Hiding brutality ‘under a halo of pretty words’

Corey Robin, author of The Conservative Mind, looks through a card catalog and finds the kind of historical analogy that will drive the Republicans who aren’t in a stupor into apoplexy. Robert Brasillach, novelist and Vichy regime apologist, said the following about Jews in the 1940s:

I am an anti-Semite, history has taught me the horrors of the Jewish dictatorship, but that families have so often been separated, children cast aside, deportations organized that could only have been legitimate if they hadn’t had as their goal—hidden from us—death, pure and simple, strikes me, and has always struck me, as unacceptable. This is not how we’ll solve the Jewish problem.

This causes Robin to throw up his hands:

Most ideological justifications of brutality do their work by hiding the brutality under a halo of pretty words. What’s odd about family values fascism is that the halo reveals the brutality. By deporting children along with their parents, you not only keep families together, but you also get rid of more undesirables. It’s a twofer!

My five conservative readers will balk at the analogy, and, yeah, we should weight allusions to the Final Solution; but when a portion of the GOP baits poor white people whose incomes haven’t risen in thirty years thanks to bipartisan commitments to killing the middle class, it’s natural to parse the consequences.

Another point. Cliven Bundy types shiver under the bed with elephant guns awaiting federal confiscation of their land. What else would this zealous persecution of illegal immigrants and their legal children be but a grotesque expansion of the surveillance state? I’ll wait for an answer.

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