Is it the Rachel Maddow show – or a trip into the Looking Glass? You remember Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, where he writes the line for a character:
“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
Rachel’s TV show is a leap through the looking glass.
In his inaugural address the new President Trump, in the style of his predecessors in their own inaugural speeches, listed the woes of the moment as he saw them, and then said this:
“From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.
Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.”
In the wake of the Trump speech, Rachel Maddow went full Looking Glass and made a point of saying this:
“There was an America First Committee that formed in this country, hundreds of thousands of people in this country, some of the richest businessmen in the country were part of it,” she added.
“They were formed to keep us out of World War II. They were infiltrated by the Nazis, many of them are anti-Semitic, which is part of why they weren’t alarmed by Hitler’s rise in Germany.”
“The America First Committee is something that means a specific thing in this country. To repurpose it now, not that far down the historical path, it’s hard. It’s hard to hear.”
AUDIO: Maddow – “Trump inauguration speech like Hitler supporters in 1940s”
Huh? Clearly Rachel is, politely put, historically clueless. Unless, of course, she knows exactly what she is doing.
The America First Committee, formed in 1940, was devoted to the idea of keeping the US out of the blossoming European war. Among its members or supporters were two future U.S. presidents – Gerald Ford and John F. Kennedy, the latter contributing $100 bucks to the cause in a note saying the Committee’s work was “vital.” Also signing on were future Eisenhower-appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and JFK’s future brother-in-law and the man who would be Kennedy’s Peace Corps Director, the 1972 Democratic nominee for vice president and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father – in-law, Sargent Shriver. The group supported the Neutrality Act which pledged American neutrality in any European conflict, legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress and signed into law by – yes – Democratic president Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In other words, this was a left-leaning group in its day, springing forth from the same ideas Rachel Maddow has been talking up relentlessly on her show.
It has nothing to do – zero – with President Trump’s “America First” pledge which is, in his words, about jobs, trade, taxes, immigration, protecting US borders and foreign affairs. There is nothing remotely “anti-Semitic” in the Trump vision or most assuredly Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not be calling the President “a true friend of the State of Israel” and praising Trump for his “strong stance” against anti-Semitism.
Desperately in search of ratings, Maddow plunges through the television Looking Glass where her words lose their original meaning – the America First Committee in this case – and are refashioned to mean something else entirely.
Who would not want to go through the Looking Glass?