time the Nazis reached this stage, the populace had gotten so used to the cruelties, it seemed like the murder of “the weak” was simply the next logical step. They had justified it in their minds.
Our local Sheriff William “Bad Boy Billy” Honsal and many Republican governors all over the country are caving to their party’s demand to reopen, the consequences for their vulnerable constituents be damned. If that’s not an indication of how far our country has fallen since Trump, nothing is.
Did you think we’d fall this far this fast?
We can’t believe we’re literally debating—with Trump supporters in our community—the value of letting people live during this outbreak. How the fuck are we having serious discussions about that?
Serious discussions of sacrificing the weak weren’t acceptable too long ago; I don’t even want to think what might be considered acceptable four years from now if the right-wing is still clinging to power.
This terrifying stance should scare you to do everything you can to make sure this Nazified version of the GOP is thrown out of power this year. Otherwise, you or your family might be subjected to the “next stage.” Right now, the right is asking for voluntary sacrifices of the old and weak, but history shows it’s just a few atrocities away from being made mandatory.
Content edited from a story in Daily KOS and Alternet