Vichy Democrats
September 11, 2020 12:23 PM   Subscribe

The phrase “good Germans” refers to the Germans living in the Third Reich who enabled Hitler and his Nazi regime yet remained in denial that they were doing so.
Or they did know, but they put on a show of respectability. They were “just following orders,” they’ll say, or they’ll claim they didn’t have a choice. The good Germans were liars: you always have a choice.
And the “good Germans” of Trump’s America are no different.
Scroll down for multiple links.
posted by adamvasco (7 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: "The Dems are enabling Trump's slide to fascism by not fighting hard enough" is a thesis we've covered in extreme length and depth on every angle in the last several years. There is no shortage of this kind of comparison; we've got multiple other posts arguing around the details of the slide to fascism and how people of prominence should be fighting back just in the last week. But staking the whole post around just this comparison invites really really pointless fights over whether the exact historical comparison holds up, making for superheated fighting (superheated as if one side were somehow in favor of Nazis) among people who all agree Trump's a fascist monster and everything should be done to stop him. It's a bad dynamic to set up, let's not. -- LobsterMitten


I recommend They Thought They Were Free as well. The parallels are uncanny. Seek out some pullquotes and I guarantee you'll be nodding along and see that they have been written yesterday with only some of the proper nouns changed.
posted by Justinian at 1:00 PM on September 11, 2020

Hm, the link is a lot harsher on Congressional Democrats than I expected (though now that I see the title is "Vichy Democrats" that's not surprising). My instinct and gut says that's unfair and I can certainly formulate an argument to that affect but on the other hand I do think if Biden loses and we slide headlong into fascism, future historians (if they exist) won't look back at the actions of the House chairs and be like "thank god they were measured, restrained, and didn't push the envelope in terms of oversight and separation of powers, that would have been awful!".

So I am ambivalent.
posted by Justinian at 1:09 PM on September 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

I will admit that I'm a bit puzzled as to how dragging in the term "Vichy Democrats" makes sense in relation to people you're comparing to the Good Germans. That's not just because Vichy is about two hour's drive from Lyon, but because the Pétainists were not, fundamentally, cowardly, self-serving pragmatists, but instead enthusiastic authoritarians who shared the fundamental aspirations of their German masters. The Vichy regime was run, and enthusiastically supported by, the Bad French.
posted by howfar at 1:15 PM on September 11, 2020 [6 favorites]

If trump really wants to install a fascist dictatorship in the us, I don't think an accelerated subpoena schedule is going to do much to stop him.

"Vichy Democrats" is, to borrow a phrase from another fpp, rage bait. I don't like what's going on, either, but with the Senate held by Republicans, there are limits to what the House can do.
posted by factory123 at 1:20 PM on September 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

This comparison makes me so fucking goddamn angry I could spit. I’m sympathetic to the idea that Democrats could be doing a lot more flexing, and I’m certainly very nervous about November, but the gall, the sheer grossness of comparing people who aren’t fighting against the President as vociferously as they could be with people who literally abetted the Nazi regime when it took over France. Maybe that’s a tone argument or whatever, but fuck you, podcast hosts.

Seriously, I haven’t been so enraged by a label in a long time.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:20 PM on September 11, 2020 [6 favorites]

I think you'll find that the Democrats are far more like Neville Chamberlain than they are with the "Good Germans."

The "Good Germans" would be much more like the GOP.

(My rage and ire for the day is being reserved for those exploiting the anniversary of 9/11, otherwise this would be a bit more pointed.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:25 PM on September 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

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