The troubling reason why Nazi analogies are becoming ever more relevant

While Hitler's regime may have crumbled over 75 years ago, a new column in The Washington Post claims that the dangerous ideologies of Nazism remain prevalent in the modern world, largely due to the rise of far-right sentiments.

The op-ed, published Monday by Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, argues that it used to be unthinkable to compare modern politics to fascism or the Nazi Party, given that "the memory of the historical crimes against the Jewish people would be cheapened" if every Republican was called a Nazi.

However, that all changed, Rubin said, with the rise of former President Donald Trump, whose rhetoric she said has sometimes been chillingly similar to tactics used by the Nazis.

Rubin, who used to describe herself as "conservative opinion writer," said that Trump's politics were "replete with racist rhetoric, demonization of immigrants, overt antisemitism, grand conspiracy theories, frightful mass rallies and incitement to violence for political purposes." As a result, Rubin argues that the line between the far-right movement in the U.S. and fascism has been blurred like never before.

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The author also points to the words of Deborah Lipstadt, who is currently working as an anti-Semitism envoy for President Joe Biden. Lipstadt said in 2020 that "the attacks we’re seeing on the press, the courts, academic institutions, elected officials and even, and most chillingly, the electoral process, that this deserves [a] comparison. It’s again showing how the public’s hatred can be whipped up against Jews."

Rubin penned her column in response to the first episode of Ken Burns' new documentary, "The U.S. and the Holocaust," which explores the inactions of the United States during the plight of the Jews in World War II. Lipstadt, along with a number of other scholars, appears in the documentary and continually compares the rise of fascism to the increase in far-right sentiments in the U.S.

Rubin does make it clear in her piece that there are still numerous differences between Trump and Hitler, and that the comparison is certainly not perfect. However, she said that Trump's movement "bears many of the markings of fascist movements and leaders from history."

"Moreover, the bracing term 'fascism' reminds us not to take buffoonish characters lightly," she said. "We cannot normalize abhorrent conduct or discount the insidious nature of notions such as 'replacement theory.' And we cannot ignore the threats to a democratic, pluralistic society."

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