By Michael White
A small minded, insignificant man named Hank Williams Jr. on a popular daytime TV show, makes a comparison that equates President Obama and Hitler.
He is, of course, following the precedent laid by the mass of deluded folk who a few months earlier waved banners and signs in the streets depicting the President as Hitler.
These folk do not know the truth; they would not know it if it were printed on their weak minds. What Republican leadership have been doing is much more in tune with Hitlerian strategy than anything for which President Obama can be accused.
The German politician Joseph Goebbels was Hitler’s right hand man, and Nazi Germany’s Minister of Propaganda in the Third Reich from 1933 to 1945. The wicked Goebbels was a key architect of the final solution which led to the extermination of millions of Jews, the Holocaust.
Goebbels was an ugly and murderous piece of work, a diminutive man with a chip on his shoulder who would devise and approve any atrocity to achieve his ambitions. Really the right man to give effect to his hero Hitler’s inhuman, devilish agenda.
One of the achievements Goebbels is best known for is creating and spawning the theory of the Big Lie. In a motivational speech delivered to the people of his party on 9 January 1928, Goebbels put forward the proposition that people sooner believe a big lie than a little one. He believed that if you repeat a lie frequently enough people will believe it as an article of faith and, worse, if you repeat a lie often enough, it actually becomes the truth. He pointed out that the English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. Goebbels contended that History "is made in the street," understanding that if you could persuade the man in the street of your lie through endless repetition you would be victor of the propaganda war. His whole life was a testament to this philosophy.
In adopting Goebbels as their own intellectual hero and strategic precedent, the Republicans have excelled in implementing his practice from the outset of Obama’s Presidency, and indeed during his campaign for the job. Through repetition they managed to conjoin the identities of Obama and Pastor Jeremiah Wright until Obama felt compelled to leave his Church. The pressure was immense and unrelenting. The Big Lie had its effect and drawn its first blood.
In his landmark work, People of the Lie: the hope for Healing Human Evil, published in 1983, the great M. Scott Peck explains how much of a sin lying is. When he started off as a psychiatrist and a Christian Peck believed neither in Satan nor evil. After a couple exorcisms he changed his mind. We are really indebted to Peck for enlightening us about the hidden depth of human evil and lying. Republican leaders would do well to read this book and if they read it long ago as young people, to read it again in the light of their vaunted “Christian” approach to leadership. They just might suffer a change of heart, or even get one.
Republicans developed an arsenal of lies with which to destroy Obama’s credibility. The method they perfected was to never cease fire; as soon as the effect of one weapon seemed to be fading, the task was to immediately conjure up another. To date the Republican campaign of lies against Obama has been based on about six primary platforms.
Depending on the fact that Americans would be afraid of a leader who is a Socialist (Marxist), they incessantly repeated that Obama was just that, trusting that it would eventually sink into the American psyche. For a while this seemed to work.
Again, knowing the fear in American hearts that a leader weak on the external enemy would put their lives in danger, they moved to the lie that he would not be accepted on the world stage and that he is weak on foreign policy. When Obama’s victory led to an outpouring of acceptance, affirmation and support from the outside world, they concocted the lie that he was more interested in the opinions of foreigners than in the American people. As he has gone on to find and exterminate the major terrorists that have plagued America and threatened its security, they have found their claim of his being weak on terrorists pathetically lame and unconvincing and have abruptly deserted the grand foreign policy denunciation lie.
Knowing the depth of the pit in which the previous Republican administration had left the country and knowing well that any succesor would have to stimulate the economy by spending, they turned against the policy of investing in the economy and in the process, decided to label Obama the big spender. As an integral part of this lie, “stimulus” was turned into a dirty word.
Knowing well that the country had hemorrhaged jobs at an alarming rate through the previous administration's ineptness, their mantra became “Where are the jobs?” Since Obama now owned the economy he was the one responsible for America’s joblessness! All the while they followed strategies, particularly the “Say No” policy, they well knew would inhibit any Obama attempt to create jobs for the suffering Americans. By endlessly repeating the mantra “where are the jobs” they played on American fears and anxieties about the state of the economy which Wall Street and the Big Banks had created.
Their most incessant lie is about Obama’s Leadership. “He is not a leader” has been repeated so often and in so many forms, that even those who admire the President’s effectiveness as a leader might begin to believe them. Truth is that by every acknowledged quality of good leadership, including integrity, generosity of spirit, honesty, warmth, persistence, compromise, long-suffering, loyalty and temperament, Barack Obama far excels his detractors.
More recently the refrain has changed to “Obama is dividing the country through class warfare”; since they discovered this new lie, it can be heard in every public pronouncement every Republican leader makes, over and over again. Some lies are more insidious than others. There are the ones, for instance, that change the story from what the Republicans are or have been doing to what they are accusing the President of (Scott Peck has a lot to say about evils like scapegoating). The class warfare chant is one of those. A party that has been almost predicated on class warfare of the most pernicious sort, against the middle class, without the slightest blush, turns and projects their sin unto Democrats and the President, accusing them of class warfare.
Republican leaders stand four square behind their infamous Republican activists. James O'Keefe (of ACORN notoriety), and Andrew Breitbart (Shirley Sherrod) have built their careers on lies and deceptions happily promulgated by Republican leaders. It is superfluous to mention the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
The People of the Lie
The very policy of saying “no” to every Obama proposal, is soundly rooted in the same strategy of repetition of the Big Lie, because sooner or later every blind follower, and even the not so blind apologist, inevitably comes to believe that saying no is the acceptable and beneficial policy prescription.
Among the Republican “leaders” offered as an alternative are John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy. This band of ignobles has sown the lie that they know the answer to America’s dilemma, and that given the chance they can reverse the trends. All they offer, repeatedly, is a return to the policies that caused the great American debacle of the 21st Century.
What leader Boehner has to offer are uncontrollable tears and trite remarks, showing no capacity to take charge except for the negative role of leading in the infantile charge of just saying no.
Eric Cantor’s contribution to leadership is appearing one step behind Boehner with an annoying and sardonic smirk on his face, uttering a snide remark at every opportunity. Like good Cassius, Cantor has that “lean and hungry” look.
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s role is being mute and showing up dutifully with the gang for every photo opportunity.
And, of course, Mitch McConnell, a dour, sour-faced man with a matching personality will be remembered most for declaring honestly from the start that his No. 1 job is to make Obama fail and ensure that he is a one-term president, and good leader Mitch has displayed all the tenacity of Goebells in repeating his mantra and advancing this cause.
For almost three years these men have done nothing constructive to advance the American quality and standard of life, but instead have blithely fiddled and enjoyed their lavish lifestyles as the people suffer and Rome burns.
History will show, if perchance accurately recorded, that these ambitious and noble men did immeasurable harm to the American, and like Goebells, the global economy. But they are the leaders of the free world.