PERRY: GOP pundits and a Colorado newspaper sully themselves with their Nazi-socialism theatrics

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Screenshot from the Colorado Springs Gazette’s website editorial page

Colorado’s far-right have set themselves ablaze over a news story calling out a state official’s glaring political attempt to tie Nazis to liberals and then toss that bomb into public schools.

Even in a political atmosphere of anything goes, the stunts stand out and deserve to be called out.

The self-immolation started a couple of weeks ago after Chalkbeat Colorado Bureau Chief Erica Meltzer — solely — uncovered and reported on a right-wing, Republican state school board member successfully inserting his anti-liberal politics into how Colorado students will learn about the Holocaust.

“Over the last year and a half, (state school board director) Steve Durham has pushed for the state’s academic standards to connect the Holocaust and other genocides to socialism,” Meltzer wrote in the Oct. 12 edition of Chalkbeat. The story was picked up by several newspapers statewide, including Sentinel Colorado. “Durham succeeded in omitting the word “Nazi” from an early version of the standards in favor of the party’s full name, the National Socialist German Workers Party.”

Meltzer goes on to include information about the debate over whether Adolf Hitler and his regime were some kind of socialist government or, as many history academics have said in the decades since the fall of the Third Reich, actually called themselves socialist as part of their populist ploy to become the authoritarian dictatorship everyone agrees it was.

Chalkbeat Colorado

It’s been pretty much settled social science for decades, and that’s not actually what this new controversy is about. 

Durham, a decades-long Colorado Springs Republican politician, has long made clear his disdain for “socialism.” Like so many Republicans, “socialism” has become the Fox News-approved wink-wink-nudge-nudge slur for liberals and Democrats. 

Soon after the Chalkbeat story was posted, the Colorado Springs Gazette published a house editorial torturing the subject and proclaiming that, Hitler and his genocidal fiends were indeed “socialists.” The Gazette backed Durham’s scheme to try and force teachers to tie Hitler to socialism. And in a stunning, Trumpish moment of “we’re not saying” that Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should ever “be compared to Hitler. They are not killers. They merely share Hitler’s political identity and much of his fundamental economic and social ideology.”

It sullies the state of journalism that a newspaper’s editorial page would sink to the level of Tucker Carlson’s Fox News fanaticism to draw any kind of parallel between Sanders, who is Jewish, Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina, and the depraved murderous regime of white supremacists who overwhelmed a nation and drove it to slaughter millions of Jews, gays and others in human history’s most sordid catastrophe.

Any “political identity” and “fundamental economic and social ideology,” between the two American Democrats and Hitler is non-existent or meaningful in the scope of public-school academic regimen.

The argument of the Gazette’s Editorial Page, and that of a handful of right-wing extremists across the state, has nothing to do with the academic merits of dissecting how an entire nation fell behind a regime’s intent to hold power by demonizing a race of people with a catalog of propaganda and false narratives, including that capitalism was an element of Judaism.

“Associating socialism/communism with genocide is rational,” right-wing pundit Krista Kafer wrote for the Denver Post OP-ED page. “And if memories fade, the next generation could be seduced by Marx’s fatal conceit.”

Kafer bends the truly rational push for Holocaust survivors and others to ensure that the apocalyptic genocide is not ever white-washed or minimized —  by associating it with people like Sanders — in an effort to guarantee that it never happens again.

We live in a world where neo-Nazis and others actively work as Holocaust deniers, and anti-Semitism florishes, even among main-stream Republicans and household-name American celebrities.

It is not rational to equate Nazi Germany to nations like Norway, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Iceland and endless more that have capitalistic societies with varying degrees of socialist programs ranging from universal healthcare to free college or old-age pensions.

It is not rational to attempt to tie socialism with hundreds of millions of Americans who like and depend on Social Security, the U.S. socialistic retirement system, Medicare, public schools and Medicaid programs.

This histrionic high-school-debater tantrum is nothing but a deceitful distraction from what Meltzer’s article was about: A Republican state board of education director successfully inserted his political bent against socialism and liberals into Colorado classrooms.

Had Meltzer not been aware of what Durham had done, and had she not taken the time to report on his scheme, none of us would know. 

Early American capitalism was a part of why millions of Black Africans were kidnapped and enslaved in fledgling American businesses, and our nation’s nascent capitalism had a part in the nation’s sordid genocide of Native Americans.

But those human catastrophes do not define American capitalism. And the Nazi’s ghastly crimes were not defined by any real or feigned socialism the Third Reich fascists employed to exterminate millions of men, women and children and invade much of Europe.

Public schools must be free of these blatant attempts to sow partisan points and political philosophies in the classroom.

The danger here, made apparent by the Chalkbeat story, is real and growing.

Currently at least one other candidate for state school board, in the 6th Congressional District, Republican challenger Molly Lamar, has consistently said similar things about public schools needing to be reined in for not being forced to insert far-right propaganda into classrooms.

“Lamar made clear her real intentions as an activist during an Oct. 20, 2021 interview on FoxNews,” The Sentinel Editorial Board wrote in a state school board endorsement. “She spends several minutes on a tirade about the insertion of critical race theory in Cherry Creek schools. She talked about how parents have lost control of their children in classrooms focused on leftist brainwashing, devoid of “back-to basics” academics.”

Earlier this month, the Denver Post reported that an attempt by state school board Republican Debora Scheffel failed by only one vote to throw out the state’s social studies curricula guidelines and replace them with the “American Birthright” program. It’s the same far-right dogma forced on Florida schools by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Sentinel editorial endorsement pointed out.

This argument isn’t about the navel-gazing, deeply academic exploration of what compelled an entire nation of educated people to fall behind the most gruesome event in human history, it’s about inserting twisted partisan propaganda into public education, solely for political gain.

It undermines the powerful voice of trusted newspaper editorials by spending it on such a vulgar and shameful caprice.

The offensive and disingenuous editorial doesn’t just besmirch valuable work done by journalists at the Gazette, it sullies all of journalism. 

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]

 

 

 

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DICK MOORE
3 months ago

Just more verbal vomit, big, long, hard to define PhD type words and right wing hatred that disguises any points that Dave tries to make. The take away that I received from this rant is that Dave hates any right wing journalistic editorial, even though there are very few in Colorado newspapers.

I continue to doubt that the Sentinel will be in existence this time next year. Then Dave can say it was the fault of Capitalism. He would be finally, correct.

FactsOverFeelings
FactsOverFeelings
3 months ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

No worries Dick, we all know big words confuse you! “Right-wing journalism” is a bit of an oxymoron – last week our own city council member Jurinsky summed up the Right’s response to actual facts and information: “I’m not going to listen to you”.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago

LOL, aren’t you the same person who whined about my citation of abortion support percentages?

FactsOverFeelings
FactsOverFeelings
3 months ago

If by “whining” you mean pointing out that you were twisting facts to make an invalid point, then yes, that was me.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago

There were no facts that were twisted, and the point was valid in any context.

DICK MOORE
3 months ago

No one in their right mind is going to listen to Juan Marcano when he speaks about anything, (except other far left wing socialists). Now your out of content quote is more into how it was originally spoken by Danielle directed at Marcano not you or me.

You tried to twist something out of nothing and is not relevant in this string. Says something about you but I still can’t figure it out. Maybe the answer is your true name is Arnie.

Joe
Joe
3 months ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

And your rent makes no sense.

DICK MOORE
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Please Joe, I try to keep my comments simple for folks like yourself. Simple comments are not a rant. Google it. By the way people will take you more serious if you simply review what you type to what you are thinking.

When you showed up a few weeks ago, I thought you were Joe Felice. You have proved beyond a doubt, you are not up to his verbal standards.

Bart Emanuel
Bart Emanuel
3 months ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

Glad to see you flying your fascist flag openly and proudly at long last, Dick. I thought you were headed off the Sentinel comments? I think the paper will continue to survive as long as you feed it with your hatred.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago
Reply to  Bart Emanuel

Yes, for marxists, anything that opposes their agenda is fascist.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
3 months ago

Hitler was a fascist, not a socialist, you dolt.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

And you’re a marxist, so what’s your point, you dolt?

DICK MOORE
3 months ago
Reply to  Bart Emanuel

I have cut back my comments in a major way as I’ve stated before because it brings out the hatred in people like you Bart. It’s not me that hates anything but stupid individuals and socialist ideas, all of which are 100% unamerican. Well maybe not the stupid.

I will not stop commenting when it helps stop the socialist creep and crime into what I consider to be my city. By the way, Bart, your last sentence shows no signs of personal intelligence on your part. Try harder to educate yourself, not for me, but for your personal growth.

Joe
Joe
3 months ago

You may call us “socialists” if you like, which just shows that you don’t know what the word means, but you can never equate us to Nazis, no matter how hard you try.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Yeah, Maoists is a better comparison.

Judith Powers
Judith Powers
3 months ago

Thank you for your thoughtful and correct excoriation of newspapers who have given a voice to the lies and false equivalancies of Right Wing “thinkers” regarding socialism. Your categorization of these statements as “histrionic high-school-debater tantrum(s)” is accurate and can be applied to the entire Right Wing agenda of random demonization of progressive thought and progressive thinkers. Not to mention the fear mongering, violence and hatred the Right Wing is fomenting. Politics today is, for the GOP, a game of one-upmanship and false victory and nothing to do with governing the country.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago
Reply to  Judith Powers

Your side sure does hate the taste of its own medicine, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, there’s more of your favored “repressive tolerance” tactic coming your way.

Rick
3 months ago
Reply to  Judith Powers

Stop the gaslighting, whenever the left has nothing to go on they claim conservatives are racist, sexist, hate mongers. Won’t work this time….

Nilta
Nilta
3 months ago
Reply to  Rick

That’s what you and your party has become.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
3 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Meanwhile, Paul Pelosi is recovering from hammer blows to the head administered by someone Trump would no doubt call “very fine people” because he fell for the modern conservative approach to “governance”.

The modern Republican Party represents nothing now but thuggery.

DICK MOORE
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Thuggery, thuggery you say. 50% or so of America are Thugs because they are Republicans. Now that’s really hateful. Isn’t it?

I don’t hate you, Jeff. I don’t. But you continue to say, I as a Republican must hate you. I just do not agree with your political stance, nothing more. I don’t hate President Biden, either. I just don’t believe in his politics, nothing more.

As an after thought, the Paul Pelosi situation has nothing to do with this string. Don’t see why it was brought up at all.

GeneD
3 months ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

Actually, neither major party has close to 50% of the population as members. And, judging by the popular vote of the last two Presidential elections, the majority of voters did not pull the lever for the Republican nominee.

DICK MOORE
3 months ago
Reply to  GeneD

Good for you, GeneD. You, at least, got the point I was trying to make. Consider yourself, “on a roll”.

GeneD
3 months ago
Reply to  DICK MOORE

Dick, your rants are usually so full of spleen and disdain or outright hatred for people with opposing viewpoints, who you label as socialists, that, as in this case, it is very hard to figure out the point you are trying to make.

Hypocrisy Monitor
Hypocrisy Monitor
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Blaming the Republican party for the attack on Pelosi by a mentally deranged person is tantamount to blaming Jodie Foster for the murder of John Lennon.

GeneD
2 months ago

Still waiting for the Republican condemnation of this attack, instead of the twisted humor and conspiracy theories made at an 82 year old assault victim’s expense.

GeneD
3 months ago
Reply to  Rick

She’s only reporting what she sees.

DICK MOORE
3 months ago
Reply to  Judith Powers

Are you trying to get a job at the Sentinel? Are you really Debra Mac or related in some way? Hey Dave, I think you should hire her. But alas, running out of cash.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
3 months ago

This is how the American Right rolls right now: Lie, lie, lie; foment hate; foment ignorance.

The inspiration for this is a crooked businessman who, as president, told over 30,000 documented lies before they just stopped counting. How can you tell when a Trumpalo is lying? His lips are moving, to cadge an old joke.

They are haters who revel in lying and violence. January 6 is all the proof you need. Look at the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, look at the Oath Keepers. They hate the Constitution and they hate the rule of law.

And they really hate anyone who disagrees with them.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

LOL, different year, same song your side has been singing for 60 years now. Whenever I want a good laugh, I read about the Weather Underground creeps blowing themselves up.

Hypocrisy Monitor
Hypocrisy Monitor
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

And who, pray to tell, do you hate?

Last edited 3 months ago by Hypocrisy Monitor
Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
3 months ago

Sorry, is that a requirement? I must choose someone to hate?

That would explain a lot…

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Is that why you whine about white people in Douglas County? You sure seem to hate them quite a bit.

Rick
3 months ago

The entire article is hate mongering. We deserve better.

FactsOverFeelings
FactsOverFeelings
3 months ago
Reply to  Rick

It’s funny how the right has spent years building up hate and division, pushing lies about elections and politics, stripping rights away from women and minorities, and outright becoming the modern Nazi party. But when the left points those things out they scream that the left is “hate mongering”, by just pointing out what the left has become.

Call me a socialist. That’s not an insult. You don’t understand socialism. By very definition the right has become fascist Nazis. You don’t get to go cry because you don’t like that you’ve become a very negative thing.

DICK MOORE
3 months ago

In America to be called a socialist, is an insult. You just do not grasp that fact as a socialist.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
2 months ago

Yes, to a marxist anyone who doesn’t think like they do is a fascist.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago

Early American capitalism was a part of why millions of Black Africans were kidnapped and enslaved in fledgling American businesses.”

No, it wasn’t. African slavery in the Americas was started by the Spanish, and the American colonies were run under a mercantilist system until the Revolution. Capitalism is a marxist conceit that’s one half of his intellectually lazy oppressed/oppressor false dichotomy.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
3 months ago

Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis were Spanish?

I did not know that.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

You actually think Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis started slavery in the Americas? I mean, I expect leftists to be historically ignorant and unnuanced, but this is taking it to a whole new level.

Then again, you did think a state with two Democratic Senators and a Democratic governor was right-wing, so perhaps that’s to be expected.

Last edited 3 months ago by Factory Working Orphan
Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
3 months ago

You might have had a point had either the editorial or I had said any such thing.

We didn’t.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

LOL, this coming from the same guy who was screeching about cities not being able to throw people in jail for felonies when the article in question never even mentioned that.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
3 months ago

You apparently never heard of double jeopardy.

It’s in this thing called the Constitution.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Robbing people is a crime as well, and we know your side loves it when businesses get robbed.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

Lee and Davis had nothing to do with slavery being introduced in America, Jeff. Your are off by at least 100 years.

Let’s not try to rewrite history here.

Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Brown

The editorial didn’t say that.

I was commenting on the editorial. Not what someone wishes it would say so he could score a smug, though irrelevant, point.

Factory Working Orphan
Factory Working Orphan
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

The point simply highlighted your side’s one-sided historical ignorance.

GeneD
2 months ago

You have two more years to nurture your anger and sense of grievance. But I hope that you use that time instead to check out what you really believe about your fellow man instead of the biases and bile that you are fed every day from your echo chamber.

Hypocrisy Monitor
Hypocrisy Monitor
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Ryan

You might peek your head out of your hole long enough to recognize there would’ve been no slave trading without slave traders. In our case, those who enslaved Africans and sold them to the highest bidder were their fellow BLACK Africans. Sold to Europeans, not kidnapped by them.

Last edited 3 months ago by Hypocrisy Monitor
Jeff Ryan
Jeff Ryan
3 months ago

Oh look! There goes the point. So sad.

GeneD
2 months ago

What a steaming stewpot of revisionist history! Were slaves brought to America for leisure purposes? No, they were brought to enrichen their owners and, by extension the consumers of the commodities they produced. Yep, slavery was going on in other countries, but the scale of it here was a picture of pure capitalism: profit above all.

Dennis Duffy
Dennis Duffy
3 months ago

Here us an example of the Pot calling the Kettle black.
I didn’t even bother reading it.

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown
3 months ago

This is one of the few times I agree with Perry and I say this as an wholly independent moderate.

The Nazi party was socialist in name only. Just like today’s GOP in Colorado is the party of small government—while they rubber stamp new metro districts by the dozen.

If there’s a root evil in the American political system, its the duopoly in which the GOP and the Democratic share sole responsibility. It simplifies everything they do into a good vs. evil battle — benefitting only the wealthy oligarchs and special interests. It’s within this good vs evil battle that nonsense such as this attack on our school curriculum will take hold.