Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Further Reflections on My Dinners with Brother-In-Law

One other thing about my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day political discussions with my brother-in-law that struck me was the frequent appearances made by Adolf Hitler. Not in the flesh of course but in reference. Every two minute or so he would mention Hitler, fascism, or Mein Kampf. It was usually Muslims, especially Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran (who I will admit is a nut-case and a Holocaust denier), to Hitler; the word Islamic always followed by fascism; and book sales of Mein Kampf among Palestinians was brought up more than once.

There are a few problems with these. Ahmadinejad has very little real power in Iran unlike Hitler in Germany. Ahmadinejad is not the commander of the military; the Ayatollahs control the military. Fascism is a blending of Corporatism with Government and the Islamists are staunchly against Corporatism in favor of Theocracy. If anything the last six years have seen a blending of Corporatism with Government in the US. The story of the sales of Mein Kampf in the West Bank is based on a brief spike in sales many years ago. Today far more copies of the Arabic edition of Mein Kampf are sold in London than in the Palestinian territories. And the English edition outsells the Arabic edition by orders of magnitude. More copies of Mein Kampf are sold in the US than anywhere else. Not only to Skinheads and Klansmen but to college students in universities where that book is studied in its historical and social context.

I don’t mean to single out my brother-in-law. Many Bush supporters I talk to, see on TV, read the posts of on the Internet, etc, do the exact same thing. They incessantly bring up Hitler and Nazis and fascism when addressing critics of Bush but rail at any mention of those topics in relation to the Bush Administration itself. I understand the American Right-Wing’s fascination with Hitler since he was such a powerful Right-Wing leader, but their use of him to demonize their ideological opponents smacks of transference (if I remember that term correctly from psychology classes in my college days).

My brother-in-law like many Right-Wingers kept harping on comparisons made between George W. Bush and Hitler. I informed him that people had compared Clinton to Hitler and invited him to Google Clinton Hitler and see for himself that there are more than a million hits. I did the same afterwards and was amazed to learn that nearly every US president since Hitler has been compared to Hitler by opponents. In the last few years I have heard and read many Right-Wingers compare all sorts of Democrats to Nazis. It was only a couple of months ago that Donald Rumsfeld compared critics of the Bush Administration to Nazi Appeasers. My brother-in-law made the same comparison in almost the same breath as he bemoaned those who would dare compare Bush to Hitler. Supporters of equal rights for women have been labeled FemiNazis for years. But the Right’s hypersensitivity to Bush being compared to Hitler or serious parallels between actions of the Bush Administration with policies taken in Germany in the 30s and 40s conjure up the phrase methinks they doth protest too much.


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