In 1933, the newly-elected Nazi Party used a firebomb attack on the German parliament building, the Reichstag, as an excuse to push through what was called the Reichstag Fire Decree (Reichstagsbrandverordnung). 

This hastily crafted “emergency” law stripped German citizens of most of their civil liberties and authorized unprecedented punitive action against a host of political parties – socialists, German conservatives, Catholic centrists, Jewish organizations, anyone who didn’t toe the Nazi line.

It also permitted censorship and even outright suppression of publications critical of the regime. This was “temporarily” necessary, the Nazis said, for “the restoration of public security and order” and to maintain constitutional government.  The Reichstag fire proved that the government was under attack – and extreme measures were required.

Well, whether they know it or not, the Democrats and Big Tech technocrats who helped elect Joe Biden are following the Nazi playbook to a chilling degree. Over the weekend, they unleashed a coordinated attack on Parler, a Twitter-like social media platform that does not censor wrongthink and has become a haven for conservatives. 

First Google and then Apple announced they would ban Parler from their app stores if their competitor does not implement “robust monitoring” (that is, censorship) of its content – despite the fact that all the social media platforms, including Twitter, continue to host reprehensible content, including antisemitic calls for the death of Israel.

Parler’s unpardonable sin: it allows Trump supporters, and perhaps Trump himself, to have a voice.

After the usual Twitter mobs got into the act, Amazon, too, announced on Sunday that it was banning Parler from using its massive servers, a virtual death blow to the company.

What is happening is that the Democrats and Big Tech are taking advantage of the DC riot on January 6 to squelch free speech and cancel history as it’s being made, especially speech and history supportive of Donald Trump.

The official narrative is already as set in stone as the Very Fine People Hoax still peddled by Joe Biden – a  deranged “mob” of violent Trump supporters “stormed” the US government itself and, as some TV reporters put it, engaged in “the most violent attack on the US Capitol since the British burned it in 1812.”

It was, the talking heads on CNN assured us hourly, an attempted “coup,” a violent “insurrection”– despite the fact that…

(a) live video feeds showed police guiding protesters into the capitol building, single file, as they stayed within velvet rope guardrails; and

(b) virtually all of the protesters were unarmed, many dressed in what can only be called clown outfits.

A very odd coup indeed.

The tiny handful of lunatic Trump supporters (two hundred at most) who filed into the capitol building did not spray-paint graffiti.  Unlike the BLM and Antifa marauders who have looted American cities for seven months straight, burning entire city blocks as they did so, the Trump supporters did not set anything on fire.

On the live video feeds seen on TV, they looked more like dazed tourists than determined terrorists, taking selfies everywhere.  One took Nancy Pelosi’s rostrum.  Another sat in her chair with an idiotic grin on his face.  Some may have stolen Congressional iPads.

Yes, five people did die tragically in the chaos – a capitol policeman hit with a fire extinguisher and four Trump supporters. Two of the Trump supporters were middle-aged and died of heart attack or stroke, one died of unknown health problems, and the fourth, a young woman from San Diego, was killed when an overzealous capitol police officer shot her in the throat.

But at least nine people were killed in the BLM and Antifa riots over last summer. Amazingly, some politicians encouraged the rioters and even insisted this was “democracy in action.”  As CNN anchor Chris Cuomo famously put it, “show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful?” 

The decision to break into the capitol building was a monumentally stupid stunt that will have horrific consequences for America’s fragile democracy… yet not, I fear, for the reasons the corporate media and the Democrats say.

It will have horrific consequences because some Democrats never let a crisis go to waste. The Democrats and the tech billionaires who support them are becoming authoritarian, beginning with banning conservative critics from social media. This is bound to trigger a political backlash.

The second round of phony Articles of Impeachment that House speaker Nancy Pelosi insists on introducing, days before Trump is to leave office, is enraging a large part of America – the part already seething with fury over the election meddling of Big Tech billionaires. But no amount of internet censorship can keep Americans from knowing the truth.

Many watched with their own eyes the Capitol Hill break-in live via unfiltered, unedited cable or YouTube video feeds.

And they know that Donald Trump did not “incite” anything.  They heard his words directly.  The text and videos of his speech are available, in full, online – although if Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter have their way, not for long

His speech was rambling, incoherent, and, yes, irresponsible. But, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, it contains nothing that can even remotely be called incitement.

The bottom line is that, in taking advantage of a real crisis to squelch free speech, the Democrats, the corporate media and Big Tech could ignite a political conflagration. Censorship will not “heal” anything.  It will divide the US even further.

It won’t take much for this highly volatile situation to burn out of control … and Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, by encouraging the Big Tech attack on Parler and impeaching Trump days before he leaves office, are determined to strike the match. 

Robert J. Hutchinson writes about the intersection of politics and ideas. He is the author of What...