Zero Tolerance: Kurt Bardella Interview | FRONTLINE


>>So let’s start with, what is the “Breitbart Embassy”? Where is it, and who does business there?>>So what used to be known as the Breitbart Embassy is really nothing more than a rented townhouse— they don’t own it; they rent it—on a townhouse that’s near Capitol Hill right behind the Supreme Court. And that is the center of operations for the organization known as Breitbart. It’s where Steve Bannon both lived and conducted his business when he was running Breitbart. And it really became the central hub, the central gathering place for at the time what was called the Tea Party, which would eventually morph into the Trump party. And the players involved, people like Jeff Sessions, people like Stephen Miller, who at the time was working for then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, people like obviously Bannon, [Sen.] Ted Cruz, people who were central to the conservative Tea Party wing of the Republican Party that really coalesced and formed around the idea that immigration was going to be the issue they were going to spend the most time talking about, the most time that they felt they could wage an effective war against what they called the status quo, the political establishment, the establishment Republican Party. The leaders at the time like [Sen.] Mitch McConnell and then-Speaker John Boehner, eventually people like [Reps.] Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor—I mean, the Breitbart Embassy was ground zero for their plan to try to make and remake the Republican Party into what has become a white nationalist party. … You know, they had kind of a— what would be a dining room table but was really more of a conference room. I mean, they would call it their war room, where you would see the staffers sitting around with their laptops out. I mean, Breitbart’s a digital platform, so everything for them was about, you know, telecommuting. And the people who worked for Breitbart would be all over, not just in the embassy, but dispatched on Capitol Hill or on conference calls in California or in their quote/unquote “bureau” in Texas at the border. And all day long, there would be interactions between the central nervous system of the Breitbart Embassy and the various tentacles of the Breitbart organization.>>Who worked there? How old? What types?>>You know, by and large, aside from Steve Bannon, who obviously is, you know, a middle-aged man in his 50s or whatever, very young, very young people. You’re talking most people who are in the first stages of their career in journalism, we’ll call it for lack of a better term, people who haven’t had a lot of job experience, people who in a lot of ways are kind of misfits as well, that probably couldn’t find another reporting gig in any other place but Breitbart. I kind of think about it as the island for misfit toys— outcasts, both socially and politically. And that very much reflects, I think, Andrew Breitbart, the site’s founder, the late Andrew Breitbart, who himself was an outlier, he was a misfit— things that he took as a badge of courage. He didn’t see that as a negative; he saw that as a positive. The counterculture, anti-establishment— if you fit that mold, you were welcome at Breitbart.>>And as it establishes the outpost in Washington, what was the idea of Breitbart as a piece of political journalism?>>You know, it really changed, because when Andrew Breitbart was alive and the driving force and cult of personality behind Breitbart, I think it really was just being counterculture, anti-establishment, but not to destroy the establishment; more that there is another voice, another conversation happening in this country that isn’t always being detailed and chronicled in the pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times and the so-called elite D.C. East Coast media. And Andrew was interested in having that story told, the counternarrative to that: What else is going on? What isn’t in the mainstream media? Let’s shine a light on that. Let’s go where they aren’t going right now, or, as he would say, too afraid to go. It was a balance that Andrew was ultimately looking for. Now, after his death, and as Steve Bannon became a central figure and asserted himself as the leader of Breitbart and began to remake the image of Breitbart around his agenda, it morphed from an entity that wanted to tell another side of the story to an entity that wanted to be politically active; that was an active organization; that was command and control; that sought to not just chronicle what was happening, but to shape the events around what was going on.>>So now that we have the room and we have the idea, let’s have that dinner party with Sessions, Miller and Bannon, and their conversation, which is about a range of things, but is also I think maybe primarily about immigration and how to put that on the agenda in a way that it isn’t— it isn’t what the establishment and the “autopsy” said it should be, which is a more open, a more benign Republican Party vis-à-vis immigration.>>Well, remember where we are at this time. The Republican Party is seeing where the demographics in this country are going, which is more diverse, where white people are becoming more and more less the majority, and by all statistical reality white people will be the minority in this country at some point in the not too distant future. The Republican Party, realizing this, seeing that they have a real political problem when it comes to reaching voters who are minorities, who are immigrants, who aren’t white, and who live in places that aren’t predominantly white, if they don’t do something about this, that’s a recipe for permanent electoral failure, which is exactly what’s happened to the Republican Party in California. California was a Republican state at one point in time— had a Republican governor, Republican state legislator. But the more and more the Republican Party alienated minorities and repelled diversity, the more politically irrelevant they got, to the point where they are in a permanent state of being in the political minority. So that’s what the Republican Party at this time nationally is seeing and trying to prevent. Meanwhile, you have this other coalition forming, in part led by voices like Steve Bannon and platforms like Breitbart, who are trying to resist that transformation, who are trying to resist the idea that there needs to be an assimilation by the Republican Party to be politically viable. They’re angry about that. And so, looking at what was going to happen after President Obama were to leave office, there was going to be, for the first time, a very wide open Republican primary, I think they wanted to make sure that their voice was equally represented in that primary process. They were coming off of a string of stinging defeats in the midterm elections where the majority of candidates that they supported who were on the far right part of that Tea Party contingent, they all lost. They all challenged primary people like Mitch McConnell in Kentucky. They challenged Lamar Alexander in Tennessee. And in every single one of those races, they got killed. And Bannon, realizing that, you know, we don’t have a central coalescing figurehead to kind of unite the conservative movement, they don’t have a singular issue that can also unite the core base of the Republican Party conservative side of things. And I think that this meeting with Sessions was realizing that hey, you’re not going to be the president, but you can be that figure. You can be the person that makes immigration the central issue. That can be your platform, and you can be the voice and the face behind that to bring legitimacy to that side of the conversation. Because at this point, a lot of the candidates that they backed, and the reason why they lost, was they were not really that credible. They ran terrible campaigns; they had a lot of baggage. They expressed ideas that were so far outside the mainstream that no one took them seriously, and they all lost. Sessions was already—he was a sitting United States senator. He had built a tremendous reputation within the conservative community. He was regarded as a credible person, a credible figure. He was chairman of a Senate—powerful Senate committee. So he was someone that I think Bannon saw that he could anoint the de facto face and voice and figurehead of this movement and try to propel it into the 2016 conversation.>>Who is Steve Miller at that moment?>>So Miller at this moment is the communications director for Sen. Jeff Sessions. Miller is—he’s a staffer; he’s a spokesperson. He is—it’s his job to craft the message and come up with a strategy to try to get as much exposure as possible. Now, Miller, along the way, develops a very close relationship with the Breitbart platform, with Steve Bannon, with the reporting team that focused on Capitol Hill and politics, to the point where it’s almost like, who’s really leading who here? Is Miller giving Breitbart content and they’re publishing it, or is Breitbart suggesting ideas that, ”Hey, maybe you should have the senator do this, and we’ll give it big play on our homepage”?>>So these guys all get together that night, and they’re cooking up a plan, and it’s really— they are kind of outliers in politics. It is a dream for them—maybe not a realistic one, if you were used to looking at politics as usual in Washington. They decide—let’s say they decide to knock off the most vulnerable figure they can think of that the Republican establishment might pay attention to, is if they could take down Eric Cantor. What happens?>>Well, and again, this is where Breitbart was a bit ahead of the curve; again, the idea that the mainstream political media sometimes are a little slow to certain things, or they don’t want to acknowledge a political reality because they don’t like the source of where it began, I think that was the case with what happened in Virginia with then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, you know. Breitbart backed a guy named Dave Brat, who no one had ever heard of really, who had no national political exposure of any kind, and they used the issue of immigration as the defining issue in the race and basically spent every day relentlessly just pillorying Eric Cantor as this open-borders, you know, pro-amnesty, “amnesty” being the worst word you could say and assign to a Republican at this time. And counting on the fact that Cantor and his team wouldn’t take it seriously, would take his power and his profile and the money that he had at his disposal for granted and assume that this wouldn’t be serious because it was coming from that Breitbart world that everybody would laugh at and not take seriously and not assign any real political gravity to it. And Bannon and Breitbart very successfully kind of preyed on that, took advantage of that and helped engineer Dave Brat becoming the biggest upset of election night, defeating Eric Cantor.>>They collaborate with Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin and others in right-wing media to just almost as a demonstration project, almost like a beta testing of something, to support Brat and bolster him up, get him on national radio, and really get the word out.>>Yeah. I mean, it’s funny because if in today’s time, 2019, if you watch Laura Ingraham’s program on Fox News, a lot of people are oftentimes shocked at how far she’ll go with her rhetoric and her judgments and her commentary. And I would say to them, look at what she was saying on the campaign trail back in 2014 when she was getting behind Dave Brat and using—>>Like what?>>I’m sorry?>>Like what? What would she say?>>Oh, I think just using the issue of immigration and the overall theme that immigrants are something and someone you need to be afraid of, and that you need to vote and do everything you can to fight back against someone who would make it easier for immigrants to be in this country. You know, to me that’s xenophobia. And she was openly espousing that theme five years ago. And you know, and I think the word “beta test” is a perfect way to describe what happened in that race, because all of the things that we saw— whether the use of conservative media, the use of conservative radio, the personalities becoming actively politically involved in a campaign to defeat somebody, not just commentating but campaigning actively to support somebody over another person—all those things are, were the path for Donald Trump later on. But they were first really used and seen in a politically significant way in the race against Eric Cantor.>>There is a thing that’s happening, which is a bill from the Senate, the Gang of Eight bill, moves down to the House. … And I think taking Cantor down was designed to send a message to any Republicans who might vote for that bill that they could be in real jeopardy from a new force that seems to be emerging in American politics and growing, I think, largely out of the actions of Sessions, Miller and Bannon.>>Well, I think, again, it used to be said that Social Security is the third rail in American politics; if you touch it, you die. And I think that for Bannon and Miller and Sessions, their goal was to make it so that immigration would become that issue, at least in the Republican Party. And beating Cantor who, again, I can’t tell you if it ever happened before, a sitting House majority leader losing his seat, in a year in which— it’s not like the Republicans lost the House; they kept the House. They didn’t have significant, you know, defeats across the board that would have at least explained in a broader context what happened. This was isolated specifically to Eric Cantor. And it was so tied to the issue viscerally of immigration that it did send the message that from here on out, if you go down the road of looking at anything that could be construed as amnesty or open borders or pro-immigrant even, they were going to come for you. And—and in Cantor they had what Bannon would call as their first big “scalp.” That’s what he called it. When he got a big victory at the expense of someone else, that’s what he called it: a “scalp.” And Cantor represented that for them.>>So around Breitbart, when Cantor goes down that night, take me to what you imagine or what you may know actually it was like for the Breitbart people.>>That was the biggest moment in the history of Breitbart News at that point in time, because they had the combination of, one, they legitimately could say that they were reporting this story before anybody else was. So there is kind of a semblance of credibility there when everybody else is playing catch-up— “How could this have happened?”—and they said, “We’ve been talking about this for months.” That was a really big win both politically, but also frankly journalistically. It’s not a word we associate with Breitbart, “journalism” and “Breitbart News,” but in this case, they were telling that story before everybody else was. And what that meant going forward was anytime that they went out on a limb and said, “Keep an eye out on this race or this candidate or this figure,” you had to go, well, you know, maybe there’s something to that now. It gave them power, and it amplified the effect of their editorial decisions of who they would support going forward and give airtime to because they had this one big victory. And that night, it was euphoric. The—the, you know, from Steve Bannon to the reporters who were on that beat, you would have thought that they were the campaign of Dave Brat. And essentially they were the campaign of Dave Brat. You know, I’ve been in many campaigns in my life, and I’ve been there on election night when we’ve won, and that celebratory feeling, that feeling of accomplishment, well, that’s exactly how the team at Breitbart felt that night.>>I can imagine Steve Miller having a certain amount of swagger after that was over.>>Yeah, both Steves, Miller and Bannon. You know, and I think their rise is both connected and— and in tandem with each other. And again, it was that feeling of, they’re on to something; they’re feeling like they could knock anyone down now. I mean, it’s really that feeling of the giant killer. And in taking out Cantor, what that also really meant was John Boehner’s days were probably numbered after that, too, the then-speaker. I think that they thought, well, if we can take down Cantor, it will be easy to take down Boehner after this.>>I know they go looking for a presidential candidate. They think, you know, this is the time, as you said; 2016 is going to be a wide open field. … >>I think Bannon looked at just about everybody. I mean, you know, I remember him talking about Sarah Palin perhaps being that person. Bannon was very enamored with Sarah Palin and always thought that she would have another— a second political act, and was very close with her. He, you know, they looked at [Sen.] Rand Paul at one point, was someone that they also had a very close relationship, that their team was on daily conversations and emails with the Breitbart team. Then there was Ted Cruz, another person that, when you look at the pages of Breitbart during this time, they promoted the heck out of Ted Cruz. And I think the prevailing feeling amongst the internal team at Breitbart was I think that Ted Cruz would be the Republican nominee, and that was the person that they were going to line up and get behind. Another person who was working for Ted Cruz at that time, who was his pollster, was Kellyanne Conway, someone who had a very strong relationship with Steve Bannon. And so Bannon went candidate shopping, and literally you can trace as each candidate kind of had their rise and fall. Rand Paul was on the cover of Time magazine at one point; he was all over Breitbart at that time. Ted Cruz had come on as kind of the conservative guy that was going to be the Tea Party choice; he was all over the pages of Breitbart at that time as well. When Ben Carson had his moment in the sun, Bannon was talking to his guy every day. Bannon once told me, “If Carson wins, I’m going to be his chief of staff.” So, you know, then, of course, Donald Trump happens. And it’s almost like even a broken clock is right twice a day. If you get behind enough candidates, eventually one of them . is probably going to be the guy. And—and it just so happened that that was the case with Donald Trump.>>What was it about Trump? >>I think that what Steve saw in Trump, and he recognized that the other people that he had thought about getting behind didn’t necessarily have this, was that showman, a natural salesman, a natural promoter, someone who understood TV. And the other people, whether it was Palin or Carson or Cruz or Paul, they came from political backgrounds where they didn’t understand television and the power of television, the power of casting and looking at the world as if it’s a WWE universe. And Trump very much did. And I think Bannon, through the radio program that Breitbart had on SiriusXM, the Patriot Channel, started having Trump on, and Trump would call in, and they’d have these conversations. And I think Bannon was impressed not necessarily with any particular substance of what Trump was saying, but more of the style in which he said it, that everything Trump says he’s certain and he—that self-belief that this is going to be the best and that I can sell you on anything and the whole aura behind the art of the deal. And I think Bannon saw in Trump someone that nobody from the media to the Republican Party to the Democratic Party would know what to do with, and that there was something there.>>He called him, to us, the “imperfect instrument.”>>Yeah. And I think the great thing about Trump, to Bannon at least, was that this is a guy who clearly has no actual core moral values guiding him, which means you get to steer him. You get to fill the moral vacuum. You get to fill the substance in, because Trump doesn’t care about any of that. And that is where the true power lies. I think Bannon saw that, unlike any of the other people that were running for president, that Trump might be the only guy that Steve could exert true influence over, and people like Stephen Miller could exert influence over their public policy process.>>Immigration becomes a central selling point?>>It becomes the selling point. I mean, when you think about the Donald Trump campaign in 2016, one of the first two things you think of, you know, is “Build the wall,” and that was born right out of, you know, that Steve Bannon/Steve Miller/Jeff Sessions casting, almost. It’s almost as if they had already written the script and had the lines; they just needed the actor who could deliver them. And in Trump, that’s what they saw: someone who can go out there, deliver the line. Didn’t matter what else you said. As long as you say, “Build the wall, build the wall,” nothing else really matters. That’s all people will remember.>>And the idea of Miller signing on with the campaign as the speechwriter, but also as the guy, the warm-up act, your thoughts about that?>>Well, here you saw, I think, the transformation of Stephen Miller from a behind-the-scenes, unknown staffer to a in-front-of-the-camera, you know, visible player, someone who wasn’t just quietly trying to shape the conversation and impact Donald Trump’s strategy, but someone who in real time was affecting it. And it’s almost like who’s kind of Charlie McCarthy and the dummy here? Because when it came out of Miller’s and Bannon’s mouth, all of a sudden it would come out of Trump’s mouth. And you know, traditionally, candidates are the ones who steer their campaigns. They’re the ones who have the big ideas. They have the direction, the vision for the country that they want the team to execute. Well, this was the reverse of that; it was reverse engineering. Instead of having the message and the vision, Trump was just, “Give me the line, and I’ll deliver it,” because again, when it came to substance, when it came to values and a morality, well, Trump wasn’t interested in that. And that really empowered Miller and Bannon to fill that in.>>… How important was Sessions’ endorsement?>>I think it was really important for a couple of reasons. Sessions was seen as one of the few key gateways to the conservative Tea Party movement. And I think it also signaled kind of the end of what would be Ted Cruz’s campaign as well. You know, Ted Cruz had obviously conservative bona fides. He was supported by all of the forces that would ultimately align with Donald Trump. He had been their greatest visible spokesperson, really, until Trump arrived on the scene. And with Sessions choosing Trump at the end of the day, I think that signaled that that torch had—had been passed; that this wasn’t going to be the Republican Party of Ted Cruz; that it was going to be the Republican Party of Donald Trump.>>When Miller would warm them up and say something about immigration and get a kind of great response, and Trump would come out and give it the sort of “Build the wall” and then say something else about immigration, I guess there was no doubt at Breitbart that this was the winning combination; this was the issue that was going to walk him home to the presidency.>>Yeah. I mean, I think that what they saw was Trump, unlike any other person running in this race, was able to mobilize people emotionally around the issue of immigration in a way that we saw a little bit with Dave Brat beating Eric Cantor, but in a much more passionate, in a much more substantive way that— I mean, Donald Trump’s campaign, I can’t name for you a single policy that he ran on other than effectively “Build the wall” and “Hillary Clinton is corrupt.” That’s basically all we heard. And I think they saw what the reaction they would get at these rallies. And Trump loved these rallies. And you started seeing not only did he revel in that energy, I think, but that the media would cover them wall to wall. I mean, it became must-see TV. Every minute was played. You know, it’s been well documented how much free airtime Trump got over everybody else. And in part, the frenzy of the crowd was driven by the immigration movement and by the rhetoric surrounding what their vision was for how immigration would be legislated going forward. And the idea that, again, he’s not going to tell you anything about numbers and quotas and visas and process; it’s just going to be “We’re going to build the wall, and we’re going to make America great again.” And they’re bumper stickers. And you know, it was almost like they kind of one-upped each other, where Miller would get them ginned up a little bit, and then Trump would go, “I’m going to top that.” And, you know—and again, as we saw, the media couldn’t get enough of that either.>>When they won, and they did, was there any doubt in your mind that Bannon, Miller and Sessions would be in the administration and in a powerful place inside there?>>No doubt. It was very clear that Steve wanted to play the active role of being Trump’s guy, being his right-hand man. He, again, he—>>Which Steve?>>Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon reveled in the idea that he was the architect of Trump’s victory. And Steve Miller, I think, you know, reveled in the idea that he was the person behind Trump’s words. And Sessions, being the early endorser that he was of Trump, guaranteed that he was going to be secretary of something, or in this case the attorney general, and be a prominent member of the Cabinet. And, you know, I think the trifecta of Miller-Bannon-Sessions, on election night, that was going to be as good as it ever got for them. You know, I think for them there was—there were signs that a great fall was going to happen as well, because I think they fundamentally didn’t understand certain parts of Donald Trump’s personality and how they did not align with the way that at least Bannon certainly conducted his business. The idea of being out front and—and so eager to claim credit was something that would ultimately be a real, I think, strain with his relationship with Donald Trump.>>So Bannon is the chief strategist.>>Yes, co-chief of staff, basically.>>Co-chief of staff with Reince Priebus. Miller is also something high.>>Senior specialist, senior adviser to the president.>>And Sessions is the attorney general.>>Yep.>>This is real power, Kurt.>>It is, but we also see the limitations of that power. You know, I think with Sessions it became— the afterglow of the election would reveal the controversies about, well, how did you win the election, and what role did outside influence potentially play in that? And it became clear that Sessions, being a traditional political figure who came from that traditional political construct, who would play it by the book, and was completely out of alignment with what President Trump wanted him to do. And I think Bannon found himself stuck in between Trump and Sessions. Bannon was Sessions’ protector. No one was a bigger advocate for Jeff Sessions than Steve Bannon. Bannon was very, I think, insistent that Sessions needed to be protected; that despite the impulse perhaps to have him fired or removed, that that would be a disaster, and it would be a disaster not just publicly, but I think because Sessions was one of the only true Bannon allies in the administration, someone who had a history that superseded Bannon’s relationship with Trump. And then Stephen Miller was kind of the one that served both of those masters, Stephen coming up, working for Sessions, who got his break in politics because of Jeff Sessions. Certainly had a loyalty to him, but he also served Donald Trump. And those things all became in great conflict with one another. All the while they were starting out with a tremendous amount of power. And we saw that almost immediately when they instituted the Muslim ban. That became very controversial, was rushed out, legally challenged, successfully legally challenged. Made it look like they didn’t know what they were doing, were unaware of what the law was, or uninterested at least in checking what the laws were before they tried to do something that was draconian. >>…. Take me to how surprised you were, or not, to hear about the travel ban right away, like within a week of the inauguration.>>I wasn’t surprised that they wanted to implement a travel ban and try to take advantage and capitalize on xenophobia, to try to, as Bannon would say, throw a bone to their base after they’d just gotten elected. I was surprised at how unaware they were of the land mines, the procedural land mines really, that existed for something like that; that they didn’t vet it through counsel; that they didn’t check with the lawyers to see, well, if— what happens if this gets struck down in a court of law? What happens if the implementation doesn’t go well, if the bureaucracy isn’t formed in a way that could support such a massive mobilization operation? It was a terribly run operation, as we saw, you know, with very distinct images of— at the airports and families and kids. And it became a real visual political debacle for President Trump. But it more underscored two things: one, that Bannon, Miller and Sessions were very powerful; that one of the very first visible things that came out of this administration was the Muslim travel ban, but also the blindside that they all had for process and how, if you don’t check that box, it can become undone very quickly and create negative headlines, which we all know that this president hates more than anything in the world. >>So it’s true: They were the revolutionaries who were really excited, but when they took over the castle, they didn’t know how to turn the lights on.>>Yeah. And again, it’s vintage Bannon and Breitbart and—and Miller and Sessions being counterculture, not caring about the rules, not caring about the way things have always been, not having any real respect for tradition or precedent. And that’s all fine and well when you run an online news site, or when you’re one of 100 in the United States Senate. But when you actually have the keys to the car, you’ve got to know how the car drives. And we saw with that Muslim travel ban what happens when you don’t know how to drive that car, when it turns out, “Oh, that’s a stick shift, not an automatic; we’re going to have some problems.” And that’s exactly what happened.>>There was a lot of talk, and I think a lot of worry by the DACA—by the “Dreamers” and the lawyers around the DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] people that Trump had said, day one, “Bang, we’re going to— we’re going to rescind the Obama executive order on DACA.” It doesn’t happen… >>Well, it became very clear that immediately, especially after the disaster that was the Muslim travel ban, that different factors emerged. And you had the Bannon-Miller-Sessions faction, and then you had what Bannon and Miller would call the “globalist faction”—the Gary Cohns, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and others, people who came from a more traditional establishment background, we’ll say. But these are also the people that Bannon and Miller and Breitbart and Sessions fought against every day for the last six years. They are the epitome, Gary Cohn particularly, of exactly what they were trying to beat down. And so the idea that they would have an equal say or an equal voice in the Oval Office I think infuriated Bannon. And we saw that because things started leaking out…>>He flies a little too close to the sun. …>>Steve Bannon made the mistake that I think a lot of people in this town make. And there’s an irony there, because Steve is so anti-D.C., anti-establishment, above all of that, and yet he made the same mistake that so many before him have made, which is, don’t forget the person that you’re working for. Don’t outshine your boss, because when you do— and I’m speaking from personal experience here, because I’ve made the same mistake— when you do that, you’re going to get burned. And it was inevitable. We saw very early on the signs, I think, through Bannon’s behavior and the growth of his public profile— the guy had his own press secretary in the White House, for crying out loud—that this wasn’t going to last.>>…. So talk to me about Miller’s trajectory. How does he survive? How does he stay in? How does he not commit the same sins that Steve Bannon did?>>What we know about Trump is that he assigns more value to how you perform on television than anything else. That is the number one criteria in which he evaluates you, whether you’re a Supreme Court justice nominee, a Cabinet secretary, a member of the White House staff. Miller going on TV and forcefully and unapologetically defending Trump and his policies in almost a James Bond villian-ish way played very well with Trump personally. And even though I think Miller came under siege a little bit from the outside world for coming off as a James Bond villain, Trump at least appreciated his words, his effort, his loyalty. And unlike Bannon, Miller at times would take a step backwards from the public side of things and disappear from being on TV and being in the news and would focus on the president. That’s the difference between Steve Miller and Steve Bannon. Miller knew when it was time to take a step back so that he could preserve his position, show that he was loyal, do what was asked of him, and, more importantly, maintain that direct relationship with the president. Bannon always seemed more preoccupied with wanting to be out in front in public, doing the sit-down with Reince Priebus at CPAC [Conservative Political Action Conference], going on the—he was on the cover of Time magazine, which I think was probably the stupidest thing that he’d ever done at that point if he wanted to have a permanent relationship with the president. Bannon seemed more preoccupied with advancing the narrative that he was the kingmaker and Trump’s brain than actually doing the job of being Trump’s brain, because if he had been, he would have seen that that’s not the way to go.>>Now, the status of the issue that brought them to the big dance in the first place, the immigration wars. … Are they involved in a, from what you can tell, in a continuing struggle to get immigration out there knowing that it’s a vital element of their continuation in office? And as you say, what was it, a bone for the base, or whatever?>>Right. Well, the president had a unique problem, which was that he promised everyone who would listen that he’s going to build a wall and Mexico was going to pay for it. And for the first part of the Trump presidency, he was going to be defined and measured by whether that promise was going to be fulfilled. Set aside all the other distractions of Robert Mueller and his investigation, their effort to get tax cuts put through, that still, you know, the issue of immigration and building the wall is the most central thing to the Trump presidency. And I think what they realized was, one, Mexico was not going to pay for the wall, so they began to try to spin the idea that, well, we’re going to pull out of these trade deals, and the money we’re going to save by getting a better deal will pay for the wall. So they start pulling out of different trade agreements and different partnerships that involve Mexico and other countries. Then they start doing the—what we’re seeing kind of happen now, which is a very draconian policy through executive order, limiting legal immigration into this country, changing the criteria for seeking asylum in this country, and very aggressively arresting and doing mass large-scale operations to detain and ultimately deport illegal immigrants in America, which culminates with this massive incarceration of immigrants and their families and their children, to the point where detention centers are overflowing. There’s not enough room to put these people anywhere.>>This is Steve Miller in action?>>Yeah, I think without question Steve Miller has been the driving force behind the mass deportation and incarceration and holding of immigrant children, families, you know, at the border, because the reality is throughout the entire tenure so far of the president, the one constant has been Stephen Miller. Steve Bannon has come and gone. Jeff Sessions has come and gone. But still the one person who is there, who is probably the truest link to what Trump said and talked about during the campaign is Steve Miller, and I think that’s partly because he was the architect of all of that in the first place.>>… So Sessions recuses himself on the—>>Mueller.>>Or Russia investigation. First [James] Comey and then Mueller. It completely enrages Donald Trump. And I guess even though Sessions is in the doghouse and not exactly his best bud anymore, and maybe he even took back the MAGA hat—who knows?—Sessions is sitting over there, and a lot of things are happening, because he’s the attorney general of the United States, on the immigration front. >>I mean, I think it’s almost because Sessions was in such a bad place with the president, I think that Miller engineered a lot of the activity on immigration trying to salvage the relationship between Trump and Sessions by guiding Sessions to the conclusion that maybe they need to do some of these things and increase deportations and increase law enforcement presence at the border and increase acting on Trump’s signature issue, which is also Stephen Miller’s signature issue, which also used to be Jeff Sessions’ signature issue, maybe if you do those things, it can help you get back in the good graces with the president and save your job.>>Well, exactly. And even if you’ve got a trajectory that’s not going to be very long, get things done while you can get them done. We all know of the moment where Bannon pulls him aside, and they talk about providence—“We put you here. Do this for the lord, if nothing else,” appealing to Sessions’ religious evangelical background, I guess.>>Right. Well, and again, I think in Sessions you had someone that both Bannon and Miller, an attorney general that they will never have more influence over and a rapport with than Jeff Sessions. Whoever comes after Jeff Sessions, they’re not going to have that with. So this is their best time to try to get as much of their agenda that they have been talking about and plotting about for years done in action, and done so in a way where it almost happens slightly under the radar because the Mueller probe is happening, because so much attention is being spent on the termination of former FBI Director James Comey, the subsequent investigation by Mueller, what Congress is going to do about it, the pending elections that are going to happen at the midterms. All this is happening, and it almost provides smokescreen and cover for Miller, Sessions and Bannon to try to get as much done on immigration as they can while no one’s paying attention.>>It’s September 2017. The president discovers from Sessions that he’s got to do something about DACA. … We don’t know where the president is. We discover that he sort of likes the Dreamers; he likes the idea of the Dreamers. He’s sort of squishy on it, and apparently our three guys, even Bannon before he leaves, are pushing pretty hard to do the hard-line thing, which is, you know, let’s shut down the DACA program. And Sessions makes that announcement. Is that the way you remember it?>>Well, I think we saw that Trump was torn between, again, the two forces inside his own house— the people like Ivanka, who was very supportive of the idea of the Dreamers, I think, and Bannon-Sessions-Miller who, for years—again, it’s all very public: every statement they’ve ever made, every vote they’ve ever taken, every story they’ve ever run, completely anti-DACA/anti-Dreamers. And those two forces collided, and Trump had to make the decision. … I think he was able to see what Bannon and Miller and Sessions were able to do by weaponizing the issue of immigration, showing: “Look at Eric Cantor. This is what happens when you don’t do the hard thing. This is what happens when you do give in to the nationalists. This is what happened to the globalists. This is what happened when you give in the globalists. This is what happens when you start doing anything that looks like amnesty. When you do anything that looks like you’re going to make it easier for illegal immigrants to get things Americans can’t get, you’re going to lose just like Eric Cantor if you don’t do this now. You’ll lose the base. You’ll lose everybody.” Bannon, Miller and Sessions preyed on that fear because they did have, as Bannon always talked about, that one scalp he could point to to show: “Look what happened when the House majority leader went against us. Don’t make the same mistake.”>>And it and the attorney general from Texas’s threat and a lot of other things lead to the president acceding, I guess, letting Sessions make the announcement, but being himself vulnerable, I suppose, to a campaign to make him look like a bad guy. He doesn’t want to look like a bad guy.>>Well, it was very clear that Trump didn’t want to be the public face of ending Dreamers or DACA. And he has always said he’s wanted to find a way. He’s gone so far as to blame the Democrats for not making a deal on Dreamers and DACA. He’s tried to rewrite that script so many times because it’s painfully obvious he doesn’t want to be viewed publicly as a reason why that policy was rescinded, even though it was done under his direction, even though it was done under his authority and announced by his own attorney general. Sessions, of course, had no reservation about being the public face of that. Again, I think that there was the feeling that if Sessions took a more visible role in choreographing the president’s biggest agenda item from the campaign that it might build him some goodwill with the president who— at this point their relationship had been perhaps irreparably damaged. But I think that it was—that damage was used as a vehicle to try to advance and accelerate some of these immigration things. >>Breitbart through all of this time, where are they on how they feel? What are they writing about how they feel about the president of the United States, who seems to be wobbly a lot of the time on a lot of these issues? … >>Here we see for the first time the limitations of Breitbart, that they weren’t powerful or loud enough, or whatever you might have you, to protect Sessions in the long run for keeping his job, despite every effort to promote Sessions, to highlight everything he was doing on immigration—everything Sessions a la Steve Miller was doing on immigration; [despite] their effort to undermine those who fought back and opposed Bannon in the Oval Office, to undermine Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Gary Cohn. You saw all of that on the pages of Breitbart throughout this entire chapter. And at the end of the day, it wasn’t enough to protect them. And ultimately Sessions ends up having to leave, as does Bannon. And I think for Breitbart, it showed that, again, they were never going to be more powerful than on the day Donald Trump got elected. There was nowhere to go for them but down.>>Why?>>Well, the coalition that they appealed to is not one that’s rapidly growing in demographic… They were so tied and fixed to Steve Bannon that they were going to either live and die by Bannon’s success. People started going to Breitbart because they assumed that Bannon had a direct role in Breitbart’s content; therefore, you could read Breitbart and get real insight into what was going on in the Oval Office. And it might be the only place you can read to get that kind of insight at that point in time because of Bannon’s relationship with Breitbart. And once Bannon started kind of getting on the outs with Trump, well, that access was going to be cut off. There was going to be no unique insight other than Bannon propaganda, really. Once Trump fired Bannon and publicly divorced himself from him, calling him “Sloppy Steve,” well, now Breitbart has been openly mocked by the president of the United States. Their once-benefactor, the once-platform that was designed as an instrument to help Donald Trump get elected, now Trump’s turned against them. And there was nowhere for them to go. And Bannon had nowhere to go. And they were, again, they were kind of like And I think that for Breitbart, that meant having to try to recalibrate what they were going to be, because if you weren’t “alt-right” enough to keep that relationship with Donald Trump, When Breitbart gets all the criticism that it gets for the way it covers immigrants and crime and the comment boards, what’s the attitude inside of Breitbart and from Bannon?>>Anytime that anyone would complain or write a story or try to shame Breitbart for what can be objectively called racist coverage of immigrant minority populations, they loved it. They reveled in it. They thought it was the greatest thing in the world that people were so distraught about their tone and coverage that they would write about it or talk about it. Because for Bannon, and this is very similar to Trump, the worst thing you could do to either of them is to not talk about them at all. But if you’re talking about them, whether it’s favorably or derogatorily, it doesn’t matter to them. They just want you talking about them. They’re in the conversation. They feel good about that. Bannon said that he saw that Fox was actually the enemy when they were starting out, were the competition. Did you see that? Was that how people at Breitbart saw Fox?>>Bannon ultimately had ambition, I think, to build a competing media enterprise that would compete and ultimately defeat Fox. I think before the Trump phenomenon actually happened, Bannon saw that the personalities on Fox, the shows on Fox were very lenient on the immigration issue, that they were very for comprehensive immigration reform; they were very for amnesty. And he saw an opportunity to use the immigration issue as a wedge issue to divide the audience, to divide the Republican electorate and to try to get more viewers, more page clicks, more radio show listeners. And ultimately, I think that he wanted to go into TV and create a competing channel to compete with Fox. Did that competition go into the election? There’s a famous Megyn Kelly moment, you know, confronting with Trump. Was there a split with Breitbart and Fox during the primaries?>>… There was almost open warfare between Breitbart and Fox News as we got into the presidential election where you had on one side Fox News with Megyn Kelly and Shep Smith and Neil Cavuto, and on the other side you had Breitbart and people like Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin. And I think Bannon saw an opportunity to, even if we lose the election, off of that loss you could build a media enterprise that could viably compete with Fox. I think that him and Trump thought that they would lose the election, in fact, and after that they would announce a co-venture announcing a TV deal. My last question: When the president is under assault from Laura Ingraham and new Fox hosts around the shutdown and other places, why do they have a power to influence him? He seems to back off sometimes.>>Well, I think these are people who operate with fear, the fear of if you lose this base, it’s done for you politically. I mean, the reality about the Trump coalition that got him elected and could keep him in power is, it’s not an audience that’s going to expand beyond what we saw in 2016… And so if you lose any segment of those people, there’s no political viability left for you. And for better or worse, Trump is uniquely tied to that Laura Ingraham-Sean Hannity-Steve Miller-Steve Bannon way of looking at the world because that’s what got him to the dance and that’s the only thing that could possibly keep him at the dance. … So fast-forward to now. What is the legacy that these three leave on immigration?>>I think that their legacy is presiding over one of the darkest periods in American history, something that’s going to be a permanent stain on our country…

ENGLISH SPEECH | STEVEN SPIELBERG: Follow Your Intuition (English Subtitles)


Thank you, thank you, President Faust, and
Paul Choi, thank you so much. It’s an honor and a thrill to address this
group of distinguished alumni and supportive friends and kvelling parents. We’ve all gathered to share in the joy of
this day, so please join me in congratulating Harvard’s Class of 2016. I can remember my own college graduation,
which is easy, since it was only 14 years ago. How many of you took 37 years to graduate? Because, like most of you, I began college
in my teens, but sophomore year, I was offered my dream job at Universal Studios, so I dropped
out. I told my parents if my movie career didn’t
go well, I’d re-enroll. It went all right. But eventually, I returned for one big reason. Most people go to college for an education,
and some go for their parents, but I went for my kids. I’m the father of seven, and I kept insisting
on the importance of going to college, but I hadn’t walked the walk. So, in my fifties, I re-enrolled at Cal State
— Long Beach, and I earned my degree. I just have to add: It helped that they gave
me course credit in paleontology for the work I did on Jurassic Park. That’s three units for Jurassic Park, thank
you. Well I left college because I knew exactly
what I wanted to do, and some of you know, too — but some of you don’t. Or maybe you thought you knew but are now
questioning that choice. Maybe you’re sitting there trying to figure
out how to tell your parents that you want to be a doctor and not a comedy writer. Well, what you choose to do next is what we
call in the movies the ‘character-defining moment.’ Now, these are moments you’re very familiar
with, like in the last Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when Rey realizes the force is with
her. Or Indiana Jones choosing mission over fear
by jumping over a pile of snakes. Now in a two-hour movie, you get a handful
of character-defining moments, but in real life, you face them every day. Life is one strong, long string of character-defining
moments. And I was lucky that at 18 I knew what I exactly
wanted to do. But I didn’t know who I was. How could I? And how could any of us? Because for the first 25 years of our lives,
we are trained to listen to voices that are not our own. Parents and professors fill our heads with
wisdom and information, and then employers and mentors take their place and explain how
this world really works. And usually these voices of authority make
sense, but sometimes, doubt starts to creep into our heads and into our hearts. And even when we think, ‘that’s not quite
how I see the world,’ it’s kind of easier to just to nod in agreement and go along,
and for a while, I let that going along define my character. Because I was repressing my own point of view,
because like in that Nilsson song, ‘Everybody was talkin’ at me, so I couldn’t hear
the echoes of my mind.’ And at first, the internal voice I needed
to listen to was hardly audible, and it was hardly noticeable — kind of like me in high
school. But then I started paying more attention,
and my intuition kicked in. And I want to be clear that your intuition
is different from your conscience. They work in tandem, but here’s the distinction:
Your conscience shouts, ‘here’s what you should do,’ while your intuition whispers,
‘here’s what you could do.’ Listen to that voice that tells you what you
could do. Nothing will define your character more than
that. Because once I turned to my intuition, and
I tuned into it, certain projects began to pull me into them, and others, I turned away
from. Related: Sheryl Sandberg Commencement Speech,
University of California at Berkeley, May 2016 (Transcript) And up until the 1980s, my movies were mostly,
I guess what you could call ‘escapist.’ And I don’t dismiss any of these movies
— not even 1941. Not even that one. And many of these early films reflected the
values that I cared deeply about, and I still do. But I was in a celluloid bubble, because I’d
cut my education short, my worldview was limited to what I could dream up in my head, not what
the world could teach me. But then I directed The Color Purple. And this one film opened my eyes to experiences
that I never could have imagined, and yet were all too real. This story was filled with deep pain and deeper
truths, like when Shug Avery says, ‘Everything wants to be loved.’ My gut, which was my intuition, told me that
more people needed to meet these characters and experience these truths. And while making that film, I realized that
a movie could also be a mission. I hope all of you find that sense of mission. Don’t turn away from what’s painful. Examine it. Challenge it. My job is to create a world that lasts two
hours. Your job is to create a world that lasts forever. You are the future innovators, motivators,
leaders and caretakers. And the way you create a better future is
by studying the past. Jurassic Park writer Michael Crichton, who
graduated from both this college and this medical school, liked to quote a favorite
professor of his who said that if you didn’t know history, you didn’t know anything. You were a leaf that didn’t know it was
part of a tree. So history majors: Good choice, you’re in
great shape…Not in the job market, but culturally. The rest of us have to make a little effort. Social media that we’re inundated and swarmed
with is about the here and now. But I’ve been fighting and fighting inside
my own family to get all my kids to look behind them, to look at what already has happened. Because to understand who they are is to understand
who were were, and who their grandparents were, and then, what this country was like
when they emigrated here. We are a nation of immigrants — at least
for now. So to me, this means we all have to tell our
own stories. We have so many stories to tell. Talk to your parents and your grandparents,
if you can, and ask them about their stories. And I promise you, like I have promised my
kids, you will not be bored. And that’s why I so often make movies based
on real-life events. I look to history not to be didactic, ‘cause
that’s just a bonus, but I look because the past is filled with the greatest stories
that have ever been told. Heroes and villains are not literary constructs,
but they’re at the heart of all history. And again, this is why it’s so important
to listen to your internal whisper. It’s the same one that compelled Abraham
Lincoln and Oskar Schindler to make the correct moral choices. In your defining moments, do not let your
morals be swayed by convenience or expediency. Sticking to your character requires a lot
of courage. And to be courageous, you’re going to need
a lot of support. And if you’re lucky, you have parents like
mine. I consider my mom my lucky charm. And when I was 12 years old, my father handed
me a movie camera, the tool that allowed me to make sense of this world. And I am so grateful to him for that. And I am grateful that he’s here at Harvard,
sitting right down there. My dad is 99 years old, which means he’s
only one year younger than Widener Library. But unlike Widener, he’s had zero cosmetic
work. And dad, there’s a lady behind you, also
99, and I’ll introduce you after this is over, okay? But look, if your family’s not always available,
there’s backup. Near the end of It’s a Wonderful Life — you
remember that movie, It’s a Wonderful Life? Clarence the Angel inscribes a book with this:
“No man is a failure who has friends.” And I hope you hang on to the friendships
you’ve made here at Harvard. And among your friends, I hope you find someone
you want to share your life with. I imagine some of you in this yard may be
a tad cynical, but I want to be unapologetically sentimental. I spoke about the importance of intuition
and how there’s no greater voice to follow. That is, until you meet the love of your life. And this is what happened when I met and married
Kate, and that became the greatest character-defining moment of my life. Love, support, courage, intuition. All of these things are in your hero’s quiver,
but still, a hero needs one more thing: A hero needs a villain to vanquish. And you’re all in luck. This world is full of monsters. And there’s racism, homophobia, ethnic hatred,
class hatred, there’s political hatred, and there’s religious hatred. As a kid, I was bullied — for being Jewish. This was upsetting, but compared to what my
parents and grandparents had faced, it felt tame. Because we truly believed that anti-Semitism
was fading. And we were wrong. Over the last two years, nearly 20,000 Jews
have left Europe to find higher ground. And earlier this year, I was at the Israeli
embassy when President Obama stated the sad truth. He said: ‘We must confront the reality that
around the world, anti-Semitism is on the rise. We cannot deny it.’ My own desire to confront that reality compelled
me to start, in 1994, the Shoah Foundation. And since then, we’ve spoken to over 53,000
Holocaust survivors and witnesses in 63 countries and taken all their video testimonies. And we’re now gathering testimonies from
genocides in Rwanda, Cambodia, Armenia and Nanking. Because we must never forget that the inconceivable
doesn’t happen — it happens frequently. Atrocities are happening right now. And so we wonder not just, ‘When will this
hatred end?’ but, ‘How did it begin?’ Now, I don’t have to tell a crowd of Red
Sox fans that we are wired for tribalism. But beyond rooting for the home team, tribalism
has a much darker side. Instinctively and maybe even genetically,
we divide the world into ‘us’ and ‘them.’ So the burning question must be: How do all
of us together find the ‘we?’ How do we do that? There’s still so much work to be done, and
sometimes I feel the work hasn’t even begun. And it’s not just anti-Semitism that’s
surging — Islamophobia’s on the rise, too. Because there’s no difference between anyone
who is discriminated against, whether it’s the Muslims, or the Jews, or minorities on
the border states, or the LGBT community — it is all big one hate. And to me, and, I think, to all of you, the
only answer to more hate is more humanity. We gotta repair — we have to replace fear
with curiosity. ‘Us’ and ‘them’ — we’ll find the
‘we’ by connecting with each other. And by believing that we’re members of the
same tribe. And by feeling empathy for every soul — even
Yalies. My son graduated from Yale, thank you … But make sure this empathy isn’t just something
that you feel. Make it something you act upon. That means vote. Peaceably protest. Speak up for those who can’t and speak up
for those who may be shouting but aren’t being hard. Let your conscience shout as loud as it wants
if you’re using it in the service of others. And as an example of action in service of
others, you need to look no further than this Hollywood-worthy backdrop of Memorial Church. Its south wall bears the names of Harvard
alumni — like President Faust has already mentioned — students and faculty members,
who gave their lives in World War II. All told, 697 souls, who once tread the ground
where stand now, were lost. And at a service in this church in late 1945,
Harvard President James Conant — which President Faust also mentioned — honored the brave
and called upon the community to ‘reflect the radiance of their deeds.’ Seventy years later, this message still holds
true. Because their sacrifice is not a debt that
can be repaid in a single generation. It must be repaid with every generation. Just as we must never forget the atrocities,
we must never forget those who fought for freedom. So as you leave this college and head out
into the world, continue please to ‘reflect the radiance of their deeds,’ or as Captain
Miller in Saving Private Ryan would say, “Earn this.” And please stay connected. Please never lose eye contact. This may not be a lesson you want to hear
from a person who creates media, but we are spending more time looking down at our devices
than we are looking in each other’s eyes. So, forgive me, but let’s start right now. Everyone here, please find someone’s eyes
to look into. Students, and alumni and you too, President
Faust, all of you, turn to someone you don’t know or don’t know very well. They may be standing behind you, or a couple
of rows ahead. Just let your eyes meet. That’s it. That emotion you’re feeling is our shared
humanity mixed in with a little social discomfort. But, if you remember nothing else from today,
I hope you remember this moment of human connection. And I hope you all had a lot of that over
the past four years. Because today you start down the path of becoming
the generation on which the next generation stands. And I’ve imagined many possible futures
in my films, but you will determine the actual future. And I hope that it’s filled with justice
and peace. And finally, I wish you all a true, Hollywood-style
happy ending. I hope you outrun the T. rex, catch the criminal
and for your parents’ sake, maybe every now and then, just like E.T.: Go home. Thank you.

Was Hitler a Socialist? – A Response to Steven Crowder and Others


*sigh* Well, here we are. At the question that is apparently occupying the great minds of our times. Was Adolf Hitler, the dictator of Nazi Germany, a socialist? Although this is probably my most requested video, I didn’t want to do it for quite some time. Partially because I thought that it’s a position only fringe demagogues would espouse, but to my disappointment – but not surprise – it seems to become a more and more mainstream opinion in American conservatism. Even Mr. Facts-Over-Feelings himself is repeating it. And not to forget, quite recently, the son of the President of the United States of America. I’ll talk about why I dislike engaging this discussion so much at the end, but for now let’s check out the arguments, today presented by a conservative pundit Steven Crowder and a few others. I have to admit though that I was honestly baffled by some of the arguments here because I think I have rarely seen this level of being highly deceptive or flat-out wrong, combined with a large dose of smugness. And let’s begin with Crowder’s explanation for why it’s important to categorize Hitler in that way, which should give you an idea of Crowder’s understanding of the topic. Economic authoritarianism is still authoritarianism. I wrote about this … *ding* *ding* … that Hitler, what do we hear about Hitler? – He was…
– Super right-wing.
– Right-wing. Nazi stands for National Socialist German Workers Party, okay? So put that in your back pocket. Now, let me get to something people will say, I know what you’re going to say: ‘National socialism, not democratic socialism like Bernie Sanders! There’s a huge… one is fascism, right-wing, one is not.’ They’re both socialism. Democratic socialism always becomes national, nationalistic socialism. By definition, it has to. Why? Okay, the United States is not a democracy. You throw around the term ‘democratic’ as though it’s noble. Um, no. We’re a constitutional representative republic. Why? That’s important to know, it’s important to know we’re not a democracy. That’s because democracy is mob rule. The reason the United States was framed as a constitutional representative republic is to make sure that the rights of the minority are still protected from the majority. Otherwise the majority can just vote and screw the minority. You’re more liberal, you should be on board with that. Democracy by definition would inherently be bad for minorities. So, am I saying Bernie Sanders is like Hitler? No. But the ideology is the ideology that lends itself toward authoritarianism and fascism because of an increased expansion of the state. ~elevator music~ Now why is this so important, going back to representative government? Well, Hitler used the idea of democracy, mob rule, to infringe on the rights of the minority. “How do I feel about the rich Jews, the rich lying Jews, the 1%? Let’s have a vote! *bump* Kill the Judens!” I’m sorry, everyone. Bear with me.
It will be over in a second. The majority Germans – it’s democratic and it’s nationalistic – they believed Germany was for the true Germans, not for the Jews. Democracy, nationalism, either way. Mob rule, the nationalists win. That’s the whole point. Now, claiming Hitler was a liberal socialist is already a pretty hot take since it’s an oxymoron. But Crowder tops it with saying democracy allowed Hitler to infringe on the rights of minorities, which it’s why it’s important that the US is a republic and not a democracy. You wouldn’t want the US government to be able to infringe on the rights of minorities leading up to mass enslavement and straight up genocide of, let’s say, Native Americans or black people. Truly unthinkable with a republic. Unlike the country known as the “Weimar Republic” – which wasn’t its official name, but it was a constitutional republic up until the 1930s, with a parliament and a president and all that jazz. By the way, the group in this picture sitting on the far right side of the German parliament, that’s the NSDAP, the Nazi Party, opposite to the far left side of the parliament where the Communist Party was seated. Not coincidentally, as you might have guessed. Also, Crowder doesn’t seem to know that democracy is a form of governing while a republic is a system of government and the two are not mutually exclusive. And while the US isn’t a direct democracy, neither was Nazi Germany. It was a dictatorship, not of the mob but of the party in power. Hitler and his party didn’t have the absolute majority of the votes when seizing power over Germany, and Hitler wasn’t voted into the position of chancellor but was appointed by President Paul von Hindenburg. Hitler managed to become a dictator by playing his cards right in a time of extreme crisis for the German economy and democracy that had been going on since the financial crisis of 1929. Funnily enough, Crowder also mentions the financial troubles that led to Hitler’s rise in his article, echoing the claims of the far right at the time that Germany’s financial words were strictly the fault of the victors; and also claims the crisis lasted for 15 years, which is longer than the Weimar Republic even existed. This is the terrain we’re traveling into folks. So strap yourself in because it gets even wilder and, frankly, quite embarrassing. But for now let’s see Crowder’s arguments for why Hitler was a socialist. Hitler promised employment for all, of course was a self-avowed socialist. Innovative public works schemes gave workers increased benefits. He increased jobs by increasing the state. Not allowing wages to rise with prices because he wanted people working for the government, he ensured everyone had a job. Big education. Free daycare. You had basically an entire generation who were raised by the state. Nationalized health care. Up to an 80% tax. Gun control. Of course implemented gun control.
Abortion, was radically pro-abortion. Blaming on the 1%. Back then the 1% were Jews. So I think this is a good point to jump into Crowder’s article about this topic, since it’s easier to take everything point by point instead of responding to all statements at once. The first thing you’ll see when opening Crowder’s article is this quote attributed to Hitler at the top of the page: “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalist economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak with its unfair salaries, …” “… with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property…” “… instead of responsibility and performance. And we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” Well, that seems pretty damning. Seems like Hitler was a socialist after all, if these were actually his words, which they’re not. The actual author of this quote was Gregor Strasser, a higher-up in the National Socialist Workers Party, who wrote a pamphlet called “Thoughts about the tasks of the future” in 1926. Now who was Gregor Strasser? He was the de facto leader of what one could call the more anti-capitalist wing of the NSDAP up until 1932. Due to the intentionally vague language of Hitler and the Nazi platform, a bunch of people flocked with the party who Hitler himself didn’t necessarily agree with politically. This led to a strong division inside the party and to the establishment of two different camps. One was the group around Strasser and his brother, who genuinely saw capitalism as a broken system that needed to be replaced, and the völkisch nationalist wing around Hitler, who didn’t see it that way, and Hitler himself was always more interested in coming to power than in genuine policy goals of the party. The Strasser group of the party is often described as the left wing of the party, but in my opinion this is very misleading because if we look at some other statements by Gregor Strasser, the differences between him and the, for instance, Social Democrats become very clear. Taken from the same pamphlet of which Crowder got the other quote from: Not very egalitarian there. And remember, this guy is seen as to the left of Hitler and the völkisch nationalist wing of the party. He also actively took part in the failed Hitler-Ludendorff coup in 1923 which sought to overthrow the democratic republic and establish a military dictatorship. Ultimately though, Gregor Strasser lost the fight for dominance inside the party against Hitler and resigned from all of his functions in 1932. His brother Otto had at that point already left the party and published a pamphlet called “The Socialists leave the NSDAP”, in which he criticized the party leadership for putting tactics over politics and that they understood National Socialism to be an anti-imperialist movement who doesn’t seek dominion over other people and countries. Looking back at stuff like, you know, what the Nazis actually did it’s very easy to see why they didn’t get along. Gregor Strasser’s resignation led to a radicalization of the völkisch nationalist wing of the party, and two years later he was murdered in an event called the Night of the Long Knives, in which Hitler and others in the party leadership had several people killed who they weren’t very fond of. This whole affair shows that for Hitler the quest of power was much more important than ideological convictions or how his party colleagues interpreted the NSDAP platform. This is nicely summed up in Theodor Abel’s “The Nazi Movement”: We’ll get into what he thought about socialism a bit later, but for now I’d like to ask you to take a look at the amount of time of this video that has already passed. And now consider that we’re not even at the historical arguments yet. It’s just the setup that requires so much cleaning up that it could be a video on its own. I hope you can see why I was hesitant in making this video because, honestly, all you can do is laugh. Anyway, the article starts out with a fake quote that doesn’t support his argument. Moving on to the first historical point: So we could simply dismiss this argument because it’s not factual. Hitler never promised employment for all, and getting unemployment down and the economy rolling again was less due to innovative public work schemes. But I’d like to combine this with Crowder’s other points regarding Nazi Germany’s economy. The innovative public work schemes that Crowder describes weren’t really as innovative as you might think. In fact, there’s even a name for this called “the Autobahn Myth”. Because the idea of the Autobahn started circulating long before the Nazis took over and some stretches were even already built. Of course, those were then downgraded to country roads by the Nazis because they wanted to exploit the idea of the Autobahn for propaganda. So Hitler jumped on the bandwagon of increased mobility and wanted to build 1,000 kilometers of Autobahn every year, which should provide 600,000 Germans with jobs. In reality though, this goal was never met, and at the height of the construction not more than 120,000 people were given work through this program. In addition to that, there were numerous problems during the project and strike leaders who wanted better or safer working conditions and a fair pay were sent to concentration camps. Of course, you didn’t hear about that in the Nazi propaganda. Instead, every newly built strip of the Autobahn was celebrated with a big inauguration and lots of camera teams to circulate the images in state-run media. In fact, these images were still propagandized even when the work on the Autobahn had come to a complete halt. They were successful, though, in connecting themselves to the building of the Autobahn in the mind of the public, often to this day, as demonstrated by Crowder, while at the same time sweeping under the rug that the Nazis actually vehemently opposed the idea of the “car-only road,” as they were called in Weimar Germany, because they saw it as an instrument of Jewish capitalism. But if the Autobahn project didn’t put Germans back to work, what was it? Well firstly, the Nazi government benefited from a general economic upswing coming out of the Great Depression and also were able to spend money that had been saved previously due to the strong austerity programs by previous administration. They also skewed the numbers pretty strongly by forcing women and Jews out of the workforce and giving those jobs to German men. The biggest chunk of trimming down the unemployment though was by re-militarization and opening new jobs in the booming arms industry. Not that innovative, if you ask me. The next thing Crowder mentions is the “strength through joy” program, which gave workers increased benefits. While it’s true that the program gave workers a lot of benefits they wouldn’t have had otherwise – for instance, the KdF was the biggest to operate in the country at the time – one of its goals was specifically to get workers away from marxist or social democratic attitudes that had also promised better working conditions in the past. In fact, the program was intended to replace the demand for trade unions and prevent class consciousness from developing that might have become a threat to the Nazi government. The program didn’t separate between the average workers and their bosses in an attempt to get people behind the idea of a community based on ethnicity rather than based on class. By the way, the trade unions I just mentioned were destroyed by the Nazis, and their leaders were sent to concentration camps. And from that point on workers had no way of effectively negotiating better pay or working conditions – not something socialists were usually in favor of. The last point in this section of the article is that Hitler combatted inflation that resulted from all the spending by not allowing wages to rise with prices, which is only part of the story. While price and wage restrictions did exist under the Nazis, the main tool in combating inflation was the introduction of something called the “Mefo bill” which was essentially a second currency issued by a bogus company set up by the Nazis. This allowed them to spend vast amounts of money on rearmament without their surrounding countries being able to notice when taking a look at the state budget. Essentially it was just fraud, and when the time came to pay out the issued Mefo bills, the government printed money and went into a world war in which they plundered the conquered countries to prop up the immense spending. Not sure what about that is supposed to resemble left-wing policy, but ok. Anyway, I’d like to get into a bit more detail about the economy in Nazi Germany here, because if you would want to make the argument that Hitler was a socialist, or by extension the Nazis were left-wing, this would show in their enacted economic policies. Of course Crowder doesn’t go that far, but unfortunately, this debate is bigger than just Steven Crowder. The economy of Nazi Germany is a very complex issue, and there are frequent disagreements over its role in the Nazi state, but I’ll try to limit it to what is relevant for us. If we look at the schematized version of how the Nazis organized the economy, we can see that there was quite a lot of overhead involved. Here is where someone from the libertarian school of economics might say that this resembles a planned economy in the style of other self-proclaimed socialist countries of the 20th century. Important to notice here though is that the means of production remained in private hand under Nazi rule. If you were German, that is. In a planned economy, business decisions are made at the very top. In Nazi Germany, the owners of the means of production were able to make their own decisions, but were urged to act according to the interests of the Nazis. This lasted up until 1942, when the war started to necessitate the complete mobilisation of the German economy and society. From that point on, the economy was pretty much under complete control of the government, as it was in several other nations taking part in the war. But keep in mind that this was done not out of ideological convictions, but just because there was no alternative if Germany wanted to continue the war. Economist and member of the Nazi Party Hermann Reischle described it like this in 1945: I had a hard time finding an English translation to this though so let me know in the comments if you find a better translation than this one. Essentially owners could act freely within their firms but faced tight restrictions in the market. What this shows, though, is that the economic system of Nazi Germany didn’t and wasn’t supposed to resemble the one of a socialist country. I know in the US it’s sometimes enough to deny bosses the right to personally murder their employees to be labeled as socialists, but outside of that these words have very concrete economic implications. But the system we just looked at didn’t really resemble a free-market economy either. So why was it designed the way it was? Well, this is getting it why I dislike this whole debate so much. The economy of Nazi Germany can’t really be compared to other systems that are around today without acknowledging that the economic system of Nazi Germany operated under a completely different paradigm than today’s capitalism or socialism. The goals of the Nazis in regards the economy were to be self-reliant in enabling them to wage war to enact their racist “Lebensraum” policies. A comparison that leaves those out is pointless, but more on that later. What this look at the economy doesn’t explain are the anti-capitalist sentiments that the Nazis espoused, for instance in their party program. Dinesh D’Souza frequently brings this up and claims that the party program could have been written by Bernie Sanders. More on that later. So what’s with the anti-capitalist statements in the NSDAP program? To understand that we have to go back a bit and, as so often, historical context is important. Ever since Santa and his elf came along to give the children class consciousness, something called the “social question” had arisen in Germany. The question was essentially what to do about the growing inequality, unfair distribution of wealth and the alienation between the rich and the poor that came out of the capitalist system. When the Weimar Republic rolled around, this dilemma was still ever present and also amplified due to the ongoing failure of the system and the parties offered different solutions to this problem. The KPD, which was the German Communist Party, and the SPD, the Social Democrats, were of the opinion that capitalism was an inherently broken system that needed to be replaced by a socialist system, although they had very different visions on how that system should look like. Especially the SPD was always going back and forth between their Marxist ideals and economic realities. The approach offered by the NSDAP and the German right in general was that capitalism wasn’t a completely broken system, but that there were different forms of capitalism that needed to be separated. One form was what they called “Schaffendes Kapital”, what essentially translates to “productive capital/capitalism”; and the other one was “Raffendes Kapital”, which was their description of money-grubbing or greedy capital. And if you could just get rid of the money-grubbing aspect of capitalism, everything would be fine. Right from the start the German intellectual right connected the idea of ‘raffendes Kapital’ with outside forces sucking money from the hard-working Germans. And as you might have guessed already, it didn’t take long for this concept to be connected to the antisemitic attitude of the German right, and that’s how it fitted into the Nazi platform It wasn’t as much a critique of the capitalist system, but just another manifestation of xenophobic paranoia and wanting to appeal to genuine woes of the population while blaming them on non-Germans. One thing that Steven Crowder mentions in his video but not the article is that the Nazis cracked down on businesses. “Expanding the state, free school, bigger government, cracking down on businesses so more people go to public school, raise their kids in public daycare, work for the government, and you remove the power from the private sector, putting it to the government.” Now I can only guess what that’s supposed to mean, but a frequent argument I read when someone tries to paint the Nazis as left-wing is the nationalization of private businesses under Nazi rule. Shapiro also uses this argument when trying to explain why the Nazis were supposedly left-wing. Number one: The Nazis were of the left. The Nazis were of the left and, and … ~elevator music~ The, the split between the national socialists and the communists were a split over power, not over fundamental principle. And the fact is that the communists were fascists. I mean, Stalin was a fascist. I mean, fascism was a system of government that suggested that [unclear] ought to rule every aspect of life. And the economic system that has been traditionally attached to that is one that involves seizure of private property and redistribution of it, which is something that both Hitler and Stalin did. And while it’s true that the Nazis were very heavily involved in the economy and also confiscated a bunch of property they also privatized a lot. In fact, they privatized more than any other Western capitalist country in that time period. After the Great Depression hit, Weimar Germany along with the other Western nations started nationalizing a bunch of services and companies. The Nazis, after they came into power, actually reversed that trend in Germany. For example, in 1932 the German government bought more than 120 million marks of shares of the Gelsenkirchen mining company, the strongest firm inside the United Steelworks conglomerate. At the time, United Steel was the second-largest joint stock company in Germany. After the Nazis took over, United Steel was reorganized so that the government majority stake of 52% was converted into a stake of less than 25%, no longer sufficient in German law to give the government any privileges in company control. This is only one of many examples though. In the fiscal years 1933, 1935, and 1937, 1938 privatization proceeds represented almost 1.4% of total fiscal revenues of Nazi Germany. Taken from “Against the mainstream: Nazi privatization in 1930s Germany”: So does this mean the Nazis were free-market capitalists, similar to how a lot of conservatives describe themselves today? No. Making that statement would be making the same mistake that the people make who desperately want to paint the Nazis as socialists. The Nazis didn’t privatize out of ideological conviction but to build bridges to big industrialists and to foster more widespread support of the party. The economy of Nazi Germany doesn’t resemble socialism nor free-market capitalism, because it’s not supposed to. It resembles the economy of a far-right dictatorship with specific ambitions in mind, similar to Franco’s Spain or the Brazilian military government of 1964 to 1985. Okay, so much for the German economy. Crowder’s next argument is “big education,” and what he means by that is public education. There isn’t really much to say about this one, because public education was by no means exclusive to the Nazis. Compulsory school attendance on a federal level was introduced in 1919, and compulsory education was introduced in 1717 under the “Soldier King,” Frederick William I of Prussia. Is educating people left-wing?
I don’t know, you tell me. Same goes for Crowder’s next point, which is nationalized health care. This point of the article just features a quote by Kitty Werthmann, a woman born in Austria who witnessed Hitler’s reign. The quote decries socialized healthcare and claims that after Hitler socialized it, everyone went to the doctor for every little woe they had. And the paragraph ends with Crowder stating: “Do I really need to write commentary on this one? Really?” Yes, Steven, you should have, because this anecdote provided by Kitty Werthmann is highly questionable. It starts out with claiming Hitler socialized health care and that from that point on doctors were paid by the government, neither of which is true. Socialized healthcare was introduced in Germany in 1881 by Otto von Bismarck, and in Austria it was introduced about eight years later. Doctors also weren’t paid by the government but by insurance companies. So yes, some commentary about what I’m supposed to get from this would have been greatly appreciated. Pushing aside the fact that anecdotal evidence isn’t really worth much, it is worth pointing out that Kitty Werthmann’s experiences – which she repeats in her numerous speeches – seemingly always confirm Republican ideas about healthcare, gun control, women’s rights, religious symbols in schools, etc. So take that as you will. Next point: gun control. Please forgive me for not going through this at length again. I did a whole video on it which you can check out if you interested. In short, Hitler did not enact stricter gun laws for the majority of the German population, but only Jewish citizens and political dissidents. And the claim that Jews in Nazi Germany could have defended themselves on a grand scale against a well-armed police state supported by the majority of the population stands on historically very shaky grounds. One thing in this paragraph is worth talking about, though, because it’s yet another example of Crowder quoting Hitler to attempt to support his argument, and failing. The quote goes as follows: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms”. This quote is taken from the book called “Hitler’s Table Talk”, also often mentioned by John Peterson, by the way. Now the problem with picking quotes from this book to support your argument is that the English and French translations are pretty flawed, and historians like Ian Kershaw and Richard Evans advise reading the book with caution. Luckily you have me, so we can check what it says in the original German version. This is the part where the English translation is taken from. Unsurprisingly, the meaning changes quite a bit if we look at the original. The people Hitler is talking about here are ones in the conquered Eastern territories and that it’s a bad idea to give them weapons to provide security. “German troops should take care of providing security and order in the occupied Russian territory, not the subjected populous”. So Hitler isn’t talking about German Jews here, and I doubt that from a strategical standpoint anyone would argue that it’s a good idea to give weapons to the populations you are currently occupying, while also committing a genocide and brutally murdering part of the population. Now, moving on from here it gets a bit weird, I’m afraid to say. His next point is abortion, as he claims in the video Hitler was radically pro-abortion. The paragraph starts out with: “The great sacrament of the left, abortion.” “You’ll be pleased to know that Hitler was pro-choice.” He then goes on to say: “Dr. Tessa Chelouche goes on to quote Hitler’s 1942 policy statement on the application of abortion to Slavic people,” “which is chillingly similar to modern Planned Parenthood propaganda:”. And then a quote from an academic paper. Now, this is something I see a lot from the Crowder or Shapiro types. They make a statement, and the next point they are making to support that statement doesn’t actually speak to their claim at all. Hitler was not pro-choice. He was pro-murdering-races-he-deemed-inferior. This is taken from the abstract of the cited paper: Putting that aside, the Nazis actually reintroduced laws penalizing abortion for Germans that had been abolished under the Weimar Republic. And after 1942, getting an abortion as a German was literally punishable by death. There was no choice involved here. Planned Parenthood today is about giving women the freedom to choose instead of the big government solution to have the state come in and dictate it. And their goal is not the extermination of, say, black people. Although if it was, Republicans might actually support it. I’m just kidding, folks. Please, don’t get easily offended by my joke there. In a different section of the article, Crowder even compares Planned Parenthood to Josef freaking Mengele, the Nazi doctor who put innocent people into pressure chambers, made them drink salt water, and sewed twin children together back to back without anesthetization to see what would happen. You know, Germans are often stereotyped as not having a sense of humor, so maybe you guys have to help me. Is this some sort of post-comedy routine that Stephen Crowder is performing, or is he actually serious with this line of argumentation? Moving on. Take “Jews”, switch it to the wealthy. Because the Jews were 1%. I have these numbers here. Jews in Germany made up less than 1%. They use that a lot. The one-percent rhetoric. Change “Germans” to “working-class”. You have an economic version of exactly the same thing. So here Crowder equivocates [sic] Jews being less than 1% of the German population of the Weimar Republic in Nazi Germany with the statement that 1% of the world’s population own about half of the world’s wealth, and also denies the whole aspect of antisemitism. You know, the one thing the Nazis are most known for. Antisemitism was extremely prominent in Europe dating back to the Middle Ages in which Jews were collectively blamed for the death of Jesus by the Christian population. Rich Germans were not the ones being thrown in concentration camps just for being rich, just as much as the Jews weren’t exterminated because of their financial assets. Okay, last point from this article and then we are done with Crowder. “The police state. If you dared oppose the Nazis or Hitler politically, especially with your words, you better watch out.” “The Gestapo was on the hunt for political dissidents, many of whom would simply vanish.” Okay, so far so good. “Compare the Gestapo with how leftist want to jail people who do not believe in man-made climate change.” “Compare the Gestapo to the Gaystapo, who fines people who do not agree with gay marriage or the gay lifestyle. Compare the Gestapo to liberal New York, which finds you for not using the right gender pronouns.” [Clears throat] Putting aside how out of bounds this comparison is, ask yourself: if you’re living in the US is there a politician or a group of politicians who push for legislation to penalize people for not believing in man-made climate change or not agreeing to the gay lifestyle, whatever that’s supposed to mean. And then you can ask yourself if this nonexistent legislation includes those people being snatched up by a secret police without due process and being tortured, gassed, or worked to death. I doubt it. And the only thing the here-mentioned New York City law does is putting intentional misgendering by landlords, employers and businesses under the umbrella of harassment. It even says it right there, if you click the link. “New York City has warned landlords employers and businesses they could be running afoul of the law by purposefully calling a transgender woman ‘him’ or ‘Mr.’ when she prefers a female title and pronoun, or by barring her from using a woman’s restroom.” So excuse me for not seeing how this is comparable to the stuff the Gestapo did, who, by the way, literally hunted down and murdered countless LGBT people. Now we should have reached a point where Crowder’s points are so baffling that people who actually like him will come out and say that this is all just comedy and not meant to stand up to any kind of rigor. To which I say: no, this is not comedy. While there are some elements in his article and his video that are meant to be comedic, like the word “Gaystapo” and such, this is a political and historical statement. The idea that Hitler was right-wing… no. He was a very, very emphatic liberal, big-government socialist. Undeniable. *ding* And even if it wasn’t. Let’s say nothing of this is genuine. That doesn’t mean it does not have a clear political effect. That said, I find it very hard to believe that Crowder wrote this entire article, made the video and reiterated that opinion multiple times on Twitter, just for comedic effect. You could also respond that Crowder isn’t trying to make the point that Hitler himself was left-wing but that the left wing of today has more in common with his politics than the right does. That’s also not true though. If you made it this far through the video, good job. That is pretty much everything Crowder has to say about this and, in my opinion, it’s quite embarrassing for him. Let’s jump to a different argument made by the cool kids’ philosopher, Ben Shapiro. The Nazis were of the left. The Nazis were of the left. And if you read Hitler’s book, if you read “Mein Kampf”, what you’ll find is that Hitler’s very heavily influenced by Marx. Right? The split between the National Socialists and the Communists was a split over power, not over fundamental principal. And the fact is that the Communists were Fascists. I mean, Stalin was a Fascist. I mean, fascism was a system of government that suggested that [unclear] ought to rule every aspect of life, and the economic system that has been traditionally attached to that is one that involves seizure of private property and redistribution of it, which is something that both Hitler and Stalin did. So there there is a high correlation between the fascist left of today and the fascist left of yesteryear. I don’t draw a massive distinction, really, ideologically, between Nazism and Communism, because they both have the same source. It’s just that the Nazis tended toward nationalism and the communists tended toward internationalism. This was their main conflict. Okay, so was Hitler influenced by Marx? Yes, he was. Who wasn’t, really? But not in the way you might think listening to Ben Shapiro here. Hitler detested Marxism according to his writings and was convinced it would lead to the destruction of all life on the planet. Marxism and, by extension, Communism was to Hitler a Jewish weapon in the historic struggle between the Jewish and the Aryan race. So yes, Hitler was definitely influenced by Marx, but it doesn’t support Shapiro’s claim that the Nazis were left-wing. And also, the Nazis didn’t split from the Communists, but they detested each other from the get-go because their world views vehemently were opposed to one another. As Lorna Waddington writes in her book “Hitler’s Crusade”: Kind of recycling a lot of quotes today. Anyway, even the anticapitalist Strasser-wing of the NSDAP was still vehemently anti-marxist for the reasons just mentioned. There are passages in “Mein Kampf” where Hitler talks about socialism, though, and even seems to support some of it. So how does that fit in? Well, Hitler knew that socialism was a very popular idea in Germany at the time, but instead of adhering to what it actually meant, he more or less constructed his own definition of the term. And it didn’t resemble the idea of socialism that the other socialist parties in Germany had in mind. While using the term for political purposes, Hitler never showed interest in the actual tenets of socialism. This also heavily shows in how he himself uses the term. Like in one of his speeches from 1922. Of course, this led to some confusion, so when Hitler was pressed on what he actually meant by socialism, he responded with statements like this: The reason for this confusing choice of words is described by Joachim Fest in his biography about Hitler as follows: And as seen when we took a look at the economic system put in place by the Nazi government, they never implemented the economic implications of socialism. Ian Kershaw words it like this in his biography about Hitler: Last but not least, let’s look at some promotional material of Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie “Death of a Nation”. Very Boomer-esque film poster there, by the way. Nice job. If you don’t know who Dinesh D’Souza is: he’s a filmmaker who frequently makes the news with takes so hot that you could almost think he got popular for talking about ethics and games journalism. Or he gets himself some coverage by retweeting a tweet that includes the hashtag “Burn the Jews”. Let’s watch. The very term Nazi is a compression of two words: “Nationale” and “Socialista”. Short interruption before we get into the meat of this. The words Dinesh is trying to describe here are “National” and “Sozialist”. There’s no A at the end there, okay? At first I thought he might be referring to the Latin origin of the term, but why wouldn’t he then also use the Latin origin for the word “national”? So maybe try to learn what the words actually are that you’re trying to explain. Moving on. Check out the official Nazi platform. State-controlled healthcare, profit sharing for workers and large corporations, money lenders and profiteers punished by death, state control of education, state control of media and the press, state control of banks and industries, seizure of land without compensation, state control of religious expression. This reads like something jointly written by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Read the Nazi platform at the Democratic National Convention and most likely it would provoke thunderous applause. Death of a Nation. So most of these points I have already addressed, but it allows me to showcase something very important, because I myself have a hard time believing that Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, would ever include a political demand like “Jews cannot be citizens” in his platform, or railing against the Treaty of Versailles. Putting aside that D’Souza misrepresents almost every point he mentions and doesn’t give historical context, it’s illustrative of how these people come to their conclusions. They have a goal, which is to paint the Nazis as left-wing, not even considering or maybe caring about that their previous assumption might be incorrect. If I’m being honest, the video you’re currently watching could also have been only 30 seconds long. What are some things about the Nazis that everyone can agree on? They were strongly antisemitic, anti-Marxist, extremely nationalistic, and favored expansion. All undeniably positions of the German right from the time of the monarchy till 1945. And then you have Steven Crowder bursting through the door saying how left-wingers in 21st-century America support the penalizing of harassment towards trans people. “It’s cringey” is all I can really respond to that. And if you’re a conservative, I almost feel bad for you for having these people as some of your main representatives. Now, why do I dislike this debate so much? Well, the way it’s had just seems pointless to me. “Left-wing” and “right-wing” mean different things across countries and time periods. And to compare decade-old systems to our local, modern understanding of those terms like Socialism doesn’t provide anything to further our knowledge of either Socialism or the third Reich. It’s nothing but a political exercise. This is also the reason I picked Steven Crowder for this video. How far do you have to be out there, and desperate to paint everything bad as left-wing to claim Nazi Germany was a democracy so that you can somehow vaguely connect it to Bernie Sanders-style social democracy? It’s comical! In the context of German politics at the time the Nazis existed, they were undeniably a far-right extremist movement. What the Crowder and Shapiro types are doing is taking this out of its historical context and pressing it into their understanding of “If the government does stuff, it’s left-wing. If it doesn’t, it’s right-wing.” But what does that actually do? And even if I wouldn’t have gone through each of Crowder’s arguments, explaining how a comparison like this is bound to fail from the get-go is enough to invalidate the entire claim. It’s lazy demagoguery that only serves scoring cheap political points. We’ll give Ben Shapiro an A for effort though, because he kind of acknowledges this nuance in a Quora post from last year, although he then goes on to abandon it completely. So, either Steven Crowder, Ben Shapiro, and Dinesh D’Souza are actually genuine in this belief, or this is just an act to further their political agenda. You can decide for yourself which one is worse. And that’s probably a good time to end this video. Thanks for watching this episode of Steven Crowder is a Fraud: Change my Mind. I haven’t been convinced though. This probably felt a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, but I had to address it eventually. Everyone watching this right now should also definitely check out the video of a YouTuber called Kaiser Williams which goes into a lot more detail regarding German politics. Link is in the description. As always, thank you very much to all of my patrons. I’m not joking when I say that you really keep this channel going. And if you would like to be honored in a similar manner, the link is in the description. Currently, all my videos are ad-free and I would love to keep it that way. Also, I have to apologize for being bad at sorting my sources in the past. Usually, I just copy everything in there, but now I’ve structured them a bit more to make it easier for you to find the relevant information. I think that’s all I have for now. Hit me up on Twitter or Curious Cat if you would like to ask a question. And I hope to see you next time. Have a good one.

CENSORSHIP May Occur On Crusaders Kings 3 Due to “Deus Vult” being “Political Sensitive”


‘DEUS VULT!” Oh shit i’m sorry guys, I just said something
truly “political sensitive” Nowadays, everything needs to be altered, race swapping,
gender swapping, to appeal to the tiny groups among us, right? Even going as far as historically altering
phrases, because apparantly Paradox Interactive doesn’t give a flying fuck about their fans,
but they do care about being surpressed by left-wing propaganda to alter things so it
will appease to those who apparantly feel that you can’t shout “DUES VULT” on a
battlefield. According to Paradox Entertainment they thought
everyone would come along and would just easily accept this decision they’ve made.. however
we all know, we dislike censorship, especially when something becomes so altered it doesn’t
make sense anymore. So just for the record “Deus Vult” stands
for “Gods Will It” I do not know how that can be remotely sensitive to any groups, either
large or smaller ones, it’s bitching about the tiniest fucking things nowadays, and company’s
bend their knee, too afraid of a backlash when they know the majority of their fans
don’t give a flying fuck apart from having a good historical game given to them, and
of course no alteration that is a nessecity, since we both know, people who complain in
the background will never buy a game like this, they just bitch around, and company’s
are afraid they’ll lose money if they won’t alter it, when the opposite has been shown
many times, that if you change it, you lose, if you keep standing behind your principles
you win. Anyway, once the news came out the hardcore
fans of the franchise took it to the official forums of Paradox Interactive and spit their
fire on the matter. Like beautiful Dragons! Apparantly it was met with locking threads
and others were banned for a month for talking about it, some even explain why they felt
they shouldn’t censor the phrase in the first place. After the initial backlash an update was later
made that they weren’t entirely sure if they should censor it or not, fucking facepalm
right there. Then also the Sub-reddit of Crusader Kings
3 was meddling with the phrase, but they handled it way better. All in all, it’s just a sad depiction of a
failing company. I find it retarded at best, first causing
damage, having your fans beating you to a crisp and then saying you aren’t sure if you
should? Because you need some damage control, right
Paradox? If your company had some decent brains
handling this matter you would know it would cause controversy among your fans, but now
you know how it feels like. Hope you LEARN something from it.. and don’t
go into a meeting and be like “Colleagues, we fucked ourselves in the butt, but we have
an obligiation to appease to these ants, so maybe we can offer more free content but still
slip in a thing or two without our fans noticing it, we learnt from this, but we can DO BETTER”
Somehow I feel like, if they jumps once, they’ll take another leap after launch, so they would’ve
gained the money, and they would get profit, and once every sold copy becomes profit, they
can still fuck over their fans by updating the game or becoming even more political with
a DLC or just be like EA their SIMS 4.. update the damn base game and you can’t do shit about
it, since every SIMS 4 copy that has been sold is just a fucking profit for that horseshit company
anyway. Anyway, this is how I feel about this orchestrated
propaganda done by the trembling people of Paradox listening to those left-wing buttfuckers. What’re your thoughts on this? Leave them down below in the comment section,
don’t forget to LIKE/SUBSCRIBE/ SHARE THIS VID AROUND! And uhh don’t forget “DEUS VULT!” Todaloo!

In Studio with Gregory DeAngelo, Professor in the Division of Politics and Economics


– Hello everybody, and welcome to the CGU guest speaker series. My name is Jeremy McWells,
I’m the Assistant Director of Admissions for the
School of Social Science, Policy, and Evaluation. Today this is another
guest speaker series event where we have one of our faculty members to give us some insight
about his particular program, and once again we are joined
by a very special guest. I will let him go ahead
and introduce himself. So please, the floor is yours.
– All right. Hi, my name is Greg DeAngelo. I am an associate professor of economics in the Department of Economic Sciences, and I’m also the director
of the newly formed Computational Justice Lab at CGU. – Excellent, thank you
for joining us today, we really appreciate it.
– Absolutely. – Really I like to start
these off with just telling us a little bit about your story. So you’re the associate director, sorry, associate professor for the Department of Economic Sciences. How did you get there? Tell us a little bit about your story. – Yeah, so, I mean, goes back a ways. But, you know, more by
chance than anything else, ended up getting into college, and I end up going to
an engineering school for my undergrad, and
somewhere along the way I got bored with thinking about how technical things affect
other technical things, and I became interested in how we could use data to understand people. And I was confused, and kind of meandered around a
little bit but found that economists were the
people who were using data to understand social systems. And I got linked up with
some great faculty mentoring at the undergraduate
level who encouraged me to go to grad school. I was in upstate New York. Those are long, cold winters, and I visited Santa Barbara
and next thing I knew I said, “I definitely
want to go to grad school “if I get to hang out here!” And so long story short I
moved across the country and I pretty much overnight felt like, Okay, I’m doing this. And so I became an economist. And, you know, most people have no idea what that even is, right? And so I felt really lucky that at a young age I got exposure to it and it kind of opened the doors for me to get me on this path.
– Amazing. Yeah, your story’s very interesting on how you just kind
of came about this role and this passion for
economics specifically, so speaking of which… In the market, you can get an econ degree in so many different places. But what sets apart this
particular program here at CGU from the others that, other options that students are gonna have available to them? – Yeah, so I’m sure you’ve
had other faculty members on here who say things like, “We’re a graduate-only program, “and that’s got a lot of perks”
and it has a lot of them. So I’m not gonna speak to that. I’m gonna speak more specifically to, kind of like, what is
it about training under, in the econ program or
specifically under me, that makes this experience so
different from other places? And I would say that the number one thing is apprenticeship-style learning. Students who come and work with me, they spend long hours sitting looking at the same computer
screen I’m looking at with the same, you know,
frustrated look on their face trying to understand
what is it that’s making, that’s giving me an issue here, and it’s in that environment where so much of the educational process here is focused around two
or three or four people, it’s really small groups, sitting with the professor
or group of professors and kind of hashing out
what the problem is here, how are we gonna solve it, how, you know, which data sets are we gonna need? So it’s, a lot of what I
do is built around data and, you know, working with
a lot of computational power. So that’s what makes this
program in my opinion so different is the numbers
end up being quite small, and half of my teaching is devoted to just sitting with students on a daily basis and working our way through stuff. – That’s amazing, yeah, it
really speaks to the fact that you all as faculty members are in the trenches with students, right? They’re alongside you,
doing the same work, assisting, which I think
is an awesome opportunity. Speaking of opportunities,
what type of opportunities do students have to learn
outside the classroom? That is a part of learning, right? So you have the
inside-the-classroom learning and then you have the outside. – Absolutely. So I mean, the learning,
the research process becomes the learning process
when you’re in grad school. And for me, my approach is that I deep dive on learning about public sector agencies
and social outcomes. So the best way to do that is to go learn every single possible institutional detail about these agencies I can, so. I work a lot in the
criminal justice sphere, and so that means I have
become very good friends with the district attorneys in the area, the judges in the area,
the sheriffs’ departments, the police departments,
so I go sit in house and obtain a lot of data
from these agencies as well. But that means that I have
to learn who they are, I have to learn how to work
with public sector agencies. And that’s not a skill,
there’s no training for that that you can do in the classroom. You have to go get your feet
wet and learn how to do that. So I, you know, I load my car up and we head on over to
the agency and hang out. So yeah, the students
learn a lot through that. – That’s great, that’s great. And so it’s safe to stay
when a student comes to CGU and works under you, a
faculty like yourself, their network, essentially, expands as well, that’s great.
– Oh yeah, absolutely. – I want to talk about the lab
that you’re associated with, the Computational Justice Lab. Can you speak a little bit about that and why it’s such an amazing opportunity for students to get involved
in that particular initiative? – Yeah, so the newly formed
Computational Justice Lab, it’s starting its second year now at CGU. The goal here is to think about, again, social outcomes that are gonna be impacted by the criminal justice system and to understand the causal effects of different aspects of
the criminal justice system on, or the civil justice system, or just in general social justice arenas. But think about what causal effects are these having on people’s lives. And so the aim within the lab is, as I mentioned before, link students to research projects that are linked to public sector agencies,
a lot of times local but sometimes federal agencies as well, to really dig deep on some policy change or some set of policy
changes that are being made at the state, the local,
or the federal level, and start to dissect the impact that these are having
on individuals’ lives. And again, most of this focuses around criminal justice issues but not always. But the main thing, heavy on the data side and deep on the causal effects, not just that things kind
of seem to correlate, but like what is the
true causal effect here. And so as these agencies
are spinning upward and getting more intelligent about the possibilities with data, we’re trying to sharpen their lens, the
focus of their lens, to be more on what’s the causal effect. – That’s an amazing
opportunity for students to come and join. Do you guys have any events coming up or any events that you’re looking, hoping to plan in the near future? – Absolutely, so we are constantly, and you can check out our website which is computationaljusticelab.org, but we constantly have
data science workshops, so there’s coding workshops
that students can attend. In addition to that we
host other workshops that are more research-driven, and every week we have kind of a seminar that sometimes is internal folks and sometimes is external folks. And then lastly we do a
summer empirical workshop where we bring together about 30 undergrads and grad students
from throughout the country. We fly them all in, and they spend one week intensively learning from the faculty within the labs, so it’s a great opportunity. – And great plug, by the way. (laughs)
– Yeah. – That was very good.
– I appreciate it. – So we’re gonna end this by asking, usually I ask the faculty members why CGU but I think you did a really
good job on explaining that so why don’t we go in the direction of, why graduate school in general? If there’s a student out there that’s kind of on the fence of trying to make this decision, why should a student start applying for graduate programs in general? – Yeah. So I think, you know, I always say for the well-caffeinated,
high-strung undergrad who kind of felt like
I was devouring my way through grad school- or through undergrad, grad school seems like
the natural next step. But I would also say
that for the student who found themselves scratching
their head saying, “That’s curious, I’d like
to know more about that,” that’s another environment
where grad school could be a great outlet for you. So, and I should also say, being a good undergraduate student doesn’t mean you’re gonna be a good graduate student. Grad school is about creativity. It’s about digging in, being creative, and being relentless and tenacious about the process and the projects
that you’re involved in and the research. So why grad school? Well, grad school enables you to dig so much deeper, and for me it enables you to dig at the causal
effects of social policies that are impacting people
throughout the world. And this gives a platform where you get to dive in for a long stretch of time and really really deeply
understand things. And I’ll just say it one
more time: and it’s not, it is not a precursor that
you be incredibly intelligent and ace all of your undergraduate courses, that you’re gonna be the best
grad student in the world. It’s really about your level of creativity and your level of grit. Those are the things that
will get you through. – Absolutely, I couldn’t
have said it better myself. That was great. Thank you so much for joining us today, we really appreciate your time. Please be on the lookout for
more videos such as this. Check out our events page at www.cgu.edu to look out for more on-ground events. Once again, thank you
for Professor DeAngelo for coming by, and we’ll
talk to you guys very soon. Take care. – Thanks for watching. If you loved this video,
make sure you check out our upcoming events at www.cgu.edu. Don’t forget that the priority deadline is November 1st. Right after that, our fall open house, which is November 2nd. If you want to register,
make sure you click the link in the description. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel here at CGU. Take care.