As always, with permission:
Pamela Troy's Journal
The Right Wing Stays Classy
Posted by Pamela Troy in General Discussion
Fri Nov 07th 2008, 08:55 PM
The spirit of Winston Churchill was alive and well on Tuesday night at Focus
on the Family Action headquarters.
You may recall that in the most desperate days of World War II – when Great
Britain was being pounded daily by Hitler’s Luftwaffe – that Winston Churchill
called on his countrymen not to despair from danger but to rise to the
Fundraising from James Dobson’s Focus on the Family sent out 11/6/08, quoted at Unbossed.com
So now we have the nauseating spectacle of some disappointed American right-wingers trying to cast themselves as alarmed observers of the rise of a new Third Reich. Videos of children singing pro-Obama songs are spliced in with shots from movies about Brownshirts. Bloggers begin posts with sinister observations like “Seventy five years ago in 1933 the people of Germany cast their votes. That year Germans legitimately brought to Power the National Socialist Party (Nazis) and made Adolph Hitler the Head of the Government…" and quote what they fondly imagine to be relevant passages about the rise of the Nazi Student League from Robert Jay Lifton: “"Equally important was 'Gleichschaltung' from below: militant behavior on the part of the National Socialist Student League, which organized early and soon came to dominate or replace traditional student groups and formed an arrogant subculture with intense camaraderie and more than a tinge of violence."
This is the point where irony and projection cease to be funny. These same bloggers seem unaware of the extent to which they echo Nazi rhetoric in their obsession with who is or isn’t a “true American,” in the hateful and exclusionary language they use about those who disagree with them. The same blogger who quotes Lifton has this to say about those of us who voted for Obama:
You are not Americans. You are the product of a culturally ignorant, socialist educational system used by unions and politicians to brainwash three generations of young people, who in their blindness have finally delivered the goods, which will forever destroy their future.
Another offered this in his election post-mortem “Requiem for a Dream:”
We must remember that we are conservatives, and not liberals or "progressives" or whatever they're calling themselves today. Politics is not our life. Unlike liberals, if we lose an election, we're still going to be happier than liberals, whose worldview is premised on misery…And unlike liberals, our happiness is where it has always been and will be tomorrow: our family, our friends, our local community, in our work, our faith, and in our country. These will be around whether or not the current incumbents have a "R" or "D" next to their name.
Loathing is being presented as a comfort here. The reader is invited to cling to the belief that as a conservative, he or she is in a fundamental way better than liberals who, one is invited to presume, don’t love their country, their family, their friends, in short, just don’t feel things the way a conservative does.
We can see now why the far right was so attached to “Godwin’s Rule” for the past twenty years. They didn’t want Nazi parallels to be drawn when the Bush administration did things like using a terrorist act as a pretext for rolling back basic civil rights, lying us into a war, detaining people secretly and indefinitely, and torturing suspects. And God forbid it be mentioned in the face of the right wing’s frequent and sinister iteration of the “stabbed in the back” motif (Dolchstoßlegende in the original German)
No, they wanted to save those Nazi parallels up so they could use them to describe the rise of a charismatic and inspiring liberal politician. They wanted their followers to be aware of old newsreels of enthusiastic crowds in 1930s Germany, but not the embrace of hatred and violence and the flat rejection of reason and shared humanity that made that enthusiasm so chilling.