WWII France and the USA’s “Vichy Republicans”

Mike Lofgren, author and former congressional staff member, writes in Common Dreams​ the important article Spare Us From the Vichy Republicans — The party has become a cult run by crooks.” He lays out the constantly-startling anti-American behavior of the GOPTeaParty, especially their outlandish assault on the pursuit of justice and democracy, and concludes, rightly and reflecting most of us, “I underestimated their growing appetite for crime, betrayal, and certifiable lunacy.”

That’s very true. I have often declared, as have others, that the Republican Party is dead. It was overtaken by the zombie immoral power-mad GOPTeaParty, spawned by Reagan in the 1980s and reaching puberty with the Newtwit Brigade and its Contract on America in the mid 1990s, which devoured its brains and hearts and left the bloody corpse of the Grand Old Party by the side of the road.

It is Lofgren’s hammering his description Vichy Republicans” that really hits the nail on its head.

While there are tremendous and scary similarities between our Trump Reich and 1930s era Germany, Lofgren does a great job bringing back to mind the lesser-recalled tragedy of WWII France and its horrible behavior once the German army overwhelmed the French, so well documented in the article by Lorraine Boissoneault, contributing writer to the Smithsonian Magazine covering history and archaeology, Was Vichy France a Puppet Government or a Willing Nazi Collaborator? – The authoritarian government led by Marshal Pétain participated in Jewish expulsions and turned France into a quasi-police state.”

A poster from the Vichy period shows a disintegrating France on the left, with words like "communism" and "Jewishness" causing the foundation to crumble. On the right are the words of Pétain's France: work, family, fatherland. (Public Domain)
A poster from the Vichy period shows a disintegrating France on the left, with words like “communism” and “Jewishness” causing the foundation to crumble. On the right are the words of Pétain’s France: work, family, fatherland. (Public Domain)

There is a clear parallel; perhaps we could describe the demagoguery and racist abuse and division of our citizenry (with Putin’s help) that created the Trump Reich to the blitzkrieg and domination of the Germans over the French at the beginning of World War II resulting in Vichy France.

And it is also important to remember the French Resistance, which might become a template for American Resistance. As the lockstep knee-jerk true believers, NRA-addled and militia-armed, of our despot call out for CIVIL WAR II — which our illegitimate occupant of our White House tacitly approves — the requirement of an American Resistance grows.

The Cross of Lorraine, chosen by General Charles de Gaulle as the symbol of the Resistance
The Cross of Lorraine, chosen by General Charles de Gaulle as the symbol of the Resistance

What historian Robert Paxton, author of Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940-1944,” says about France is applicable to the USA today: “I think the best term for them is authoritarian. It doesn’t act like a fascist regime because traditionally elites have to give way, and in authoritarianism they retain power. But all the foreign Jews were put into camps, they cracked down on dissent, and it was in some ways increasingly a police state.”

To understand the USA today, it helps to understand France in its darkest hour. Someday in the future, these articles will likely be written about us.

RESIST tyranny bigotry oppression abandonment white supremacy
RESIST tyranny bigotry oppression abandonment white supremacy

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