Best-selling author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza says American liberals are guilty of peddling the falsehood that fascism was a creation of the political right rather than the left and engage in fascistic ideas and methods today, all while claiming to be fighting the ideology thought to be buried in the ashes of World War II.
This is what D’Souza refers to in the title of his new book, “The Big Lie:Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left.” In an interview, the conservative scholar says we see this concept espoused every day in our political environment.
“Since Trump’s election, we’ve heard ad nauseum that Trump is a fascist, the Republicans are neo-Nazis party. The underlying idea here is that fascism and Nazism are a phenomenon of the right, that they’re somehow right wing. This goes way beyond Trump. This has been argued by progressives ever since World War II. I’m showing that this is actually the big lie,” said D’Souza.
“It isn’t just that Trump is not a fascist. It’s much deeper than that. Fascism and Nazism have always been on the left,” he said.
Comparisons of American political figures and ideas to Nazi Germany and even Adolf Hitler are increasingly commonplace on social media and beyond. So why D’Souza going there?
First, he says, many Americans use those terms with zero context.
“It is true that the use of the word Nazi or the Hitler comparison has been absurdly misused, and it’s partly because people don’t know what those words even mean,” he said.
When it comes to the history of fascism, D’Souza says it’s pretty clear where those nefarious figures thought they were lining up politically.
“(Italian dictator Benito) Mussolini was a lifelong socialist. He was the most famous Marxist in Italy when he created the fascist party and became the first leader of a fascist regime. Hitler’s party, of course, was called national socialism. Hitler changed the name of the German Workers Party to reflect that. These guys were firmly on the left. They were seen by their critics as on the left,” said D’Souza.
“It’s only after World War II that the big lie set in and fascism was somehow cunningly moved into the right-wing column so it could be promiscuously used against Republicans and conservatives,” said he added.
So how did this happen in the wake of World War II? D’Souza says fascism became forever synonymous with the Holocaust and became “completely morally discredited.” He says that’s when the revisionists got to work.
“Anti-fascism, in a sense, became the only morally reputable way to go. The left realized that and the moment they realized that, the progressives who were coming to power in academia and the media, they covered up the long, cozy relationship between the Democratic Party and the left on one hand and the fascists and the Nazis on the other,” said D’Souza.
“Then they basically said, ‘From now on, we’re going to be the anti-fascists. We’re still going to believe what we did. We’re going to act like we did. We’re going to pursue some of the same thuggish tactics that we’ve been using all along, but we will now use the moral credentials of anti-fascism so we can get away with it. We’ll act like we’re fighting Hitler in the 1930’s,'” said D’Souza.
And it’s that mentality that he believes is at work among the American left when it comes to the president.
“That’s how they act with Trump. Trump is supposed to be the new Hitler. These guys think that any tactics are justified in order to get rid of him,” said D’Souza.
Besides fascists being far to the left politically, D’Souza says Democrats use the same tactics of transference = accusing their opponents of the heinous things they’re actually doing. In Nazi Germany, he says Hitler accused the Jews of desiring world domination when it was really Hitler’s ambition.
“This is exactly what the left does in America. In my last book, ‘Hillary’s America,’ I show how they do it with the race card. The Democratic Party has been the party of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and the Klan. But somehow they blame the Republican Party for being the racist party,” said D’Souza.
“And similarly with fascism, it is the left that has had the actual ugly history of fascism. It was the left that was in bed with Mussolini in the ’20s and Hitler in the ’30s. Yet, these are the guys today who turn around and say, ‘Oh Trump. He’s a fascist. The GOP, that’s the party of fascism. This is pure transference. This is the classic use of the big lie in exactly the way that Hitler used it,” said D’Souza.
D’Souza points out that “the big lie” was a term used by Hitler, not to secretly admit his own tactics but for the empty charge he aimed at the Jews and other adversaries. He says we see it today in the Antifa rioters who shut down conservative speech in the name of fighting fascism.
“They wear masks. They cover their heads. They carry bike locks and baseball bats as weapons. They threaten, they intimidate, they use violence. These are the exact equivalent of Mussolini’s Blackshirts of the ’20s or Hitler’s Brownshirts of the ’30s, with the only difference being that the old fascists called themselves fascists, whereas the new fascists call themselves anti-fascists,” he said.
But while there may be a few messaging techniques in common, surely that’s where the parallels between the Democrats and fascists end, right?
Not at all, says D’Souza.
“Hitler himself admired the extermination of the American Indians by the Jacksonian Democrats in the 19th century. So in a sense, what Hitler is saying is that the Democrats did the first genocide. I’m going to do sort of the second one,” said D’Souza.
He also says racial and ethnic wedge politics are another common bond.
“Second of all, the deep history of racism that characterized the Nazi regime, of course in the Nazi case it was anti-semitism, but it mirrors the deep history of racism in the Democratic Party,” said D’Souza.
He says the Democrats’ transference on race is a narrative even high-profile Republicans are buying hook, line, and sinker.
“There’s a poor guy, Ken Mehlman, the (former) head of the Republican National Committee, who was traipsing from one black church to another, apologizing for the Republican Party’s history of racism. This poor fool doesn’t know that the Republican Party actually has no such history. It’s the party of emancipation, shutting down the Klan, fighting against segregation,” he added.
“He had bought into the big lie. He was so dumb that he actually didn’t know his own party’s history. So if you don’t have the knowledge, you’re not going to be able to fight back,” said D’Souza.
Not only do D’Souza’s critics dismiss any connections between the Democratic Party and the Third Reich, they repeatedly slam his characterization of the Democrats as the party of racism. They say slavery and Jim Crow are discarded policies from a party that has undergone a major shift over the past 50-60 years and that Democrats have been the champions of minorities and the poor for more than a half-century.
D’Souza says things there are still more similarities between the Democrats and the fascists than the left wants to admit, starting with their view of government.
“Let’s look at the fascism in the Democratic Party right now. First of all, the Democrats today remain the party of the centralized state. When Obama and Hillary and Bernie Sanders talk about increasing government control over all these sectors of the economy, this is actually classically fascist,” said D’Souza.
While right-leaning critics often describe Democrats and their policies as socialist, D’Souza says fascist is actually a more accurate label.
It’s not even really socialist because in socialist countries the government nationalizes an industry. We still have private hospitals. We have private health insurance companies. It’s just that the government tells them what to do. This notion of state-directed capitalism, this is the essential economic meaning of fascism,” said D’Souza.
In his book, D’Souza also decries the inability of conservatives to compete as broadly as the left in the battle of ideas. He says it’s time for the right to engage all of our culture, just has the left has done for generations.
“Republicans fight in one corner of the battlefield, electoral politics, and the left is making the long march through academia, the media, the whole entertainment world, including the world of comedy and including Hollywood,” said D’Souza.
He says pulling the strings on the media is another tactic used effectively by the fascists.
“Hitler said he understood that the media was the most important place to be to not only define what you stand for but get your message out. One of the first things the Nazis did when they came to power was that they made sure the media, the press, the German film industry and entertainment industry were all brought into line with Nazi ideology,” said D’Souza.
He says we’re seeing something similar in our pop culture today, only it goes by a different name.
“For the left in America today, we have political correctness, but political correctness reflects the success of the left in using its enormous power in media, in entertainment, and in Hollywood, and in academia, to enforce it’s own narrow ideology,” said D’Souza.