Learning From History: Don't Think Fascism Can't Happen in America Today

In 2017, Nazis and racism have somehow made their way to the forefront in America. If we want to combat fascism today, we need to look at what happened in history.

The Nazi movement in 1930s Germany managed to convince people to overlook, tolerate and participate in horrifying crimes against others. How did they pull off their massive scam and persuade the German people that they were standing up for their “heritage”?

Glenn took a historical look at fascism in the hopes of stopping people today from going over the cliff on radio Wednesday. The key issue was how people were trained to believe that their suffering was the fault of the Jews, giving them an excuse to look the other way during Hitler’s atrocities.

“How did the Nazis actually pull this off?” Glenn asked the difficult question. “How did something so evil become something that so many people, and some of the best-educated people in the world [fell for]; how did they fall for that?”

Part of the problem was how society slowly began to devalue human life, while simultaneously turning to science as the answer to all of people’s problems.

“’Science will solve everything,’” Glenn paraphrased the thinking of the time. “’If we can just get rid of the stupid people, if we can just get rid of the handicapped people’ …”

GLENN: Hello, America. There's a couple of stories that are really fascinating. One is in the Washington Post. The road to hate. For six young men, Charlottesville is only the beginning. And it talks about how these guys have fallen in with neo-Nazis. And it's very, very clear and easy to see what's happening. But it is a difficult conversation to actually come at this and try to have a real conversation in more than a seven-second sound bite.

And so for the love of our nation. For the love of each other. For the love of decency, common sense, and our very survival, we're going to try every day to have an actual conversation. I don't know if that's even possible anymore.

But we're going to take another step towards it, beginning right now.

(music)

GLENN: How did the Nazis -- how did the Nazis actually pull this off? How did something so evil become something that so many people -- and some of the best educated people in the world, how did they fall for that?

It is the question that I don't think that we've ever really, truly answered. We have spent -- at least me -- we have spent our lives watching all these World War II documentaries. And if it's black and white and it's got Nazis in it, guys somehow or another are always flocking to those documentaries. We're fascinated by this.

And we're fascinated because it is so clearly evil. And it just swept a nation. And almost swept the world.

How? How?

There's been a lot of surface answers. But the real answer, to me, is pain and humiliation. The pain and the humiliation that was caused by World War I. And then the indoctrination that -- that happened in the -- in the universities, beginning at the turn of the century, long before the Nazis. The devaluing of life and the sanctity at this time of life and the -- the elevation of science, to get rid of all of our problems. Science will solve everything.

If we can just get rid of the stupid people, if we can just get rid of the handicapped people -- excuse the language, but this is the language they used to use, if we can just get rid of all the retarded people, we're going to be fine.

But we don't have time. You want to make the world a better place: We've got to get rid of those people. And that quickly turns into: If we would just get rid of all of the greedy people. If we just get rid of all of these bankers because, you know, the bankers were involved.

Let me say this to you: Do you believe the Nazis are good?

Okay. I think that's -- I didn't even need to pause. I think everybody's like, "Nope."

Do you think -- now, here's where it's going to get complicated for some people, "Do you think the Nazis have some good points that they're making?" Think about that.

Your knee-jerk is no. But how many in the audience are like, "Well, they are standing against the -- wait a minute. A door is opening. They are standing against the erasing of our heritage. A door has just opened.

If I said, "Jews, Jews, Jews, they all must die. They're bad. They're keeping you down," I don't know a soul that's going to believe that. Not a soul is going to believe that. But then let's take it to the next chant that they do, the next chant is, "Jews, they run the banks."

Okay. I don't know anybody of any intelligence that believes that and is going to say, "You know what, that Nazi is making a good point."

"Jews, they run the banks, and the banks are getting rich off of your back."

Now, wait a minute. The door is starting to open a crack because the average person who is suffering will dismiss the Jew part, but begin to see, "Yeah, well, wait a minute, the banks are getting rich."

And the smart Nazi will say, "The banks are getting rich. They got a bailout. Did you get a bailout? I didn't get a bailout. They got a bailout, and it's the -- it's the banks, and it's the corporations that are doing it."

Now that door is open to anyone who suffering. And that door is there. And all of a sudden, the guy who didn't say Jews, didn't say Jews are running the world, didn't say Jews are running all the banks, but that's implied because he's a Nazi.

Because he has found that one place of connection and he looks like you. Read the story in the Washington Post. The guys who went down there, they never saw themselves as Nazis. But I know this to be true because I've joined another very unpopular club. I hate to say this. But I am a big supporter of Alcoholics Anonymous. And I remember the first time I went to an AA meeting, my first thing I said was, "I think I'm an alcoholic." And the room laughed. And they said, "Well, brother, if you think you're an alcoholic, I mean, there's usually a reason for that. You know, people who aren't, you know, having blackouts don't generally think they're an alcoholic. You've got some signs. So if you're thinking that way, you most likely are."

And I said, "Well, here's my problem: You guys don't look like alcoholics."

And a lady -- an old lady with pearls and a sweater set, who looked like a grandma and a really respectable wealthy grandma -- not my grandma. A really respected wealthy grandma, just without even turning around said, "Oh, honey, we're all drunks in here." All of a sudden, I could accept that I was an alcoholic, because they didn't look like I thought alcoholics looked.

The Nazis are coming out. And did you hear about the Antifa protester that was beaten up by his own people because he looked like a Nazi? And he was like, "I'm not a Nazi. I'm on your side." And they beat him within an inch of his life. Because he looked like a white supremacist Nazi.

Well, when you're coming in -- why do you think -- do you know who designed the Nazi uniform, the storm trooper, the SS, the black uniform? That was Hugo Boss. Hugo Boss, the designer. He's the one who designed those uniforms.

Oh, but his suits aren't oppressing you, right? Or should we burn down all Hugo Boss uniforms, I mean, stores?

Somehow or another, he gets a pass. They get a pass.

Volkswagen gets a pass. Volkswagen, you put the little flower in the little cannister there, the little vase by the steering wheel. Volkswagen is a thing of peace and love. Volkswagen. The people's car. The people's wagon. It was a national socialist design and commissioned by Adolf Hitler.

Oh. But they get a pass. We're not burning Volkswagens down, are we?

Why? Because they've changed their image. They no longer have Adolf Hitler going, "This is the people's car." They have a little flower by the steering wheel.

We're being tricked by image. And people are falling into it for a couple of reasons: One, they are actually hurting. People are going to Antifa, and they are excusing -- they're not joining. They're excusing Antifa, even though there are many people on the left who do not believe what Antifa is doing is right. They do not believe that burning the city of Berkeley down to the ground is a good thing. They don't believe any of that.

They're actually afraid of Antifa. But they're excusing it, because, look at the other side. Look at what they're doing. We got to stop that, right? The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

No, the enemy of my enemy may be your friend, but he also may be your enemy.

And Antifa is your enemy. Same with Nazis. They are your enemy. You cannot stand with them, no matter how much you want to dismiss the bad parts about them. No matter how much they image themselves just like you. That's not who you are.

There was something that happened yesterday that is the cliff of insanity. And I refuse to go no further.

And I'm going to ask you to join me on something. But everything in you will say, "I'm not going to do that." Everything in you.

And, you know what, partially, you will be justified in saying it. Because you're tired. And you've been convinced you don't make a difference. But I'm going to ask you, "Don't go over the cliff with the rest of humanity. Take a stand."

Glenn Beck: Adam Schiff is a LIAR — and we have the proof

Image source: Glenn Beck Program on BlazeTV

On the radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck didn't hold back when discussing the latest in a long list of lies issued by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) during the Democrats' ongoing endeavor to remove President Donald Trump from office.

"I'm going to just come out and say, Adam Schiff is a liar. And he intentionally lied. And we have the proof. The media being his little lapdog, but I'll explain what's really going on, and call the man a liar to his face," Glenn asserted. "No, I'm not suggesting he's a liar. No, I'm telling you, he's a liar. ... Adam Schiff is a lying dirtbag."

A recent report in Politico claimed Schiff "mischaracterized" the content of a document sent to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as evidence against President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Read more on this here.

"Let me translate [for Politico]," Glenn said. "House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff lied about a text message exchange between two players in the Ukrainian saga. And we know it, because of the documents that were obtained by Politico."

A few of the other lies on Schiff's list include his repeated false claims that there was "significant evidence of collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia leading up to the 2016 presidential election, his phony version of President Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine, and his retracted claim that neither he nor his committee ever had contact with the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower. And the list just keeps getting longer.

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On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere discussed recent reports that former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, wasn't the only family member to capitalize on his connections to land an unbelievably lucrative job even though he lacked qualifications or experience.

According to Peter Schweizer's new book, "Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite," Joe Biden's younger brother, Frank, enjoyed the benefit of $54 million in taxpayer loans during the Obama administration to try his hand at an international development venture.

A lawyer by training, Frank Biden teamed up with a developer named Craig Williamson to build a sprawling luxury resort in Costa Rica, which claimed to be on a mission to preserve the country's forests but actually resulted in the decimation of thousands of acres of wilderness.

The then-vice president's brother also reportedly earned hundreds of thousands of dollars as the front man of a for-profit charter school company called Mavericks in Education.

The charter schools, which focused on helping at-risk teens, eventually failed after allegations of mismanagement and a series of lawsuits derailed the dubious business venture.

Watch the video below to get Glenn's take on these latest revelations in the Biden family corruption saga:

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Ryan: Bernie at the disco

Photo by Sean Ryan

Saturday at El Malecón, we waited for the Democratic socialist. He had the wild white hair like a monk and the thick glasses and the booming voice full of hacks and no niceties.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The venue had been redecorated since we visited a few nights before when we chatted with Castro. It didn't even feel like the same place. No bouncy castle this time.

Photo by Sean Ryan

A black curtain blocked the stage, giving the room a much-needed depth.

Behind the podium, two rows of mostly young people, all holding Bernie signs, all so diverse and picturesque and strategic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Lots of empty seats. Poor showing of Bernie fans for a Saturday afternoon. At one point, someone from Bernie's staff offered us seats in the audience, as if eager to fill up those seats however possible.

There were about 75 people in the dancehall, a place built for reunions and weddings and all those other festivities. But for a few hours on Saturday, August 10, 2019, it turned serious and wild for "Unidos Con Bernie."

Photo by Sean Ryan

People had been murmuring about Sanders' speech from the night before at Wing Ding. By all appearances, he had developed a raving lust to overthrow Trump. He had even promised, with his wife just out of view, that, were he elected, he'd end white nationalism in America. For good.

El Malecón lacked its previous air of celebration. It had undertaken a brooding yet defiant spirit. Media were sparse. Four cameras faced the podium. Three photographers, one of whom had been at nearly all the same events as us. A few of the staffers frowned at an empty row of chairs, because there weren't that many chairs to begin with.

At the entrance, Bernie staff handed out headsets that translated English to Spanish or Spanish to English, depending on who the speaker was. The translators stood behind the bar, 20 feet from the podium, and spoke into a lip-ribbon microphone.

Bernie's staff was probably the coolest, by far. As in, they looked cool and acted stylishly. Jeans. Sandals. Careworn blazers. Tattoos. One lad had a black Levi's shirt with lush crimson roses even though he wasn't a cowboy or a ranch-hand. Mustaches. Quirky hats. A plain green sundress. Some of them wore glasses, big clunking frames.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The outfits were distinctly Bernie. As Bernie as the tie-dyed "BERNIE" shirts for sale outside the club. Or later, at the Hilton, like a Grateful Dead cassette stand.

Immigration was the theme, and everyone in the audience bore some proof of a journey. Because America offers life, freedom, and hope.

Sanders' own father emigrated from Poland to America at 17, a high school dropout who could barely speak English. As a Jew, he'd faced religious persecution.

Within one generation, Bernie Sanders' father contributed to the highest stratum of American society. In one generation, near hopelessness had transformed into Democracy, his son a congressman with a serious chance at the presidency.

Photo by Sean Ryan

That's the beauty of America. Come here broken and empty and gutted and voiceless. And, within your lifetime, you can mend yourself then become a pillar of society. Then, your son can become the President of the United States of America!

Four people gave speeches before Sanders. They took their time, excited and nervous. They putzed. Because how often do you get to introduce a presidential frontrunner?

All the native English speakers jammed their earpieces when the woman with the kind and dark energy took the stage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

She mumbled in Spanish and did not look up and said that, when her parents died, she couldn't go home for the funeral. She fought back tears. She swallowed hard to shock herself calm. And the room engulfed each silence between every word.

It felt more like a therapy session than a political rally. A grueling therapy session at that. Was that what drew people to Bernie Sanders, that deep anguish? That brisk hope? Or, rather, the cessation of it, through Sanders? And, of course, the resultant freedom? Was it what gave Sanders a saintlike ability to lead people into the realm of the confessional? Did he have enough strength to lead a revolution?

Photo by Sean Ryan

While other frontrunners hocked out money for appearances, like the studio lights, Sanders spent money on translators and ear-pieces. The impression I got was that he would gladly speak anywhere. To anyone. He had the transitory energy you can capture in the writings of Gandhi.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'm not saying he's right or wrong — I will never make that claim, about any of the candidates, because that's not the point of this, not the point of journalism, amen — what I'm saying is he has the brutal energy of someone who can take the subway after a soiree or rant about life by a tractor or chuck it up with Sarah Silverman, surrounded wherever he goes.

Without the slightest fanfare, Sanders emerged from behind the black curtain. The woman at the podium gasped a little. The room suctioned forward when he entered. In part because he was so nonchalant. And, again. That magnetism to a room when a famous or powerful or charming person enters. Not many people have it. Not many can keep it. Even fewer know how to brace it, to cull it on demand. But several of the candidates did. One or two even had something greater.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'll only say that Bernie had it with a bohemian fervor, like he was a monk stranded in a big city that he slowly brings to God.

"We have a President who, for the first time in my lifetime, who is a President who is a racist," he shouted. "Who is a xenophobe and anti-immigrant. Who is a sexist. Who is a religious bigot. And who, is a homophobe. And, what is very disappointing is that, when we have a President, we do not necessarily expect to agree with him, or her, on every issue. But we do believe that one of the obligations is to bring people to-geth-ah. As Americans."

Photo by Sean Ryan

After listening silently for several minutes, the audience clapped. Their sweet response felt cultish. But, then again, what doesn't feel cultish these days? So this was cultish like memes are cultish, in a striving-to-understand kind of way.

"The essence of our campaign is in fact to bring people together," he said. "Whether they're black, or white, or latino, or Native American, or Asian-American. We understand that we are Americans."

At times, this meant sharing a common humanity. Others, it had a slightly more disruptive feel. Which worked. Sometimes all we want is revolution. To be wild without recourse. To overthrow. To pass through the constraints of each day. To survive. The kind of rowdy stuff that makes for good poetry but destroys credit lines. Sanders radiated with this intensity, like a reclusive philosopher returning to society, from his cave to homes and beds and fences and maybe electricity.

Photo by Sean Ryan

But, as he says, his revolution would involve healthcare and wages and tuition, not beheadings and purges and starvation.

Seeing the Presidential candidates improvise was amazing. They did it constantly. They would turn any of their beliefs into a universal statement. And Sanders did this without trying. So he avoided doing the unbearably arrogant thing of pretending to speak like a native Guatemalan, and he looked at the group of people, and he mumbled in his cloudy accent:

"My Spanish — is not so good."

Photo by Sean Ryan

This is the same and the opposite of President Trump's Everyman way of speaking English like an American. Of speaking American.

Often, you know what Sanders will say next. You can feel it. And, anytime this happened, it brought comfort to the room.

Like, it surprised no one when he said that he would reinstate DACA on his first day in office. It still drew applause.

But other times, he expressed wild ideas with poetic clarity. And his conclusions arrived at unusual junctures. Not just in comparison to Republicans. To all of them. Bernie was the Tupac of the 2020 election. And, to him, President Trump was Suge Knight, the evil force behind it all.

"Donald Trump is an idiot," he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Everybody loved that. Everybody clapped and whooped and some even whistled like they were outside and not in a linoleum-floor dancehall.

"Go get 'em, Bernie," someone in the back shouted.

This was the only Sanders appearance with no protestors.

"Let me say this about the border," he shouted. And everybody listened to every thunking syllable. He probably could have spoken without a mic. Booming voice. Loud and clear. Huddling into that heavy Vermont slug accent.

They'll say many many things about Bernie. One being, you never had to lean forward to hear him. In person, even more so. He's less frail. More dynamic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Despite the shoddiness of the venue, there was a sign language interpreter. Most of the rallies had a designated interpreter.

"If you work 40 hours a week you shouldn't be living in poverty," he shouted, provoking chants and applause from the audience, as if he were talking about them. Maybe he was.

An anecdote about the people at an emergency food shelf blended into the livable wage of $15 an hour. He shifted into his spiel about tuition-free college and pointed at the audience, "You're not doing well," then at the kids behind him, "they are." He craned his head sideways and back. "Do your homework," he told said.

Laughter.

Half of the kids looked like they hadn't eaten in days. Maybe it was their unusual situation, a few feet from Bernie Sanders at a stucco community center.

Before the room could settle, Sanders wove through a plan for how to cancel debt.

Did he have a solution?

Tax Wall Street, he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And he made it sound easy. "Uno dos trey," he said. "That's my Spanish for today."

A serious man, he shoved through his speech like a tank hurtling into dense jungle. He avoided many of the typical politician gimmicks. Proof that he did not practice every expression in front of a mirror. That he did not hide his accent. That he did not preen his hair. That he did not smile for a precise amount of time, depending on the audience. That he did not pretend to laugh.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He laughed when humor overtook him. But it was genuine. With none of the throaty recoil you hear in forced laughter.

"I want everyone to take a deep breath," he said. And a palpable lightness spread through the room, because a deep breath can solve a lot of problems.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Then he roused some more. "Healthcare is a human right," he shouted. "A human privilege," he shouted. He told them that he lives 50 miles from the Canadian border in Burlington, Vermont, and healthcare works better up north.

Each candidate had a bad word, and Sanders' was "corporate."

Photo by Sean Ryan

At every speech, he mentioned "corporate media" with the same distrust and unpleasantness that conservatives derive from the term "mainstream media." Another would be "fake news," as popularized by Sanders' sworn enemy. Either way it's the same media. Just different motivations that irk different people.

But the discrepancies varied. Meaning two opposing political movements disliked the same thing, but for opposite reasons.
It sounded odd, Sanders' accusation that the media were against him. The media love Bernie. I can confirm this both anecdotally and judiciously. Yes, okay, in 2016, the media appeared to have sided with Hillary Clinton. As a result, Sanders was publicly humiliated. Because Clinton took a mafioso approach to dealing with opponents, and Sanders was her only roadblock.

Imagine if a major political organization devoted part of each day to agitating your downfall. And then you fail. And who's fault is it?

Sanders wanted to know: those negative ads targeting him, who paid for them?

Photo by Sean Ryan

Corporations, of course. Corporations that hated radicals like him. And really was he so radical? He listed off the possibilities: Big pharma, insurance companies, oil companies.

Because he had become a revolutionary, to them. To many.

He said it with certainty, although he often didn't have to say it at all. This spirit of rebellion had become his brand. He would lead the wild Americans into a utopia.

But just as quickly, he would attack. Trump, as always, was the target.

He called Trump the worst president in American history.

"The fates are Yuge," he shouted.

The speech ended as informally as it had begun. And Sanders' trance over the audience evaporated, replaced by that suction energy. Everyone rushed closer and closer to the man as Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin in the Free World" blared. Sanders leaned into the podium and said, "If anyone wants to form a line, we can do some selfies."

Photo by Sean Ryan

It was like meeting Jesus for some of the people.

There he was, at El Malecón. No stage lights, no makeup, no stylist behind the curtain. Just him and his ideas and his erratic hand commotion.

Then a man holding a baby leaned in for a photo. He and Sanders chatted. And, I kid you not, the whole time the baby is staring at Bernie Sanders like he's the image of God, looking right up at him, with this glow, this understanding.

Bernie, if you're reading this, I'd like to suggest that — if this election doesn't work for you — you could be the next Pope.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Harvard Law professor and lawyer on President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team Alan Dershowitz explains the history of impeachment and its process, why the framers did not include abuse of power as criteria for a Constitutional impeachment, why the Democrats are framing their case the way they are, and what to look for in the upcoming Senate trial.

Dershowitz argued that "abuse of power" -- one of two articles of impeachment against Trump approved by House Democrats last month -- is not an impeachable act.

"There are two articles of impeachment. The second is 'obstruction of Congress.' That's just a false accusation," said Dershowitz. "But they also charge him, in the Ukraine matter, with abuse of power. But abuse of power was discussed by the framers (of the U.S. Constitution) ... the framers refused to include abuse of power because it was too broad, too open-ended.

"In the words of James Madison, the father of our Constitution, it would lead presidents to serve at the will of Congress. And that's exactly what the framers didn't want, which is why they were very specific and said a president can be impeached only for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," he added.

"What's alleged against President Trump is not criminal," added Dershowitz. "If they had criminal issues to allege, you can be sure they would have done it. If they could establish bribery or treason, they would have done it already. But they didn't do it. They instead used this concept of abuse of power, which is so broad and general ... any president could be charged with it."

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