Magazine | May 6, 2019, Issue

Führer for a Term

A protester holds a sign against candidate Donald Trump outside the California Republican party convention in Burlingame, Calif., April 29, 2016. (Noah Berger/Reuters)

What will the Democrats run on in 2020 if the economy is good? Perhaps a return to the normal discourse, where the rubes are smoothed and groomed by soft hands and silver tongues and can be herded into the pen of consensus. The rhetoric will be familiar, but there’s a complication this time. It’s hard to reach out to people you despise.

Sample blather you might get from earnest candidates:

“We have to join together to fight the people who have joined us to fight! Only through unity can all of us unite, and only by putting aside our differences can we agree on the things that divide us.”

Uh — okay, but I don’t agree with you.

“And that’s fine! Not agreeing is what makes America great. We can find common ground where we both can stand, together.”

Yeah, but what about regulations that forbid us to stand on that particular ground because it was a wetland in 1964 and has to be preserved to protect the habitat of a hermaphroditic weevil?

“Then together, on different parts of ground that border the common ground, we can reach across and do the work that needs doing. I see an America where everyone does the doing, works the work, and does not shirk from the hard tasks of making tomorrow not only happen, but happen for everyone.”

Tomorrow, by definition, happens for everyone who does not expire before sunrise. Are you proposing federal regulations that make it illegal to die between sundown and sunup? Let me guess: the Dare All to Wake Now Act, or DAWN. It contains a package of incentives to keep people from dying before sunup, as defined by the National Weather Service. People who die before sunup shall be fined on a graduated scale. Is that it?

And so on. You suspect that the Dems really want to run on America’s wrack and ruin: This nation has always been a racist, patriarchal hellscape, except for a brief shining moment between 2008 and 2016, when it seemed possible — nay, likely — that everyone in the future would be a gender-neutral Web programmer. Everyone who mattered, anyway.

How do they find a polite way to let everyone know that Trump is literally Hitler and must be replaced with figurative Marx?

A recent Twitter thread with almost 10,000 likes and retweets detailed how far down the Hitler Path we’ve gone, including building a wall whose real purpose is to keep people trapped in America.

Really? you say. Yes. According to the #Resistance side of Twitter, the president’s Schicklgruberness is obvious, but you wonder if they have any historical knowledge. We already had a Hitler president, the previous iteration being the blood-and-oil-soaked George W. McChimpy Bushitler. He was such a grave threat to international peace and happiness that the Left deployed every tool it had, from mocking photoshops to papier-mâché puppets, and it worked: Chastened, he did not declare himself Führer, probably on advice from Dick Cheney, who thought he’d mispronounce it.

Ah am yore Furr-hurr! Heil, y’all!

(Cheney rolls eyes, thinks, “We’ll take another run at this in eight years.”)

So the Left probably believes, anyway. People with long memories — past 2016, I mean — recall that Hitleresque terminology was floated to describe Panamanian dictator Noriega. When he was in the news, some people thought his actual name was “Strongman Noriega,” since that’s how he was always described, as if he wore an animal-print tunic and lifted barbells in a circus. It is difficult to remember why someone who looked like a malevolent pineapple rose to near-Hitler status, but it was a more peaceful time.

Saddam Hussein had a better run as the next Hitler, since he had an ideology — Ba’athism, which sounds like socialism for sheep — and ethnic quarrels. He had an enemy to the east. Like Hitler, he fancied himself an artist — the German dictator painted, Hussein wrote novels in his own blood, which is really the definition of self-publishing.

Bonus — he threw rockets at the Jews! You’d think this would be an important part of the neo-Hitler definition and would disqualify Bush the Latter and Trump. But the Left just defined Muslims as the new Jews, and Jews became honorary Christians of a sort — meaning, you could hate them now, to your immense relief — and all was good.

Now Trump is Hitler Galore, complete with Ayatollah Pence at his side. Stands to reason that this will be the main rhetorical thrust of the Democratic candidate, no? If you’re the last shot to save the nation from Hitlerian Hitlerism at its Hitlerest, you’d better not play nice.

But the current golden-boy duo of Beto-Buttigieg, which sounds like a wedding announcement in a Star Wars movie, are praised for their un-Trumpian tone. The positivity. The hope! That might work for people not inclined to pay attention to particulars. The people who want an angry ranter who denounces Trump for putting toddlers in cages and making them deny Science (in Russian) won’t be happy with a cotton-candy spinner.

They might have to pause in their denunciation of old gropey white males to tout the fierce necessity of Joe Biden. They might have to stop condemning the state for sending minorities to prison for drug matters to rally behind Kamala Harris. They might have to stop railing against hypocrite millionaires to back the Bern.

And they would. They wouldn’t be happy about it. But they’re never happy about anything. If only Obama had dissolved the House and Senate and ruled over us all with wisdom and justice. Too bad “laws” kept that from happening.

Laws are racist. You know who else liked laws? Say no more.

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