I know it was almost 50 years ago, but I think once you visit an anti-aircraft position being used to kill American troops because you don’t agree with the war in which those troops are fighting, you’ve lost the capacity to talk about civility. Everyone deserves a seventh chance, however, so I’m perfectly willing to give Jane Fonda an opportunity to expatiate on the courtesies of political discourse.
At the Women’s Media Awards in New York City on Thursday, Fonda did just that. The veteran actress implored us all to embrace decorum — and the only way we could do that is to vote Republicans out of office.
But she also used the occasion to compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. Because you know, civility.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Women’s Media Awards brought together a balanced rostrum that featured “Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Maxine Waters and liberal public figures joined together in New York City on Thursday to celebrate champions for women in media.”
During her speech, Fonda told the audience how “civility” was under attack.
“And we don’t have to take it anymore,” Fonda said.
“Voting is the way to stop it,” she said. “Everybody has to vote.”
But that wasn’t Fonda’s only contribution to civility during the evening. Oh, no siree Bob. (Or “no siree Barbara” if you want to keep with the theme of the night.)
“If you’ve read anything about the rise of the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler, you will see the parallels,” Fonda told the crowd.
“Attacking the media is the first step in the move towards fascism,” she said. “The cornerstone to democracy is an independent, democratic media.”
The move came days after Trump had tweeted that the “Fake News Media” are the “true Enemy of the People.”
Now, here’s the thing. Calling the media “the true enemy of people” — something the president does just to troll them, one gets the feeling — is significantly different from Nazi Germany, which didn’t have a problem with dissident journalists since it locked them up and/or killed them.
The very fact that Fonda and company are able to liken Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler is proof that he’s not akin to Hitler in any way, shape or form. And, in fact, he wasn’t attacking “an independent, democratic media” — he was merely wishing we had one as opposed to a one-sided attack dog.
All of this is secondary to the biggest concern here: This is a woman talking about civility while comparing the president of the United States to the evilest individual of the 20th (or any) century.
Then again, maybe Jane Fonda is just employing the Hillary Clinton definition of civility: “I believe if we are fortunate enough to take back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”
That’s not what “civility” is, mind you. But then again, in an age where you can pick your gender based on nothing resembling science, it seems you can pick what civility means based on nothing resembling a dictionary. It’s a glorious age, indeed.
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