In a Washington Post editorial published Wednesday, authors Deborah E. Lipstadt and Norman Eisen argue for the radical comparison of challenging recent election results with denying that a Nazi Holocaust, the “best-documented genocide in the world,” ever occurred.
The essay, titled “Denying the Holocaust threatens democracy. So does denying the election results,” makes several comparisons while suggesting how to combat such “denial.”
Claiming to have “learned the hard way” to take Holocaust denial seriously, the authors state they have “watched with alarm the birth of another powerful disinformation mythology,” referring to the “false conviction pushed by Trump and his enablers” that the recent election was “stolen.”
“Call it democracy denial,” the editorial suggests.
Noting that such a comparison is highly extreme, the authors assure readers that it was not made “lightly.”
“As students of history, we do not make this comparison lightly,” they wrote.
The pair also sought to associate the president’s challenge of election results with racism, claiming that “[the president] and his cohort are openly targeting strongly minority jurisdictions with their false claims.”
Another comparison to Holocaust denial is presented in the magnitude of “falsehoods.”
“Also like the denial of the Holocaust, the sheer scale of Trump’s electoral falsehoods is staggering,” they wrote.
After assuring the reader that “Trump is not, of course, Adolf Hitler,” the authors state that both “adopted the propaganda technique of the big lie” before quoting Hitler to prove so.
The authors conclude the essay explaining how the “painful comparison” can teach how to fight back against “democracy denial,” using lessons learned from combatting Holocaust denial.
Those lessons include attacking “Trump’s big lie” before it takes further hold, as well as denying “purveyors of the ‘big lie’” respectable platforms “in polite national society.”
“We would not allow a Holocaust denier to speak on evening news programs or have free rein on social media,” the authors write unequivocally. “Old and new media alike should no longer give a platform to these dissimulations, starting with Trump’s.”