The Nazi Next Door

Almost half of Democratic voters—48 percent—think the government should be able to fine or imprison individuals “who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications.” 

This is not the most astonishing finding of a poll just released by Rasmussen. Let’s go through the relevant points: Nearly the same percentage of Democratic voters—47 percent—think the government should be able to put a tracking system, like an ankle monitor or a locked collar, on people who refuse the vaccine. And 45 percent favor putting the unvaccinated in camps. Camps.  

More than half of Democratic voters—55 percent—think people who refuse the vaccine should be fined. Fifty-nine percent favor confining all unvaccinated people to their homes. More than a quarter of Democratic voters—29 percent—think that the government should be able to confiscate the children of unvaccinated parents . . . 

Is any of this Nazi enough for you yet? You are living next door to the people who would have turned you over to the Comité de salut public for opposing the “Law of Suspects”—the law that authorized the arrest of all suspected enemies of the Revolution and ushered in the Reign of Terror. You are living next door to the people who would have turned you over to the NKVD for “moral sabotage of the Soviet Union.” You are living next door to the people who would have called up the Gestapo and said, “My neighbor is hiding a Jew.” 

Examine these historical personages from Revolutionary France or Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany (or Nazi France): It’s not just that they were following orders. On the contrary, they thought they were doing a positive good for society. They were eager to help rid their community of dangerous elements. They were proud of what they did. 

Some of your Democratic neighbors will likewise be proud to lock you up, put a tracking collar on your neck, take away your children—all for the public good. These are people who would murder you for the public good. 

And this is the inevitable result of raising up generations of Americans without any fundamental attachment to freedom.  

Freedom of speech, freedom of action, freedom of conscience: Our public schools told us these things were ubiquitous and natural, so there was nothing special about America having them. There was nothing special about anyone having them. And because leftists don’t realize just how hard our ancestors had to fight for these unique and historically unprecedented rights, they’re not shocked or even sad to see them taken away. On the contrary, your neighbors think your attachment to these rights is precisely what makes you dangerous

My high school taught a little unit on the German excuse for World War II. This was the excuse fashioned by Hitler’s architect and Minister of War Armaments Albert Speer at the Nuremberg Trials. Speer thought that only one thing could save the German people from being tarred for all history with their irredeemable and totally enveloping sin: The leaders (including Speer) would have to take the fault entirely on themselves and say, “Our people didn’t know what they were doing; they were just following orders.” 

And this excuse has worked extremely well. Our high school teachers will discuss this, and ask us if we think that following orders is a legitimate excuse for doing evil. They fail to see how this has reframed the entire question: The question is not whether following orders is a good excuse. The question, which we no longer ask, is whether following orders was actually the motivation. 

Because of course it was not. Nazis weren’t just ordered to be Nazis. French collaborators weren’t just ordered to collaborate. Chinese students of the Cultural Revolution weren’t just ordered to murder their teachers in ways too ugly to describe here. These people relished what they did. And such was the purity of their commitment that they were willing to turn against friends and even family. Indeed, destroying something you love for the sake of the Revolution is the highest proof there can be of your personal goodness. 

Your Democratic neighbors won’t be ordered to vote for laws that ostracize you from society, steal your property, or send you away to a concentration camp. They will do it burning with pride and even with righteous indignation against you for forcing them to these extremes. They’ve already done it in New Zealand and Australia and Canada—places our schools taught us were identical to America in terms of rights and freedoms. 

This is why Americans cling to their guns. It has nothing to do with hunting. It has nothing to do with self-defense against the common criminal. We cling to our guns so that, when our neighbors show up and say, “We’re going to take you to the camps now, because you’re a danger to society,” we can look back at them and say, “Like hell you will.”

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About Dan Gelernter

Dan Gelernter is a columnist for American Greatness living in Florida.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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