Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Have you ever wondered how evil gets elected?

For example, I have often wondered HOW could Adolph Hitler get elected in a  culturally iconic Democracy like Germany?  Germany was generally a  “christian” nation (Christian used in the lower case because I would argue they were more culturally religious).  I know it’s far more complicated than what can be addressed in short blog. Tomes have been written about it, but I have a few thoughts on how it all started:
  1. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis waged a modern whirlwind campaign in 1930 unlike anything ever seen in Germany.   Hitler traveled the country delivering dozens of major speeches, attending meetings, shaking hands, signing autographs, posing for pictures, and even kissing babies.
  2. Goebbels brilliantly organized thousands of meetings  and printed millions of special edition Nazi newspapers.
  3. Germany was in the grip of the Great Depression with a population suffering from poverty, misery, and uncertainty, amid increasing political instability. Who care about decency when there is money to be made, right?
  4. Hitler found in the downtrodden people, an audience very willing to listen. In his speeches, he promised encouragement. He heaped   vague promises while avoiding the details. He used simple catchphrases, repeated over and over.
  5. Hitler offered something to everyone: work to the unemployed; prosperity to failed business people; profits to industry; expansion to the Army; social harmony and an end of class distinctions to idealistic young students; and restoration of German glory to those in despair.
  6. He promised to bring order amid chaos; a feeling of unity to all and the chance to belong. He would make Germany strong again; end payment of war reparations to the Allies; tear up the treaty of Versailles; stamp out corruption; keep down Marxism; and deal harshly with the Muslims…oops, wrong century. I meant he would deal harshly with the Jews.
  7. He appealed to all classes of Americans…oops, there I go again. I meant “Germans.”
  8. All of the Nazis worked tirelessly, relentlessly, to pound their message into the minds of the Germans.
  9. On “Super Tuesday” 2016. …Darn it. There I go again. I meant “on election day September 14, 1930,” the Nazis took over eighteen percent of the total vote  – and were thus entitled to 107 seats in the German Reichstag. It was a stunning victory for Hitler. Overnight, the Nazi Party became the  second largest political party in Germany.  They had no intention of cooperating with the democratic government; they would benefit to for circumstances to get  worse in Germany, thus increasing the appeal of Hitler to an ever more miserable people.
  10. Hitler aroused the curiosity of the world press. He was besieged with interview requests. Foreign journalists wanted to know – what did he mean – tear up the Treaty of Versailles and end war reparations? – and that Germany wasn't responsible for the First World War? I find this hauntingly familiar to “build a wall”, “keep out the Syrians” and make others pay.
  11. Gone was the Charlie Chaplin image of Hitler as the laughable goofball, with funny hair and spray-tanned…er uh, a silly mustache.  The beer hall revolutionary had been replaced by the skilled manipulator of the masses.