Chauncey DeVega, a political columnist for the liberal outlet, Salon, recently blasted modern-day conservatives for "enabling and defending" former President Donald Trump's "crimes" in a scathing op-ed, comparing them to "good Germans" during Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party rule.
"Good Germans" is an ironic term often used to describe German citizens during World War II who claimed not to support the Nazi regime but who, in practice, did little or nothing to combat its terrible reign.
And so, to DeVega, because Trump is "a force of political, human, moral and economic destruction" and the leader of a national "neofascist and white supremacist movement" — much like Hitler was — those who stand idly by while he commits his crimes are merely "an extension of his political cult and crime family."
DeVega's column, seething in vitriol toward conservatives, shows just how terrified the left is of Trump, fretting over his influence even now after he has been voted out of office. After all, in a recent survey, Democratic voters listed "Trump supporters" as the No. 1 issue causing them concern.
"Although Trump was defeated by Joe Biden at the polls," warned DeVega, he enjoys historic levels of support and "is now positioning himself as a shadow president." Though he never exactly clarified what he meant by the conspiracy-laden term.
But in an effort to prove his point, DeVega lamented the fact that even after Trump incited political violence at the Capitol — which he characterized as "part of a larger plot to overthrow American democracy" — public opinion polls show the Republican Party remains loyal to him.
He also recalled that a recent Gallup survey found that a majority of Republicans desire that the party move further right, rather than closer to the center. In the poll, 40% of Republicans said they wanted the party to become "more conservative," while 34% want it to "stay the same" and only 24% wanted it to become "more moderate."
But this is where DeVega's argument completely breaks down. Today's conservatives are not, as he says, "hid[ing] behind fictions of plausible deniability for the evils committed by their leader." Rather, they are celebrating his achievements and openly supporting his platform.
Nevertheless, DeVega argues that conservatives, "like the 'good Germans' of the Nazi era ... are calling themselves 'conservatives' [in] an effort to shield themselves from responsibility and complicity."
"Whatever 'conservative' once meant in American politics, it's now just a flimsy rhetorical shield for fascism," he added, showing he has no understanding of the American conservative movement whatsoever.