Zakaria Likens Trump Contesting Election to Pre-Nazi Germany

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS, as he opened the show complaining about President Donald Trump refusing to concede defeat, host Zakaria likened the actions of the President and his supporters to "ultra-right-wingers" in 1920s Germany who helped give rise to Adolf Hitler by scapegoating Jews and communists for the country's loss of World War I.

The CNN host even provocatively read a quote from Hitler, and immediately followed it up with a video clip of Republican former House Speaker and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich as if to equate the two.

After recalling President Trump's resistance to conceding and his search for election fraud, Zakaria ominously warned:

The historical parallel that seems most appropriate today is a very dark one. After Germany surrendered at the end of World War I, ultra-right-wing groups concocted the myth that Germany was actually on the verge of winning the war in November 1918 but surrendered because of a conspiracy to destroy the country plotted by certain communists and Jews.

He soon read a quote of Hitler exploiting Germany's loss of World War I:

Hitler often raised the topic during his rise to power. In a 1922 speech, he said, "We must call to account the November criminals of 1918. It cannot be that two million Germans should have fallen in vain and afterwards one should sit down as friends at the same table with traitors. No, we do not pardon. We demand vengeance."

Zakaria then immediately jumped to a clip of Gingrich from an appearance on Fox News Channel:

FAREED ZAKARIA: Today, Newt Gingrich says this about Biden.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I think he would have to do a lot to convince Republicans that this is anything except a left-wing power grab financed by people like George Soros, deeply laid in at the local level. [editing jump] It's very hard for me to understand how we're going to work together.

After playing a clip of actor and conservative activist Jon Voight attacking the left, Zakaria worried that Republicans will cheat in future elections:

The historian, Timothy Snyder, points to the danger of such rhetoric: "If you have been stabbed in the back, then everything is permitted. Claiming that a fair election was foul is preparation for an election that is foul. If you convince your voters that the other side has cheated, you are promising them that you yourself will cheat next time. Having bent the rules, you then have to break them."

This episode of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS was sponsored by SafeLife. Their contact information is linked.

Relevant transcript follows:

CNN

Fareed Zakaria GPS

10:03 a.m. Eastern

FAREED ZAKARIA: The historical parallel that seems most appropriate today is a very dark one. After Germany surrendered at the end of World War I, ultra-right-wing groups concocted the myth that Germany was actually on the verge of winning the war in November 1918 but surrendered because of a conspiracy to destroy the country plotted by certain communists and Jews. In his book, The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett explains why this "stab in the back" theory endured. Quote, "The trauma of defeat left millions of Germans believing a particular narrative about the war, not because it was demonstrably true, but because it was emotionally necessary."

Hitler often raised the topic during his rise to power. In a 1922 speech, he said, "We must call to account the November criminals of 1918. It cannot be that two million Germans should have fallen in vain and afterwards one should sit down as friends at the same table with traitors. No, we do not pardon. We demand vengeance." Today, Newt Gingrich says this about Biden.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I think he would have to do a lot to convince Republicans that this is anything except a left-wing power grab financed by people like George Soros, deeply laid in at the local level. [editing jump] It's very hard for me to understand how we're going to work together.

ZAKARIA: President Trump re-tweeted this incendiary video of the actor Jon Voight.

JON VOIGHT, ACTOR: This is now our greatest fight since the Civil War -- the battle of righteousness versus Satan -- yes, Satan -- because these leftists are evil. (editing jump) Let us fight this fight as if it is our last fight on Earth.

ZAKARIA: The historian, Timothy Snyder, points to the danger of such rhetoric: "If you have been stabbed in the back, then everything is permitted. Claiming that a fair election was foul is preparation for an election that is foul. If you convince your voters that the other side has cheated, you are promising them that you yourself will cheat next time. Having bent the rules, you then have to break them."

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