Anti-choice activists are really the shock troops of the conservative movement. This isn’t my observation, but something I picked up off an Ellen Willis essay she wrote in the early 80s. But it really has proved prescient. Anti-choicers are willing to make utter fools and idiots of themselves, and in doing so, they pave the path for other flavors of right wing nut to become more extremist. And that appears to be what’s happening with what I like to think of Holocaust Denialism Lite, which is comparing not-awful things to the Holocaust, or blaming the Holocaust on these things. Anti-choicers have been comparing abortion to the Holocaust roughly since forever. It may not seem initially like a form of denialism, but more just a super-offensive thing to say, but that’s what it really is. It minimizes the reality of rounding up and murdering actual human beings who experience pain and fear, who have families and futures, and who have unique subjective experiences. It’s also about confusing the issue, Jonah Golberg-style. Fascism is, at its core, a hard right movement. Nazis strengthened anti-abortion laws and exerted a lot of control over fertilty in general. Comparing a pro-freedom stance on reproduction to this deeply anti-freedom culture is about confusing the issue. The result is that the realities of Nazism and the Holocaust are obscured, which is why I call it Denialism Lite.
And, as predicted, we’re seeing other conservatives take up this tactic. After Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism”, we now have good ol’ Joe the Plumber trying to equate the mass murder of millions of people with….gun control.
Samuel Wurzelbacher, more commonly known as Joe the Plumber, blamed gun control for the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust in a web video released Monday.
“In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were exterminated,” Wurzelbacher says to cheery generic music while loading a shotgun. Wurzelbacher, who rose to prominence in the 2008 presidential campaign over tax debates, is running against Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) in a bid for the overwhelmingly Democratic seat.
“In 1939, Germany established gun control,” he says, proceeding to shoot fruits and vegetables. “From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others unable to defend themselves were exterminated.”
Remember: paranoid right wingers are all convinced that if Obama is re-elected, he’s going to take away their guns. So this weird ass narrative carries with it the implication that Obama is itching to enact some sort of genocide on white people, or at least conservative white people. It’s an attempt to reverse the actual narrative of American history, where black people have been enslaved, abused, discriminated against, and marginalized generally, while white people have been the dominant race. However paranoid you think the workaday right wing fanatics on the ground are, well, they’re usually worse.