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by Scott Greer
Liberals on Twitter allegedly found damning proof conservatives are secret Nazis.
A few random users claim that the CPAC stage was shaped like an Odal rune, an ancient Germanic symbol adopted by some SS units. Most people have no idea what an Odal rune is or what it looks like. The stage itself looks like a normal stage–except to crazed liberals. You have to ignore segments of the stage in the background, look at it from a very specific angle, and accept they decided to turn the symbol upside down to see the Odal rune. It’s unclear what secret message CPAC organizers were trying to send with an allegedly Odal-shaped stage that only a few demented leftists recognized. Was it supposed to magically turn CPAC’s attendees into goose-stepping brownshirts once the boomers all recognized the stage shape?
Having worked with Norse and Elder Futhark iconography for years, I’m quite alert to the glyph shapes and their associations in the modern world and history.
— Hami (@hami) February 26, 2021
Has anyone else noticed the shape of the CPAC stage is the Odal Rune/SS insignia? pic.twitter.com/TCns4B1tq8
— The Daily Beans Podcast (@dailybeanspod) February 26, 2021
While Twitter is rife with all manner of crackpottery, Odal-gate took off. The initial conspiracy tweets were shared and liked by thousands of people who believe the stage was intentionally made to look like this obscure symbol. Plenty of crazy things go viral on Twitter, but this one was treated as a very serious story. American Conservative Union President Matt Schlapp issued a very serious refutation of the charges instead of laughing them off as the fetid creation of overworked lib imaginations. Hyatt Hotels, the host of CPAC, also issued a very stern statement on the matter, saying: “We take the concern raised about the prospect of symbols of hate being included in the stage design at CPAC 2021 very seriously as all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company.”
This alleged scandal was, of course, treated as a serious thing by journalists. Slate implied Schlapp’s denial was proof of guilt. The Mary Sue, a subsidiary of Mediaite, declared: “The CPAC Stage Design Is Literally a Nazi Symbol Because Republicans Are Not Even Trying To Hide It Anymore.” TMZ reported: “CPAC Stage Design Looks Similar to Nazi Symbol Used by SS Platoon.” Scopes even did a “fact check” of the theory that sympathized with the demented claims. The shape of the Nazi symbol is eerily similar to the shape of the stage at CPAC,” the “fact check” asserts. “However, we are presently unable to confirm whether this was a deliberate choice made by the event organizers. At the moment, we rate this claim as ‘Unproven.’”
I suppose that’s better than claiming the stage is “literally a Nazi symbol.”
This insane meltdown over stage design is the latest outburst in what’s best described as liberal QAnon. For the past 4 years or so, the Left found hidden Nazis and Russians in pretty much everything. Ordinary hand gestures are now decried as white supremacist salutes. Journalists feverishly word count tweets to get the magic number 14, letting them claim conservative tweets are secret Nazi code. Mainstream cable pundits constantly wondered if Donald Trump’s actions were personally directed by Vladimir Putin.
These same people meanwhile imagined that goofy ideas from the Right were dire threats. QAnon became public enemy number one because journalists said it was. They would constantly milk random 4chan posts for proof that the GOP had gone insane. At the same time, they ignored their own side’s far greater descent into madness. And unlike QAnon, people in power actually believed and promoted liberal conspiracy theories–and they hurt real people.
There is no better example of this than the demonization of ordinary hand gestures. Any person can lose their livelihood and reputation if liberals decide their hand makes the terrifying OK gesture. Even though the OK hand sign has been with our culture for generations and it only means “OK,” the Left determined it was the new Hitler salute in the Trump era.
Time and time again, a random person would either intentionally or unintentionally make the normal gesture and suffer during the inevitable media outrage. There was the White House intern who was dragged through the mud for making the sign in a photo with then-President Trump. The Jewish intern later apologized for the crime of making a common hand gesture.
Zina Bash, a former law clerk of Brett Kavanaugh, was accused of making this “white power gesture” during the future Supreme Court justice’s confirmation hearing. It’s clear that she just moved her hand and didn’t intend to make any gesture while she sat behind Kavanaugh. That didn’t dissuade demented liberals and very serious journalists from accusing her of making the 21st century Roman salute.
Several police officers have faced stiff repercussions for this offense. Four Jasper, Alabama, police officers were suspended in 2018 for making the OK gesture in a picture. The mayor of the small town also imposed diversity training on the officers. An Oregon state police officer had to undergo a thorough review to determine if he made the terrifying hand gesture during a Black Lives Matter protest last summer. Authorities found the officer did nothing wrong, but the mainstream media disagreed. In its report on the matter, NBC News stated it “is not publishing or linking to the video to avoid providing a platform to apparent expressions of hate or white supremacy.” How brave.
A Universal Orlando employee was fired after a family accused the man dressed as a “Despicable Me” character of making the dreaded gesture while posing for a picture with their daughter. A Hispanic San Diego Gas & Electric worker was fired for the way his hand dangled as he held his arm outside his truck window. It sorta looked like the OK hand sign. The man claimed he was just cracking his knuckles, but that believable story didn’t get his job back.
West Point cadets were investigated over showing the common hand gesture during the Army-Navy game in 2019. The military found the cadets were just playing a harmless game called the “circle game” as the cameras panned onto them. Once again, that didn’t stop the media from publishing dozens of articles on the military’s alleged white supremacy problem.
It doesn’t even need to be the OK hand sign to cause a media frenzy. Trump advisor Stephen Miller was accused of making a hand gesture associated with white supremacist prison gangs as he adjusted his jacket in 2017. Even Snopes found this too preposterous to believe, but other outlets, such as Daily Kos, accepted it.
Much of this hysteria resembles the Satanic panic of the 1980s. Back then, overzealous evangelicals and Tipper Gore would claim they heard secret Satanic messages in rock records and other forms of popular culture. People began looking for secret Satanists in their schools and neighborhoods, pushing the nation into fear-induced paranoia.
Today, we’re experiencing a Nazi Panic over an imaginary problem. It’s whipped up by the media and powerful political figures for their own gain. The zealots see obscure Nazi symbols everywhere and can gin up witch hunts with just one viral tweet. It poisons the discourse and ruins lives. But the Left doesn’t care. Smarter liberals probably realize these claims are bogus–it doesn’t matter. It helps their side obtain power and they never have to worry about the consequences.
Odal-gate demonstrates that this phenomenon isn’t going away with Trump’s departure from office. The Left’s paranoid style is only going to get more unhinged. Expect to find more hidden runes at the next CPAC.