Tuesday, June 22, 2010

President Obama, an Op-Ed Piece, and a Possible Historical Parallel

"Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?"
Thomas Sowell, Investors.com (Investor's Business Daily (IBD)) (June 21, 2010)

"When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

"Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

" 'Useful idiots' was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

"Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.

"In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

"The president's poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.

"Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere...."
I've gotten the impression that it's considered gauche in some circles, to cite Chancellor Hitler's social programs and methods of persuasion. I'll grant that using "fascist!" as an epithet has given references to Nazi Germany the same tacky feel as crying "commie!"

That said, I think Thomas Sowell may have a point.

I am not "against" President Obama. I've discussed this before. (June 21, 2009) Some of his programs and policies, however, I cannot support. At all.

I think - and hope - that President Obama lacks the sort of drive and hate which led Chancellor Hitler to actively promote practical applications of eugenic principles and other 'advanced' policies which had been favorably discussed in the decades before WWII.

I also think that reading the rest of Mr. Sowell's op-ed piece is a good idea. He may be right. Either way, the next few years of America's history will probably be very interesting.

Related posts:


Rehman Pakistani said...


“Freedom of thought and expression is still a slogan in our part of the world. If the Pakistani, American, British and allied governments, partners in fighting global terrorism, want to win the war, then they must address intellectual terrorism first.”

For details, please, see our group blog, THE TERRORLAND: http://theterrorland.blogspot.com


Brian H. Gill said...

Rehman Pakistani,


In general, I'm inclined to agree. At least, with the assumption that ideas are at least as powerful - and potentially dangerous - as physical things.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.