Playing the Nazi card went from verboten to de rigueur in the Trump era.
Democrats normalized it to slam the unorthodox Commander in Chief. Comedian Louis C.K. unofficially began the trend, comparing Donald Trump to Hitler months before the real estate mogul’s 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton.
And few, if any, clutched their pearls at the comparisons.
Yet when actress Gina Carano compared Germany in the 1930s to modern America the reaction proved hyperbolic. Her Disney bosses called “The Mandalorian” star’s social media posts “abhorrent and unacceptable” and fired her.
Carano lost her talent agency, UTA, and her professional future looked bleak before The Daily Wire hired her to produce and star in “Terror on the Prairie.”
Except Carano hadn’t played the Nazi card like her peers, none of whom have received an ounce of punishment for their comments.
Carano didn’t label any politician, Left or Right, as Hitler or Nazi-esque. She worried that conservatives and free thinkers alike were being treated like the “other” in western culture, and she feared what might happen next.
“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…. even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?”
Her post had more nuance, and empathy, than peers who called Trump supporters Nazis.
Still, even some conservatives recoiled at her evoking Nazi-era Germany.
Carano, now starring in “My Son Hunter,” made those comments in February 2021. The America she described is inching closer to reality less than two years later.
Here is President Joe Biden, in a landmark Sept. 1 speech meant to address the nation’s soul, describing those who don’t align with his party’s worldview.
“Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal…Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic…
“There’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. And that is a threat to this country … MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They live not in the light of truth, but in the shadow of lies. Together, we can choose a different path.”
Biden uttered those words before a blood-red background that countless social media users compared to Nazi Germany.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 2, 2022
This wasn’t a Hollywood liberal or MSNBC host casting aspersions on the modern GOP. The Commander in Chief used the full force of his bully pulpit to “other” half the voting population.
MAGA nation is a threat to America. Period.
Biden’s rhetoric, which he clumsily tried to walk back 24 hours later, didn’t happen in a vacuum. MSNBC commentators, who cheered Biden’s speech, routinely describe Trump voters in a dehumanizing fashion.
Right-leaning actors keep quiet, fearing their careers could crumble for sharing conservative views. Their liberal peers never stand up for their right to free expression. Not Clooney, Hanks, Streep or DiCaprio.
Even stories tangential to pop culture reinforce Carano’s point.
“Euphoria” actress Sydney Sweeney had to perform damage control when social media users savaged her family for potentially being conservative. The star’s mother celebrated her 60th birthday at a bash where a fellow family member wore a “Blue Lives Matter” shirt to support police officers.
Sydney Sweeney fans are expressing disappointment and shock that her family appears to lean conservative, this after she posted photos and video from a hoedown-themed party for her mom, Lisa. https://t.co/eY2N9p4WFg
— TMZ (@TMZ) August 27, 2022
Even more “horrifying?” Attendees donned “Make 60 Great Again” hats, a riff on President Trump’s MAGA catch phrase.
The social media mob tried to cancel Sweeney, who meekly asked fans not to insinuate her family’s political choices. She didn’t defend their right to align with conservatives. That would have made the problem worse, and the 24-year-old knows better.
Big Tech is putting the squeeze on Truth Social, Donald Trump’s attempt to build a Twitter alternative that won’t punish conservatives for being conservative. That comes after several tech giants, including Amazon, similarly punished Twitter alternative Parler last year.
That platform refused to punish conservative thought, too.
Have a contrarian view on COVID-19 or even Dr. Anthony Fauci? Chances are the Biden administration will try to erase it from the public square. Those views often come from conservative Americans, a group who routinely suffer censorial efforts by Twitter and other platforms.
Perhaps the worst example that magnifies Carano’s point? A prominent conservative being attacked for … existing.
Ben Shapiro stopped by Podcast Movement’s annual conference late last month to meet fans and visit his fellow Daily Wire employees. The event showcases the biggest podcasts in the country, including Shapiro’s wildly popular program.
Shapiro’s presence at the event coaxed Podcast Movement’s brain trust to apologize to those triggered by his appearance.
“Hi folks, we owe you an apology before sessions kick off for the day…Yesterday afternoon, Ben Shapiro briefly visited the PM22 expo area near The Daily Wire booth. Though he was not registered or expected, we take full responsibility for the harm done by his presence.”
Those of you who called this “unacceptable” are right. In 9 wonderful years growing and celebrating this medium, PM has made mistakes. The pain caused by this one will always stick with us. We promise that sponsors will be more carefully considered moving forward.”
Shapiro didn’t say anything outrageous during his time at the event. He took pictures with fans and walked around the hall.
He’s not an Alex Jones-like figure spreading baseless conspiracy theories. He’s a smart, mainstream conservative with a large, reasonable following. And, according to Podcast Movement, the Jewish intellectual can cause harm simply by showing up.
What’s the next logical step for that kind of thinking?
More social media hate aimed at roughly half the country? Or does that ginned-up rage need a physical outlet?
We’ve already seen Trump supporters targeted for violence, conservative Supreme Court justices endure vulgar protests outside their homes and one justice face a literal death threat.
That was all before Biden suggested half the country represents an existential threat to the U.S.
This isn’t Germany circa the 1930s, thank heavens, but it’s closer than many people assume. Someone deserves a belated apology, at the very least.
It can’t be done via Twitter, though. Carano’s Twitter account got deactivated in the last 24 hours.