The 2008 Tom Cruise movie "Valkyrie" reacquainted Americans with Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, a Nazi officer who made a valiant effort to save the world by plotting the failed assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler.
It was a classic example of Machiavelli’s “the ends justify the means.”
Which brings us to Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The current occupant of the White House is so loathed by the elites in academia, the press and the entertainment industry that they have often equated his style, demeanor, rhetoric, and objectives to Hitler, perhaps the most heinous human who ever lived.
How many times have we heard that Trump is a threat to our democracy, though not a single journalist has been jailed by this administration. Or that keeping illegal immigrants in a holding cell pending a court hearing is considered on par with putting Jews in concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Or that barring refugees from certain countries is an affront to our Constitution, despite the Supreme Court saying otherwise.
There is ample reason to criticize Trump's words, and some of his policies. Reasonable minds may differ as to whether his tax cut, his withdrawal from Syria, or his trade war with China is good or bad for our nation, but when Americans foolishly take the giant leap and begin equating their political enemies with the likes of Hitler, there can be frighteningly dangerous consequences.
When your political foe is deemed a Hitler, it may lead many well-intentioned, yet sanctimonious, do-gooders to engage in blatantly illegal activity on the theory that the ends justify the means. Stopping another Hitler gives you a pass to do just about anything. What does it matter if an allegation is not substantiated? Say it anyway. It’s all for the greater good.
Call it the Valkyrie Effect.
It is the latest version of “virtue signaling.” Those employing it are expressing to others how virtuous they are. So virtuous, in fact, that they would be willing to break the law or trash centuries-old standards to save the world from Trump.
Sophisticated, highly educated and intelligent members of the media have fallen prey to the Valkyrie Effect. Take, for instance, New York Times media columnist, Jim Rutenberg, who stated, without apology, that this is a unique time in American history where the press must, in essence, become a biased advocate against the monster at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Hundreds of years of journalistic standards have been thrown out the window because of the Valkyrie Effect.
“If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?... You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional.”
“Normal standards” no longer apply, he reckoned.
The Valkyrie Effect is what has led high-ranking Democrats to subvert the security of the United States to their open borders plan. Can’t give Trump a win; he’s the new Hitler. If it means reversing our previous positions and ending American sovereignty, so be it.
In the past, no self-respecting major newspaper would print a scathing op-ed against a sitting president from an administration insider, while keeping the author anonymous. But if loosening that standard helps bring down the deplorable one, it’s worth it.
In a different era when the press was still respected, media outlets would never have legitimized or commented on an unverified dossier published by Buzzfeed, or a bogus article by the same sketchy news service stating that Trump committed a felony by suborning perjury. Journalistic standards be damned, we have a homicidal megalomaniac we must slay.
Yoni Appelbaum of The Atlantic suggests we violate the Constitution by impeaching Trump, even if a high crime or misdemeanor is not proven, as warranted by our nation’s sacred foundational text. Merely despising his policies and loathsome character are sufficient. Appelbaum’s rationale was frightening. “Only by authorizing a dedicated impeachment inquiry can the House begin to assemble disparate allegations into a coherent picture,” he said. Translation: You don’t need evidence to impeach; mere innuendo will suffice. This is a Hitler, after all.
Steve Levy, former New York state assemblyman, Suffolk County executive, and candidate for governor, is now a distinguished political pundit. Levy's commentary has been published in such media outlets as Washington Times, Washington Examiner, New York Post, Albany Times, Long Island Business News, and City & State Magazine. He hosted “The Steve Levy Radio Show" on Long Island News Radio, and is a frequent guest on high profile television and radio outlets. Few on the political scene possess Levy’s diverse background. He’s been both a legislator and executive, and served on both the state and local levels — as both a Democrat and Republican. Levy published Bias in the Media, an analysis of his own experience, after switching parties, with the media's leftward slant. Levy is currently Executive Director of the Center for Cost Effective Government, a fiscally conservative think tank. He is also President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. To learn more about his past work and upcoming appearances, visit www.stevelevy.info. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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