On MSNBC Friday, Rachel Maddow walked through one of the key reasons why anti-Semitism is becoming so popular within certain corners of the GOP — and why it is such an easy ideology for authoritarians and opponents of democracy to push.
Simply put, she argued, far-right Republicans understand many of their views are unpopular — and so it's a convenient narrative to believe that the voters who are against them have been manipulated by some higher force, which in this case would be the Jews.
"As America and the whole West becomes more secular, people are replacing it with this need to have, someone is orchestrating the things going wrong in my life," said anchor Joy Reid. "I'm not talking about people who are openly Nazis at all. I'm saying there's a common vernacular on the right that is the globalists, right, they can't just be that more people like to vote for Democrats. George Soros is orchestrating this. It can't be that Black people wanted civil rights. The Jews are tricking them and making them want civil rights. It feels like that's a common theme ... and unfortunately, the train that's never late is that it's the Jews. It's the Jewish people getting attacked."
"Always," said Maddow. "Anti-Semitism and authoritarianism are always sistered together. Always, always, always. When you see not only a rise in the expression of anti-Semitism but a sort of mainstreaming of it, and one of the major political parties of our two-party governing system flirting with it in a way that doesn't immediately get denounced throughout the political system, like that, there isn't a surprise I think that that's going with the sort of proto-authoritarian movements you're seeing in that party. Those things always go together."
Fundamentally, Maddow added, "the American democratic experiment is that a country that is made up of all different kinds of people, from all over the place, all get an equal say" — and outside of these far right corners, "it's hard to argue we don't want American democracy anymore."
"Democracy is uncomfortable because we don't like everybody having a say," said Maddow. "We prefer that just we have a say. It's easier to say, our country has been hijacked by demonic forces and shady people behind the scenes that you can't see. That always lends itself to anti-Semitism, or toward whatever kind of cabal you want to imagine. But at its core, it's just something you hide behind when what you don't want is to participate as an equal citizen with others who are different than you in a group decision-making process. You don't get to be in charge. You just get to be a citizen among many. For people who don't want that, the idea is where they often first go."
Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow on anti-Semitism www.youtube.com