I’m not Jewish, but if I were, I’d be pretty angry about the liberal use of “Hitler” as an accusation against our president.
When I went to the protest at the airport last week, something of which I am still proud and for which I will not apologize even though I’ve lost friends over it, the thing that troubled me almost as much as Trump’s legally suspect order suspending immigration was the posters depicting him with a tiny black mustache.
Also bothersome were the signs with the “s” in Steve Bannon’s name drawn like a swastika and the litany of comments about the “racists” in the Oval Office.
This will likely come as a surprise to the people who, on Facebook, have posted hundreds of comments telling me I don’t know a damn thing about the Constitution, about immigration law, about executive action, about the separation of powers, and about terrorism.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
All of those people are, by the way, my conservative friends (and I use both terms rather loosely).
They seem to think that I agree with the wack jobs who are trying to pass themselves off as legitimate protesters. I do not agree with the wack jobs, in case you were wondering.
I almost went up to the woman with the frizzy hair and the stupid pink hat on her head with the sign reading “Deport the Racist” and told her that she was exactly the sort of person I’d love to deport if I were queen of the world.
Donald Trump did a stupid thing, and he is now answering for it.
I frankly don’t care if my conservative friends strip me of my membership card and the Mickey Mouse ears and the super-secret-password, but I will not concede that the substance or the rollout of that ridiculous and extremely hurtful executive order suspending immigration and banning nationals of certain randomly chosen countries was legitimate.
I’m in some good company with that, too, including a few federal judges.
But all of that being said, and understanding that Trump and his assistants have looked extremely amateurish and tragically clueless, there is absolutely no justification for playing the Hitler card.
I’m sick of people I used to respect casually throwing out the word as if it makes them look cool, hip and so “tuned in” to the resistant zeitgeist. Maybe I’m so damned angry about the rhetoric because I do asylum law and I know, deep in my bones, what the Hitlers of the world have done and are continuing to do.
Believe me, folks, Trump, Bannon, Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer do not wear white sheets for ceremonial photo-ops, nor are they fluent in German. And the fact that Trump’s highly regarded son-in-law is a Jew has nothing to do with saving the POTUS from allegations of genocidal intent.
Because that is what the yahoos who carry signs depicting our president as a Nazi are doing, trying to create an indelible image in the minds of the average American that they are living in the Fourth Reich. They, and we, are not.
I’m out here on the front lines fighting against what Trump is doing with his assembly-line executive orders. I am confident that the federal courts will scale them back to such an extent that he will be taught a lesson to think before he writes (or tweets).
If someone on his old “Apprentice” show had produced such an inferior work product as that which he produced last week, they would be, yes, indeedy, fired.
But if we really lived in the Fourth Reich, those wack jobs at the airport last week would have been rounded up and thrown in jail. I’m sure that right now, they are sitting happily in their homes patting themselves on the back about how clever their conduct was.
I’m tired of journalists engaging in lazy thinking and writing the first incendiary thoughts that come to mind, because they are angry. I’m angry, too, but when we start calling everything Hitler, the word and the concept lose meaning.
If I were a Jew, I’d be angry. Hell, I’m a person who has dealt with the victims of more recent holocausts and genocides, and I’m livid.
Lay off the Hitler imagery. The vision Trump has given us the last few weeks is bad enough.
Christine Flowers is a lawyer and a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. Reach her by email at email@example.com.