As a professor of rhetoric writing a book about Adolf Hitler, I’m exceptionally attuned to the “Nazis-in-the-news” genre of public discourse, of which COVID has provided an unending stream of recent examples.

In one of the more preposterous specimens of late, Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police President, John Catanzara, recently…


Sweaty Hitler was viscerally desirable to both men and women because his performance demonstrated sincerity

In 1937, Irmgard Keun published a short novel, After Midnight, which tells the story of two young women in 1930s Frankfurt who find themselves caught up in a parade and rally starring Adolf Hitler. …


In 1958, Dr. Franz Jetzinger published Hitler’s Youth, a scathing repudiation of the Führer’s adulatory backstory as advanced in Mein Kampf and August Kubizek’s The Young Hitler I Knew.

Jetzinger had been a bitter opponent of the Nazis since before Hitler became Chancellor and annexed Austria. During Hitler’s reign, Jetzinger…


Nazi and fascism analogies are back in fashion. Rather than dismiss them, we need to learn from them.

As shocking details continue to emerge in the wake of the January 6th MAGA mutiny, Nazi and fascism analogies are suddenly fashionable again. For five years, prominent experts in fascism, Nazism, and rhetoric made similar comparisons, and they were often met with derision or dismissal. …


Jamal Khashoggi is dead. The journalist was murdered on October 2, 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The available evidence suggests with increasing certainty that it was plotted and carried out by members of Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman’s, coterie of advisors and confidantes. …


In the past week and a half, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been credibly accused of attempted rape and other acts of sexual assault. One consequence is that public conversation about his confirmation has changed dramatically. …


Doctor Jill Biden wrote and defended a doctoral dissertation in 2007 — the crowning achievement of an advanced educational process that entitles a person to the professional title, “Doctor.” Hence, her title.

On December 11, 2020, noted literary arbiter and cultural critic, mister Joseph Epstein, declared Biden’s professional distinction “fraudulent…


Memes, rhetoric, and Russian trolls

It is election time again, which means Russia is back in the news.

In early September, Facebook and Twitter suspended multiple accounts affiliated with the Internet Research Agency, a Russian propaganda group. Then a whistleblower at the Department of Homeland Security alleged that Trump officials altered intelligence reports about Russian…


At the beginning of September, Facebook announced that they suspended five accounts affiliated with “Peace Data,” a news website launched by Russia’s social media propaganda wing, the Internet Research Agency. The IRA, of course, was instrumental in the Russian disinformation campaigns in the run-up to the 2016 election. …


In 1953, famed political philosopher and Jewish-German exile, Leo Strauss, coined a term to describe a trope that he increasingly saw circulating in public discourse: reductio ad Hilterum. Reductio ad Hitlerum is a fallacy used in arguments to discredit anything that can be associated with or compared to Hitler. Hitler…

Ryan Skinnell

I know stuff about rhetoric and Nazis. Writer, speaker, professor, burrito aficionado. Public Voices Fellow w/TheOpEdProject www.RyanSkinnell.com ~views mine~

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