Kitty Werthmann is dead. I wish she weren’t.
The Schlaflyite South Dakota Eagle Forum leader spent her life leveraging her story of growing up in Austria and seeing Nazis take over into a career of deception, claiming that Hitler’s great evil was pushing equality for women, separation of church and state, gun control, and other liberal policies she could falsely ascribe to the Nazis while mostly ignoring their real evils of anti-semitism and militarism. Werthmann’s misportrayal of history and fascism gained traction during the Obama years, when Tea-Partiers slurped up any propaganda they could get their hands on to brand President Barack Obama a socialist who would lead America into fascism.
Yet somehow when real fascism came to America with the ascent of Donald Trump and his brownshirts, when her people stormed the United States Capitol and attacked Capitol Police and Congress and the Constitution, Werthmann expressed no alarm.
The very movement Werthmann pushed now brings us the fascism on which she pretended expertise and alarm.
I wish Kitty Werthmann weren’t dead. I wish she were alive and alert so she might face the fascism her deception fueled. I wish she had another decade or two to live with her conscience and perhaps repent for the damage she has done to the nation she said she loved.