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.
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.”