Lying or telling partial truths or little white lies to avoid conflict or to move things forward or to paint an opponent in a negative light has been the purview of politicians forever. Politicians telling lies in our democracy is nothing new, it’s an open secret. We all, at some level, understand that things get stretched.
But President Trump has moved far beyond the normal fib-telling parameters of modern politics. Trump regularly relies on the “Big Lie.” The “Big Lie” is a propaganda technique perfected in Nazi Germany.
The reason the “Big Lie” works is because it makes us question ourselves. Telling a lie so huge makes it seem true. Because no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” Hitler’s politics relied on the “Big Lie.” If you step back and look at everything Trump has said and done from the beginning of his campaign, he is following Hitler’s strategy to the letter.
His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it. OSS Psychological Profile of Hitler
Doesn’t this sound familiar? This is why Trump is blaming Democrats for separating immigrant children from their parents at the border. Every piece of evidence runs contrary to this claim. Many, many Americans, including prominent Republicans are freaking out about the abuse of these children. As Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said, “President Trump could stop this policy with a phone call.”
Weaponizing children never ends well. History is on the side of children and family. However, Trump’s doubling down on the “Big Lie” has been effective. Using Nazi propaganda techniques has to stop if we want the United States to have any moral leadership in the world, in our communities and in our homes. To quote former Attorney General, Eric Holder, “The need for good government endures” regardless of the politics.
An excerpt from Mein Kampf
It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X)