Your Daily Mindjob
This is my personal blog where I'll offer up some political straight talk as well as thoughts on technology and pop culture. That should give me plenty to talk about. The world can give you one heck of a mindjob. Think like me and get your daily dose.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hitler, Fascism, Extremism, and How it All Started on the Right

The dialogue present in today's politics among the people, not our elected officials, is that of a divided finger-pointing banter aimed at advancing opinions of oneself and not of historical fact. While I admit at face value, the title of this post can be seen as unbalanced finger-pointing aimed at continuing the nonsense, I would ask readers to indulge me for just a moment out of the spirit of listening, not waiting for me to finish talking so you can interject the thoughts welling up inside of your head. Take ten deep breaths and continue reading.

When journalists these days talk about all the extremism and violent rhetoric on the Right, "true conservatives," "patriots," and the tea party ilk have one very common response that comes in a few different flavors.

The Democrats did it first.
The Democrats do it too.
The Democrats are a bunch of hypocrites.

While the second on that list might be true and violent behavior most certainly has been exhibited by groups on the Left, Democratic party leaders have not stood out in front of said groups, egging them on to elevate their own ideals. The lines on the Right between activist and politician have been blurred. Democrats have kept a clear separation between their own statements on the Hill and the protesters down below. Only media outlets and talking heads on the Right attempt to merge the two. Just because some on the Left resort to violence certainly does not excuse anyone else to do the same. I openly criticize violent actions, regardless of the cause.

However, if it were true that Obama, for instance, were a radical, I would not condone it. I know that wingnuts will cling to things like Ayers and Obama at this point, claiming close ties, but that simply isn't true. Google the terms Factcheck, Obama, and Ayers. Let's move on beyond the obvious stalemate to the real meat and potatoes. Distraction is their game, no matter how much they believe themselves to be true and those people cannot be reasoned with. They need to face that lots of misinformation has been flat out debunked. Move on to the next topic already.

But Hitler comparisons? Do you realize where the accusations of Fascism, Communism, and Socialism originated?

The exchange over Hitler and Fascism did not originate with Democrats. The sentiment originated on the Right and the defensive posturing explaining the absurdity was situated on the Left.

Go back to before Obama was elected. Go back to the Bush years (No, this isn't about blaming Bush). Look at some of the book titles that were circulating at the time. Several compared Liberalism to Fascism. On discussion boards, Right-leaning individuals opened up the flood gates by calling Liberals Fascists and Socialists at the same time. Astute Liberals on these forums stepped up to point out the idiocy in such a comparison.

Pick one, but they can't be both.

Followed by...

History lessons on Hitler, Mussolini, Fascism, and Socialism.

Followed by...

If you really want to see Fascism and Hitler like behavior, look at some of the Bush policies, the Religious Right, and the notion that if you don't like America, you can leave it. Nationalism. Blind patriotism. Corporate control.

These were defensive comments against an already implied statement that Fascism (read Hitler) and Socialism (read Mussolini) were all Liberally held tenets, not the other way around. I'm not denying that Liberals used the Hitler comparison. What talking heads on the Right fail to disclose is the timeline and series of events which lead to these comments. Those on the Right were directly comparing Liberals to Fascists and Socialists. You can't talk about either without understanding Hitler and Mussolini.

No. I'm afraid the stones being thrown over Hitler and Fascism came from the Right, not the Left. Only the keen eye accustomed to reading how debates arise will be able to spot it. I suspect wingnuts who go back to read the exchanges will see only what they wish to see and not the text in black and white on the page of their web browser.

And therein lies the real problem.

One group is compromising and living in reality. The other is uncompromising and living in some world of magical thinking. One side recognizes a difference between what you hope will happen and what will actually happen. Nuance is something only those on the Left seem to understand. Nuance is scoffed at by those on the Right.

We will never again see reasonable debate and that is unfortunate for this country. We are on the down and out. It was nice knowing you. The arguments used by the Left for so many years are now being incorrectly employed by those on the Right to project an unrealistic series of events leading up to what we are facing today. We can't fix our country if we botch up the story like a bad game of telephone. Sad, indeed.

I hate to say it, but as a Liberal, I fail to see any benefit from indulging ideas from those on the Right spewing vitriol, favoring those who are ready to work to get things done and casting aside those who would prefer to mangle everything in sight.

...At least for the time being. Once we get back on track, maybe we can start talking again. I welcome that day, but I do not see it happening. There is no arena of ideas when misinformation dictates half of the public opinion. When Democrats are no longer considered legitimate leaders by those on the Right, those on the Left will question the legitimacy of ideals held by those who stand on the Right.

Our best option is to put our ideas and laws into place and watch them succeed just to show the nuts that they were wrong. We cannot continue to argue over matters of reality and imagination. Put common sense back in the hands of those who actually have it and not those who toss the term around in a stump speech to win votes and support.

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