The magazine Foreign Policy was once a respectable and respected publication. It was co-founded during the Vietnam War by Samuel Huntington, a Harvard professor best known for predicting a “Clash of Civilizations.”
Similarly, George Washington University (despite bearing the name of a notorious slave owner) was once a respectable and respected institution. Graduates include Colin Powell, J. Edgar Hoover, and dozens of other distinguished leaders.
But a little-known academic named Reuben Brigety has managed, in one fell swoop of a 1,500-word article, to sully and stain both the magazine and the university. Brigety is the dean of GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and a man overflowing with hatred.
Foreign Policy gave valuable space to Brigety for an article in which he wrote this: “For the first time in our history, a Nazi sympathizer occupies the Oval Office.”
For good measure, he added that President Trump is a man of “evil bigotry” who has shown “his support for white supremacist protesters.”
Reuben Brigety’s evidence?
He really has none beyond the bizarre news conference at which the president suggested that both sides in Charlottesville were at fault. Donald Trump was off base and, even if what he said was factually accurate, his tone-deafness allowed his many enemies in the media to run wild.
They even put Russia aside, magically transforming President Trump from a Russian agent and “Putin’s Puppet” to a stone-cold racist and Nazi.
George Washington University and Foreign Policy Magazine got the attention they desired, but in a most shameful way.
Then there is MSNBC, which is neither respected nor respectable. That far-left network gave air time to a woman named Sarah Kendzior, an attention-starved columnist who writes for some foreign news outlets. This is what she said on national television about the White House: “You still have actual Nazis in the house. You have Jeff Sessions, who’s a long-time antagonist against civil rights.”
MSNBC host Joy Reid, who takes a back seat to no one when it comes to Trump-hatred, failed to point out that Jeff Sessions prosecuted the leader of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan and obtained a death penalty conviction.
Yet the Attorney General of the United States was accused of being a Nazi, as contemptible a slander as can be hurled at a public official. Or anyone.
Earlier this week syndicated Michael Medved joined the No Spin News and denounced these fools who so breezily call others Nazis.
Medved’s Jewish family fled from Germany just as Hitler was coming to power, so he has, as he puts it, “some skin in the game.”
“What that dean at George Washington said is outrageous,” he declared, “because what he is saying trivializes Nazism. When he says that Trump is a Nazi and our government is in the hands of Nazis, he is trivializing real evil. Because, unfortunately, there are Nazi people in the United States.”
Yes, there are actual Nazis in 2017 America. Some of them showed their scowling and twisted faces in Charlottesville. They may be few in number, but the sheer evil of their beliefs makes them a threat to the rest of us.
But Donald Trump is not among them. Neither is Steve Bannon. Or Jeff Sessions. Or so many others who get labeled as latter-day Hitlers simply because they have different beliefs than their political opposites.
How bad has it become? Ask Ethan Van Sciver, a comic book artist who has used Nazi imagery when creating wicked characters. In other words, he was depicting Nazism as the ultimate evil. When another artist called Van Sciver a Nazi, he was forced to defend himself and his reputation. His real crime may have been that he is a Republican, which in some circles has become pretty much synonymous to being a Brownshirt.
Meanwhile, a Democratic politician in New York State described a political rival as a “clever Nazi” simply because he opposed her call to protect illegal immigrants.
People on the right, the left, and in the middle are absolutely correct when they denounce actual Nazis and Hitler sympathizers. But the left is now using “Nazi” as their all-purpose, go-to insult.
Like the “f-bomb,” some words are sapped of their power every time they are used. They lose shock value and become only a sign of growing desperation. Reckless use of the word “Nazi” is growing tedious. So are those who toss it around so recklessly.