Tuesday, August 21, 2012

So Not Hitler: President Obama and the Unreasoning Right-Wing Fear

OKAY, RIGHT-WING TYPES, you’re still confusing thinking Americans and the election for president is just months away. Could you please pick your paranoia and stick with it, at least till November?

You’ve pretty much run the gamut of all fears. Four years ago, Sarah Palin warned that Obama was going to “pal around with terrorists.” The implication was that we were all going to die in 9/11-like attacks. Glenn Beck predicted next that the president’s enemies would be arrested by the millions and billions and sent to FEMA prison camps. Fox News tried to sell the idea that Obama hated America because back in Chicago he listened to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

When thinking Americans shrugged it all off, Rushbo and other right-wing types did an Exorcist-like 360 swivel and started warning that Barack Obama didn’t just pal around with terrorists.

He was one.

Now, you want us to believe Obama is Hitler. You color in that little mustache on his picture and slap it up on your Tea Party posters. On Facebook you put up paintings of Obama in storm trooper garb.

It’s kind of pitiful.

It’s lame.

Perhaps it’s time for a history lesson. What thinking Americans call “using actual facts.” If you haven’t noticed, there are no gas chambers in America and we don't have any Zyklon-B. Your side pretends Obamacare is the same as mass murder, but you can’t find the ditches filled with corpses. The police aren’t even torturing critics. But perhaps you forget: Obama is the one who opposes waterboarding.

President Obama doesn’t have political goon squads, either. Oh, sure, you quake in your boots when “union thugs” are mentioned. But you’re just pissy because sometimes we outvote you, and you can’t handle that fact.

You might be relieved to know that Hitler hated unions, just like you do. In May 1933, shortly after he gained power, he ordered unions dissolved and leaders beaten and carted off to concentration camps. Anti-union? Hitler? Check. Right-wing governors like Scott Walker and John Kasich? Check and double check.

It’s kind of fun, if you carry the comparisons far enough. By 1930, Hitler was already relying on 100,000 brown-shirted bully boys to depress the vote, sending them to attack opponent’s political rallies and murdering rival politicians. But when it comes to voter suppression, in 2012, your side is the bomb. Good try in Ohio, for example, screwing with voting hours, limiting them in Democratic-leaning counties, expanding them in Republican-leaning areas of the state. Yep. You care about freedom. Sure you do. Come to think of it, liberals, in the main, are prone to go around unarmed. If you want weapons at political rallies...you might have noticed that was kind of a Tea Party thing.

And remember the thrill your side got when Ted Nugent suggested President Obama should suck on his machine gun?

Admit it. You thought that was cool.

LET'S SEE IF WE CAN KEEP SCORE—and see which side in America most leans in the direction of Hitler. Writing in Mein Kampf, before he came to power, the Nazi leader labeled Jews a separate race and called racial pollution “the original sin of humanity.” (624) And what do you know, in a poll this spring, nearly half of Republican voters in Mississippi said interracial marriage should still be illegal.

In fact, isn’t religious intolerance a trick often found buried deep in your bag? Don’t a lot of Evangelicals, who flock to your side, say Jews are Christ-killers and doomed to burn in Hell? If Obama were like Hitler he’d order attacks on Pat Robertson’s home and Joel Osteen’s church, as the Nazi leader did on Jews’ homes and synagogues during Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”) in 1938.

So: Is Obama like Hitler? Then which side today hates an entire religion? Which side fears all Muslims, including those born in America, with full citizenship rights? Which side burns down a mosque in Tennessee? Which side shoots down Sikhs? Religious intolerance. Yeah... that's a check for your side.

How about marriage and reproduction? You might be happy to know that Hitler believed marriage was first and foremost a matter of procreation: “And marriage cannot be an end in itself, but must serve the one higher goal, the increase and preservation of the species and the race. This alone is its meaning and its task.” (252) He was against the right of the individual to decide in matters of reproduction: “We must also do away with the conception that the treatment of the body is the affair of every individual.” (254) Oh my: Your side says if a woman is raped the government can force her to have a baby.

You fear, with unreasoning fear, a “homosexual agenda.” Hitler didn’t like gays either and sent them to concentration camps. Jews wore yellow stars. Gays wore pink triangles. Today, in America, Charles L. Worley, a Christian minister in North Carolina, can vilify Obama after he comes out in support of gay marriage and say what we need to do is build prison camps for all homosexuals. That way, they’ll die out.

Remind me again, how is Obama like Hitler?

THE RIGHT TALKS ABOUT AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM and complains because Obama is slow to get involved in Syria. He’s unwilling to bomb the hell out of Iran. Hitler believed in exceptionalism, too, but his was the German kind. He could talk patriotism with the best, wave the flag, too, only his flag included a swastika. “We, as guardians of the highest humanity on this earth, are bound by the highest obligation,” he once argued. (646) In other words, what Germany did was always right. What America chooses to do, your side says in similar fashion is always right. Again, a check in your column.

Hitler wanted to insure that public schools taught love of country first and foremost. He wanted to foster a nationalist spirit and reinforce hate. “Science, too, must be regarded by the folkish state as an instrument for the advancement of national pride. Not only world history but all cultural history must be taught from this standpoint...The curriculum must be systematically built up along these lines so that when the young man leaves his school he is not a half pacifist, democrat, or something else, but a whole German.”

Now, the Tennessee Tea Party wants slavery taken out of the textbooks. (Makes America look bad.) In Arizona, ethnic studies are banned. And don’t forget inserting Creationism in the science curriculum or teaching the Bible as “literature” in the public schools. Ignore that kid who thinks different in the front seat. Make him study the Bible because that’s what your side believes.

How about all those illegal immigrants? What’s the existential fear on the right? Here’s how Hitler might put it: “All great cultures of the past perished only because the originally creative race died out from blood poisoning.” (289)  He’s talking Aryan superiority. You’re talking fear of brown-skinned peoples, those speaking Spanish, particularly, and Asians, too. You’re afraid for the Anglo-Saxon race.

Finally, for people who talk so much about the Founding Fathers, have you noticed that we still have three branches of government? Hitler took away lawmaking power from the Reichstag (Germany’s legislature) almost the moment he assumed office. He drummed up unreasoning fear of communists to ram through restrictive laws. And, hold on, now. Isn’t that a specialty of Michele Bachmann and Allen West, running around, warning about all kinds of “Al Qaeda sympathizers” and “commies” in Congress today?

Sometimes, it’s hard to see how you folks sleep at night.

Have you forgotten Republican presidents appointed seven of the nine current members of the U. S. Supreme Court? Can't you see you control the U. S. House of Representatives? Don’t you notice your side is pouring hundreds of millions into the current campaign? You have, in all likelihood, a 50-50 chance of regaining control in the Senate and Obama holds only a slim lead over Mitt Romney in all the election polls. So stop with the scary bedtime stories.

OR, FOR GOD’S SAKE, double your medications.

 ***

(Sunday morning:  The author stands corrected on one point: It’s five of the members of the U. S. Supreme Court. Save for that error, he hopes right-wingers will feel a little better, reading this and knowing they have so little to fear.


Or as the comic strip character Pogo once said, and as applies more to them than they might imagine: “We have met the enemy and it is us.”






37 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Well written for sure. Inciteful. No wonder we are in a culture war.

      Jay

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    2. What culture war?

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    3. I wonder who else pushed for agendas that the majority of the country didn't want. Second look up the original argument for abortion in 1973 and tell me who lied about the facts. Not one of the statics was correct. Lets put a late term abortion on prime time right after the new gay parents tv show so the world can see how much it is like the nazi medical experiments in concentration camps. Now I cant imagine how painfull it would be to carry a baby by rape but that baby didn't ask to be murdered either. Why must we have special laws for homosexuals but can't have rape a capital offence? Make rape punishable by the most painfull degrading death possible and I bet it declines to almost non existant. Now finally both obama and hittlet faught to take away our basic and civil rites if freedom of religon is taken away like the hhs mandate then what is next. I truely am a american clinging to my gun and religon both protected by the constitution for now and a veteran of the us army who was willing to die for these ideals how about u? Good night and God bless U and America. You need it.

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    4. First, let me say to you, that I joined the USMC in December 1968, believing we were fighting for freedom in Vietnam. I volunteered twice to go to SE Asia, but I was lucky and was not sent. So, there's a fair chance I love this country as much as you.

      That's where you poor right-wing types are wrong from the start: unless we agree with how you see the world, we aren't good Americans. You might call that arrogance of the highest order, I think.

      As for our civil rights and freedom of religion, I wonder again, how is it your side burns down mosques? My youngest daughter's old boyfriend is serving his third tour in Afghanistan now. His mother is Muslim and a U. S. citizen. Where in your cramped world view do you put the rights of Muslim Americans? Gays on TV, too! Hey, exercise your right to get off your rear and turn the channel. Perhaps you might explain to me, as well, how YOU have more rights than your gay neighbor. In fact, what about gays now serving this great country in combat, or who have done so in the past? Are you, sir, a superior American to them?

      Finally, we have your ideas on rape: "the most painful degraing death possible?" Are you aware that we have an amendment that bars cruel and unusual punishment? No, of course not. The only amendments and the only narrow interpretations of those amendments you care to consider are your own.

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  2. incite (v): to stir, encourage, or urge on; stimulate or prompt to action.
    insightful (adj): characterized or displaying insight; perceptive.

    Now, if it were intentional, "inciteful" would be a rather interesting invention combining those too meanings. But I tend to think it isn't.

    Still... I agree with your sentiment. I tend to hate Hitler comparisons, but the right is a heck of a lot closer than Obama.

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  3. Wonderfully done! Now, if i could GET MY NEIGHBORS to READ it! But they are GLUED to faux news!

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  4. I *used* to be a Republican. I believed in a strong military, strong labor force, right for work, workers rights, protecting the citizens of America, having jobs here in America, strong educational system.

    Of course, this was back in the 80's.

    A few years back I got in a political discussion with another so called Republican, and discovered that apparently everything I believe in makes me a democrat, or a communist, I'm not sure.

    I find it interesting that most Republicans I know throw out the words communist and socialist, and don't even really know what it means. They know nothing of history, or any other political system than democracy, rely on fear and suppression of facts, and frankly, don't want political discourse, but rather groupthink.

    Reading this article, it reminded me why I quit the Republican party and decided that it was my duty, as an American who wants to preserve the American way of life, to vote against these self-proclaimed Republicans in every way I can.

    The Republicans of today are not what the party meant to me. I don't know what they are, but they aren't good for America, Americans, or the world.

    So I vote.

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    1. I hear you. When I was a Marine I was a card-carrying Republican. I voted Reagan, Bush 41, Dole and Bush 43 (the first time). Somewhere in there I started realizing that either I was moving left or the division line was moving right. So today I still consider myself a Republican, of the Eisenhower type, which would define me today as a moderate liberal. Over as span of time I realized that the principles that I fought for were not the ones upheld by my party, that I had been duped. Today, it breaks my heart to see good people, who truly mean to put their nation and it's people first, into the hands of such bad people who clearly put their party and/or their own agenda first. And if Mittens wins, I'm terrified of what he and his cohorts will achieve in a span of 4-8 years. Bush 43 policies on steroids? Will they make Cheney look like a benevolent and selfless leader by comparison? Will the mindless masses "get it" by then? Sadly, I doubt it.

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  5. Excellent article, well articulated pointing out historical truth past and present...they say that a person/organization has lost the arguement as soon as any Nazi/Hitler comparison is mentioned, and in most cases that would be the case...but to deny legitimate comparison is not only wrong but 'criminal' in not doing so - bravo

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  6. Insightful - there, now that was easy, and not the least bit snarky.

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  7. But snark is so amusing!

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  8. Republican presidents appointed five, not seven of the nine current members of the U. S. Supreme Court. A majority but still . . . accuracy is the first province of persuasion.

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  9. Very well presented. Nothing like some facts to spoil a big hate fest lol.

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  10. Well done. The Republicans are so close to Hitler it's scary.

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  11. Republican presidents appointed five justices to the US Supreme Court, not seven. Must have been tenured by the teacher's union. It's ignorant leftist assholes like you teaching our kids that's one of the major problems of the decline of this country.

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    1. Ah, I do dearly love it when people judge my ability to teach unseen. I always suggest that if they will pay the postage, I will gladly send them copies of several hundred student and parent testimonials.

      And I believe you, my dear madam or sir, take us right back to the idea in the article, that people can only teach if they agree with what you think.

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    2. I find it ironic that you throw "he's a bad teacher" around so easily, yet when someone makes the insinuation that you are a bad parent you get all butt hurt. Teachers are human, they make errors just like you, sometimes they get a number wrong, just like you. But you seem to enjoy the fact that you and your party are artists of misinformation, fearmongering, and ignorance. How many times have Republican candidates or Republican leaning news organizations pop off with information that was out of date, wrong, or an out and out lie? How many times have Republican candidates or Republican leaning news organizations had their "facts" refuted by a little research? I can almost bet that it is more than you'd like to admit. Why is it that the conservative right are so "pro-life" by being against abortion, but they are so against feeding the hungry, against ensuring women do not bring a little one into the world in a hopeless or abusive situation, demand that the victims of rape and incest be forced to go through the pain of the crime committed against them by having their perpetrator assert legal visitation rights. Tell me how that is pro life.

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    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    4. Hey Lynnette, I deleted your one comment because it was posted twice.

      Thanks for your support. The mistake on judges was careless. But my critic is exactly what this post is about. The right-wing thinks if we don't agree with every word they say, we're bad Americans (and of course they think they're good).

      I used to teach lessons, in great depth, about the wonderful values in the Declaration of Independence, about the import of the Bill of Rights, and more. I only happen to be "left-wing" enough to think these documents cover all Americans, gay and Muslim and everyone else included.

      Why, I even believe teachers have free speech!

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    5. Ignorant leftist asshole? I think not sir! In fact I submit that if you bother to read the entire article you might realize that it's you that have been ignorant of the facts and history of this nation. It's truly sad to see just how far out of bounds the once great Grand Old Party has been dragged by the tea party zealots. If you'd drop the remote and pick up a history book (not written by Glen Beck) you might be surprised by how far off track you really are. Ronald Reagan is spinning in his grave!

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  12. Yeah the number if the judges is wrong, but the is dead on. Good article. Proof of that is the only rebuttal is do hammer on the error about the judges.

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  13. The author left out the propaganda technique of accusing your enemies of doing exactly what you yourself are doing. The TeaCorpublicans are masters of this.

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  14. excellent article....hope this is widely seen

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  15. Thank you for this. Will share.

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  16. This is the Best article I have seen that explains how I have been feeling and couldn't express it. I saw the Hunger Games yesterday and the moment the 1st scene opened I had that feeling of doom again that I do every time I read the rhetoric that the NEW Right Wing Nut Job GOP is spouting. I thought - that is going to be the USA IF the Republicans win.

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    1. Do me a favor and send this to your friends. I'd like to keep this post flowing out to a wider audience.

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  17. Loved this article...everyone should read to educate & free themselves from the conservative fear mongers!

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  18. Dear old Ronald Reagan, the one that supported Pol Pot for 10 years with money, weapons and a seat at the UN.

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  19. This was a great read. I want to keep it handy for the next time someone drops a Hitler comparison.

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    1. The author would love it if you pass it on to your friends and befuddle the right-wing haters.

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    2. I posted it on Facebook last night and I think it's up to six reposts. Trying. :)

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    3. Thanks, any help is appreciated. I have no problem with rational conservatives; but these extremists worry me.

      I don't think they even understand American values.

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  20. So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. I have often wondered if the people who screamed that Obama was "like Hitler", or a socialist, or a terrorist, knew what these things meant. I mean, I KNOW they don't know what they mean when they call him a communist or, in the words of one of my close friends, "The Anti-Christ". Thank you, again, for putting it most wonderfully. I have been reminding people who are anti gay marriage to look at what has happened in the past, how history judges the politics of banning certain marriages in the past - whether it is the Neuremberg Laws or the Jim Crow laws. We look at both as uneducated and moronic, the actions of someone fearful of those different than they...as will history judge us if we fail in this measure of equality...Thanks again!

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  21. Obama isn't who the "Left" or the "Right" think he is.

    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/15019-focus-noam-chomsky-america-moral-degenerate

    http://www.governing.com/blogs/fedwatch/state-local-leaders-blast-obama-plan-to-cut-heating-aid-for-poor.html

    http://www.washingtonguardian.com/washingtons-school-security-failure

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/once_again_--_death_of_the_liberal_class_20121112/

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/reining_in_obama_and_his_drones_20121201

    http://dailycloudt.com/index.php

    http://www.naturalnews.com/037310_barack_obama_monsanto_lobbyist.html

    http://www.investigativeproject.org/3777/a-red-carpet-for-radicals-at-the-white-house

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