• Nathan Max

'Rise and Fight Against the Lie'

Steve Schmidt

Editor's Note: Steve Schmidt is one of the founding members of the Lincoln Project. He is a communications and public affairs strategist who has worked on several Republican campaigns, including John McCain's 2008 bid for the White House, and he is now a regular political contributor to MSNBC. On Wednesday, Schmidt reacted to Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's comparison of mask mandates to the Holocaust in a series of eight tweets. MaxNewsToday has assembled this thread and reprinted it as one easy-to-read op-ed for our ongoing segment, Schmidt Storm. It has been edited for grammar and clarity. There will be more Marjorie Taylor Greene's in the next Congress and the one after that. Kevin McCarthy and a hundred others tried to ride the tiger to power, and the GOP wound up in the tiger's belly. Greene’s comments are a perfect reflection of both the moral stunting and victim ideology that animates the Trump cult of personality and American autocratic movement. They do, however, offer the chance for contemplation around Auschwitz and its meaning. Specifically, how did it happen? How did a political party that never received more than 37 percent of the vote take absolute power in a modern and sophisticated country? What was the role that propaganda and misinformation played in the poisoning of a civilized society and the destruction of European civilization and 100 million lives? How did the Jews, three-quarters of one percent of the German population, become the scapegoats for a lost war and the targets of such virulent hatred that 6 million would be annihilated in genocide? Why did so much of the world turn against democracy and embrace totalitarianism? Why did a cult of personality form around a man fueled by hatred and narcissism? The Holocaust was a singular event in the annals of human history, which is filled with examples of man’s capacity for evil, hatred and cruelty. How it occurred, and the legal framework under which it occurred, are essential things to understand. When J.D. Vance speaks about the “virtues and values of the American Nation State,” what does he mean? What does he mean when he talks about “destroying” opponents of that state? What exactly is the “new right?” What do they mean when they say they need to be tougher? Auschwitz was the end of the tragedy. It is worth understanding how it all began. In the end, it came from a lie, a lie conceived for political power that was fueled by hate, delusion and grievance. That lie grew, mutated and metastasized into the greatest crime in human history. The men and women who survived the death camps, and can offer living testimony around their evil, are approaching the end of long human life spans. We forget their remembrances at great peril to all of humanity’s future. It reminds us all to rise and fight against the lie.