Hitler's Fascist Coup Failed in 1923. He Became Chancellor in 1933.

De-platform fascists before it's too late

Right now, conservatives are experiencing the pain of being muzzled by social media companies for the first time. President Trump is banned from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and every new account he tries to post from gets instantly blocked like a sixth grader trying to score on Anthony Davis.

Even Parler — conservatives’ favorite new social media hangout where they openly plotted sedition for months — has been dropped by the Google Play Store. Apple’s App Store has threatened to ban it if the site doesn’t institute a moderation policy. Freelance writer Ryan Broderick pointed out that the massive de-platforming of right-wing voices wouldn’t have happened if those voices weren’t openly plotting violent acts of sedition.

To underscore Broderick’s point, Twitter user @TiffanyNeel3 took screenshots of several posts from Parler user @JuarezTX, who called for a U-Haul truck to be rigged with explosives and detonated outside of former President Barack Obama’s home. Other posts showed him wanting to “teach the commie marxist libs democrats a lesson” and fantasizing about genocide. Several of his posts got multiple upvotes from other Parler users (@JuarezTX is a verified Parler user, meaning the platform has a copy of his government identification).

“butcher there[sic] children, grandkids, great grandkids, grandmas, aunts, nieces, wives last. Skin them all. Slowly, in front of the commie men. Maybe it starts in one city, then another and another,” @JuarezTX wrote. “The sweet music of commie women shrieking in agony and pain, only drowned out by gargling on their own blood.”

“[W]hat needs to happen is leftist commie democrat traitor politicians kids and grandkids need to be burned alive and thrown into wood chippers in front of them. When democrats see Americans murdering their wives kids parents grandparents etc only then will they realize this is no longer a game.”

The mass purging of extremist social media accounts like these isn’t “censorship” or a violation of free speech — it’s simply people suffering the consequences of not abiding by a business’ terms of service. It’s no different than a convenience store with a “NO SHIRT NO SHOES NO SERVICE” sign ejecting a shirtless customer.

But de-platforming people with dangerous and violent ideologies isn’t just something to high-five each other over — it’s critically important for a functioning democracy.

(Adolf Hitler, 4th from right, with other Nazi defendants in the Beer Hall Putsch trial of 1924. Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

After the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, in which Adolf Hitler organized a mob of several thousand fascists to converge on Munich’s city hall, several Nazis died and multiple Nazis, including Hitler, were arrested and tried on charges of treason. Hitler himself was sentenced to five years in prison, though he only served nine months. And the sentence only came after Hitler was given a massive platform over the course of his three-week trial in 1924 to espouse his hateful and bigoted beliefs.

Following his failed coup attempt, Hitler realized that the best way to seize power was by legal means, rather than by force. He dictated his book Mein Kampf while in prison, which turned his dangerous beliefs into an easily consumable media product that helped his Nazi Party organize to win more seats in Weimar Germany’s parliament. By 1933, Nazis held a plurality of seats in parliament, but fell short of a majority. Conservative German politicians convinced President Paul Von Hindenburg to appoint Hitler chancellor. The next year, Hitler appointed himself Führer. And the rest is history.

This week, the Trump supporters who laid siege to the US Capitol failed in their effort to overturn a lawful election. But they’re still out there. And while some have been arrested and charged, many others with potentially lethal intentions — including the person who left multiple pipe bombs outside of the Democratic and Republican National Committee buildings — have not.

The most important thing we can do right now is to identify those who took part in last week’s act of sedition at the US Capitol, get them banned from social media, and force the violent, hateful bigots who have been emboldened by President Trump over the last four years to go back into their caves. Then we have to begin the hard work of de-programming our radicalized friends, neighbors, and relatives who have been consuming their poisonous bile. Only then can we have any hope of having a functional government and society.