FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Election 2016: The Banality of Evil on Steroids

by

shutterstock_353116895

As World War Two ground to an end in Europe, the Third Reich’s killer bureaucrats finally started displaying some good old common sense. They began emptying out the death camps and destroying as many records as possible pertaining to their “Final Solution,” like cats diligently covering up their dirty deeds in the litter box.

It didn’t save them in the end. As Hannah Arendt pointed out in Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, their work was just too openly conducted and too accepted by themselves and everyone around them as, well, normal, to be successfully hidden after the fact. But at least they tried.

This year’s crop of Republican presidential candidates could learn a lesson or two from the final gestures of Eichmann and company. If they had their wits about them, they’d hide their sick light under a bushel and at least pretend to give a hoot about quaint concepts like human rights, international law and the US Constitution.

Instead, the GOP’s presidential nomination race has become a rhetorical arms race to see who can position himself as most boisterously supportive of reprising all the crimes we’ve doggedly and piously pursued and hanged the Nazis for over the last 70 years.

Ted Cruz wants to know if sand can be made to glow in the dark.

Donald Trump chortles at a supporter’s condemnation of Cruz as a “pu**y” for his insufficiency of fervor in support of torture.

The whole Republican pack (now that Rand Paul is out) foams from the jowls at the prospect of using, rather than curbing, the executive powers Barack Obama has expanded and abused over the course of his two terms, including but not limited to waging war without Congress’s permission and assassinating US citizens without charge or trial (John Kasich wants to “punch Russia in the nose,” but at least Vladimir Putin bothers to deny murdering Alexander Litvinenko; the US brags about murdering Anwar al-Awlaki).

True, they’re all veritable George McGoverns next to Hillary Clinton, the most bloodthirsty woman in politics since Elizabeth Bathory, but that seems to be more a matter of means and opportunity than of motive.

And true, Bernie Sanders comes off as ever so slightly less insane on all of these issues, but his actual record reminds me of Barack Obama’s whole hope-y change-y schtick and how that panned out.

Unfortunately, 90%+ of American voters will likely pull the lever for one of these murderous sociopaths come November instead of supporting an anti-torture, anti-war, limited government, pro-freedom candidate (they’re called “Libertarians”).

And just like the “good Germans” who supported their leaders’ crimes until doing so became embarrassing, those voters will bear responsibility for what follows.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewable of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
Mark Weisbrot
Castro Was Right About US Policy in Latin America
David Swanson
New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act
George Ochenski
Forests of the Future: Local or National Control?
December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
Norman Pollack
Taiwan: A Pustule on International Politics
Kevin Martin
Nuclear Weapons Modernization: a New Nuclear Arms Race? Who Voted for it? Who Will Benefit from It?
David Mattson
3% is not Enough: Towards Restoring Grizzly Bears
Howard Lisnoff
The Person Who Deciphered the Order to Shoot at Kent State
Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Nick Pemberton
Make America Late Again
Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail