Sunday, August 30, 2009

The (Nauseous) Obama Hitler Comparison.

During this summer of Town-Hall Meeting madness, I thought the Obama = Hitler placards were just the expression of some insignificant nut-jobs, but now I see this analogy taking hold in the right-wing media and I find it very troubling.
  • Hannity on Foxnews whose guest compared Obama policies to Nazism (a claim not only Hannity did not rebuke but seemed to condone as you can see on this video)

Last Thursday, I had a personal encounter with some of those right-wing extremists. As I was downtown Boston to see the motorcade of Ted Kennedy’s funeral, I saw a group of people singing and holding an Obama/Hitler sign (right there on the Commons by the Park Street subway station).
I decided to take a picture and talk to them to try to understand their approach. It turns out they were supporters of Lyndon LaRouche, the conspiracy theorist who patented the Obama-is-Nazi theme. Incidentally, he is also a defender of the authenticity of The Protocols of Zion and claims that Hitler was brought to power by the British and Wall street and that he didn’t actually write Mein Kampf.
In fact, that’s exactly what those people you see on the picture told me. They compared the U.S. bailout to Hitler’s support of banks, claiming at the same time that Hitler was a socialist. They also said that the goal of healthcare reform is to murder the mentally ill, the terminally ill, the invalids, and the disabled just like Hitler’s. (Although, strangely, they did not talk about the Jews).
Of course, by that point, I knew that talking to them was a waste of my time - they see anyone who disagrees as either ignorant and a victim of the cabal or as part of it and downright evil.
The Larouche supporters may not be many but they have caught media attention. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the LaRouche supporters have “contributed to the divisiveness surrounding the public debate on health care reform by producing and disseminating materials comparing President Barack Obama and other government officials to Hitler, Nazis and fascists, and by attending Congressional "town hall" meeting and other events around the country.
A good example is last week’s much-watched video of the exchange (see our post) between Rep. Barney Frank and a mad woman who claimed that President Barack Obama supported “a Nazi policy” endorsing euthanasia whom Mr. Frank asked simply, “On what planet do you spend most of your time?” which was all over the news. It turns out that the woman in question (a certain Rachel Brown) belongs to the “LaRouche Youth Movement”.

At the same time, there has been an attempt in some conservative circles to re-write history by claiming that Hitler was a socialist, and that the progressiveness of Wilson was a fascist movement. (if you start googling it, it gets scary).
The ridicule of such claims may make you smile but those pernicious images have been all over the regular news channels like NBC, MSNBC or CNN and they only add fuel to an already inflammatory atmosphere. Some people have even come to Town Hall Meetings with guns, and a pastor has recently called for the murder of President Obama. No wonder the death threats against Obama have increased by 400%.

These ‘protesters’ are outside the norm of course but there are enough nuts out there that might act upon the hate-speech and the Larouche and Foxnews people will bear a responsibility if anything should happen. Even comparing Obama to Hitler or the government to Nazism is a way to call for murder or terrorism. What else do you do with pure evil? The other scary part is that so many Americans are ignorant about history and so eager for conspiracy theories (which is a very American habit) that they are more likely to believe in any revionsionist view of history.
This blog is all for freedom of expression but hate speech should (no, must) have limits, especially on a channel as popular as Foxnews and I cannot believe that so many public figures can get away with publically wishing for the death of the U.S. president or with making fun of killing the Speaker of the House. It’s about time the GOP made a stance against such extremist views and stop trying to reap such evil fruit .


At 01:29, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're obviously a left wing Communist that has been waiting for the coming of your messiah for some time. True freedom loving Americans will destroy you and the rest of this Communist attack on America or die trying.

At 18:06, Blogger Unknown said...

God help us with such scary hateful people out there, meaning u anonymous.

At 20:02, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No surprise your home is Paris/Boston. Thank God people like you who obviously hate this great country are on the way out. I support your right to voice your opinion, but anyone who is able to think for himself and has studied history sees you for what you are.


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