House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Sunday said he sees parallels between the current threats to U.S. democracy and the rise of fascism in Germany and Italy in the 1930s.
Clyburn told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream that election denialism and calling the press the enemy “causes those kinds of deterioration in democracy.”
“I taught history and I’m telling you what I see here are parallels to what the history was in this world back in the 1930s in Germany, in Italy,” Clyburn said. “The facts are very clear.”
Last week, Clyburn, the third highest-ranking Democrat in the country, made similar comments to Fox News Digital when discussing the attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in his own home.
“The country is on track to repeat what happened in Germany when it was the greatest democracy going, when it elected a chancellor that then co-opted the media,” Clyburn said in that interview. “This past president called the press the enemy of the people. That is a bunch of crap. And that is what’s going on in this country.”
Nearly 60 percent of registered voters see the mainstream media as a threat to democracy.
President Biden and Democrats have sought to make threats to democracy a central theme in the midterms, pointing to former President Trump and his allies spreading false claims about the 2020 election and refusing to commit to accept this year’s results.
They have also warned about the rise of political violence following the attack late last month on Paul Pelosi, who is recovering after a successful surgery.
Paul Pelosi was struck on the head with a hammer by an assailant who was allegedly searching for Nancy Pelosi. Democratic leaders have tied the Paul Pelosi attack to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, when pro-Trump rioters chanted for Nancy Pelosi’s name.
At an event last week, President Biden said “democracy is under attack because the defeated former president of the United States refused to accept the results of the 2020 election,” in a direct reference to Trump.
Former President Barack Obama has also campaigned aggressively in recent weeks and warned that Americans must vote to preserve democracy at the polls on Tuesday and reject the more than 200 election deniers running for office.
Clyburn on Sunday also said Americans must reject election deniers.
“If they are lying, they’re denying, they’re trying to delete, they’re trying to nullify our votes, vote against that foolishness,” he said. “We’ve got to decide how do we want to exist in this world, and that’s what we’re talking about.”