How could Trump’s Big Lie that he won the election damage our democracy?
A similar lie propelled the Nazis to power and helped end Democracy in Germany.
Los Angeles – May 9, 2021 – Trump’s falsehood that the election was stolen is uncannily similar to the lie that helped propel the Nazis to power, ending Democracy in Germany. Following the first World War Germany’s military and diplomatic establishments spread the lie that Germany had actually won the war militarily, but had been betrayed by the liberals, socialists and Jews, who had surrendered needlessly to the Allies.
Millions of Germans believed this, and the rage and nationalism they felt would help fuel the rise of the Nazi Party. A Washington Post article provides a detailed history of the lie told to Germans following the Armistice and compares it to Trump’s lie today.
While not one of those who spread the lie initially, Hitler would later add his voice to the growing chorus claiming victory had been stolen from Germany. This inflamed the German public and fueled Hitler’s rise.
The dark lesson Trump or his advisors may have learned from history is that by spreading the lie that the election was stolen from him, he could infuriate his base and drive the Republican party to the Right. With his incendiary rhetoric, nationalism, ability to fundraise, and his influence on future primaries, Trump remains a significant force in our national politics.
The lie Trump is still promoting, that he won by a landslide and that there was massive fraud, has outraged millions of Republican voters and driven them further Right. The same lie has helped radicalize many, even to the point of invading the Capitol.
But over 140,000 registered Republicans have left the party since the Capitol was stormed. They are looking for a new home, and if Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney and the other Republican Senators were to form a new Party, it would be a centrist force to counteract the extremism now emerging on the Right.
What happened in Germany following WWI is relevant to this moment in our own history. It’s time to remember, lest history repeat itself. Republican leaders like Liz Cheney have it within their power to stop Trump from further damaging our Democracy.