Friday, October 31, 2008

I've had this strange feeling in the pit of my stomach . . .

Now I hear the evidence to suggest my "strange feeling" may have legitimate roots.

Check out this video of school children singing in praise of Obama:

And then read the comments of a woman named Lori Kalner after she saw the movie:
In Germany, when Hitler came to power, it was a time of terrible financial depression. Money was worth nothing. In Germany people lost homes and jobs, just like in the American Depression in the 1930s, which we have read about in [Bodie and Brock] Thoene’s Shiloh books.

In those days, in my homeland, Adolph Hitler was elected to power by promising “Change.”

He blamed the “Zionists” around the world for all our problems. He told everyone it was greedy Zionist Bankers who had caused every problem we had. He promised when he was leader, the greedy Zionist bankers would be punished. The Zionists, he promised, would be wiped off the face of the earth.

So Hitler was elected. . . .

Yes. Change came to my homeland as the new leader promised it would.

The teachers in German schools began to teach the children to sing songs in praise of Hitler. This was the beginning of the Hitler Youth movement. It began with praise of the Fuhrer’s programs on the lips of innocent children. Hymns in praise of Hitler and his programs were being sung in the schoolrooms and in the playyard. Little girls and boys joined hands and sang these songs as they walked home from school. . . .
Read more here.

Personally, I find the entire interaction quite sobering.

But others do not.

On the Sonlighters Club forums, where I first saw this, I've seen comments along these lines:
  • Needless fear-mongering! . . . If you (general, non-specific you) really are experiencing abject terror about an Obama presidency I would seriously recommend speaking to your doctor. In all honesty, its probably something that could be treated pharmacologically.

    Its one thing to disagree with someone's politics. Its another thing to be so completely terrified by people who think differently that you see the rise of Nazi extremists behind the election of a democratic candidate.

    That is wacko. If it were about John McCain and Sarah Palin it would STILL be wacko.

    It is ridiculous to compare the possible election of Barack Obama to the rise of Hitler, Castro or others.

    This country has survived 8 years with Bush at its helm. And still I wouldnt sink to comparing Bush with Hitler.

    This is a disgusting propaganda maneuver. I suggest you read up on propaganda and fear mongering.
  • This is a disgusting variation on Godwin's Law. It denigrates the horror and memory of what happened, bit by bit, in the 10 years following the Beer Hall Putsch, to the Jews, gypsies and others. It also uses make a clumsy attempt to hijack that fear and that horror for its own petty political purposes.

    This is the musings of self-serving paranoia and while anyone can say and suggest anything in a free society (a good thing!), this is the very lowest kind of political speech, the most destructive and base kinds of rhetoric there is.

    This email is much more a threat to the virtues and ideals of America as a free, healthy, productive and civil society than any kids song for Obama is. Goodness, think of what is being presented here: a salutatory song to Obama AS PRECURSOR TO A HOLOCAUST.

    It's also a variation of Poe's Law.

    Seriously, you CANNOT parody this kind of stuff, as it's so ridiculous any possible attempts at parody would be indistinguishable from the real thing. Reading this the first time, I wondered what the wry punchline was at the bottom, only to find it was serious. Ayiyi....

    There's never any shortage of fools and opportunists who will happily trade on the living memory of REAL horrors and REAL atrocities as fodder for fear-mongering and demonization, and this is what we have here, in spades. Disgraceful, it is. A shameful thing to pass on. . . .

    It's *because* of these stories of the people who lived it, of the accounts of what really happened and why that this kind of cheap stuff is so obnoxious.

    Do you suppose I don't know the story, what happened? I've been to Birkenau, and I've been to Auschwitz. I spent a day at Dachau just this May. If there's any single genre of books that have dominated my reading in the last thirty years, it's been WWII, and the European Theater. . . .

    I'm more happy at a party when I find a Vet who fought in WWII finding a corner and making him tell me stories of back in the day than anything else that might happen at that party.

    But if [you're] going to tell me [you see] a HOLOCAUST coming because of a bunch of KIDS singing in a video praises to Obama, I will start to wonder. . . . Because when you read, listen, talk and immerse yourself in that story, this kind of flip connection just trivializes the atrocities of that time.

    If you're gonna raise the spectre of the Holocaust -- the ultimate emotional appeal -- you better make sure you've got a good case, and a strong argument. Because if you don't, it's easily exposed for what it is, the cynical theft and misuse of the comapssion for the victims and the horror of those times for petty purposes -- cheap political advantage.

    I don't mind people bringing it up, but bringing it up in such a flimsy, transparent way, that's demeaning to the memories of those who lived through that storm, and who died in it.
And then the responses to these replies:
  • It's not Obama that bothers me, but the reaction to him. I can't understand why a school teacher would have such a concert. Why would you want to indoctrinate kids like that? It also seems that people credit him with a power I don't think he has, that of "change." I wanted to yell at that parents, for pete's sake, he can't walk on water!

    I believe the real danger is a country with citizens who are struggling, or perhaps depressed, and will latch onto anyone with charisma. That's a vulnerable situation.

    I haven't seen anything in Obama that suggests he would be the sort of person that takes advantage of this. It's just that kind of hero worship bothers me, no matter who it is directed to.
  • Everything about Hitler's rise to power was wacko. BUT it still happened! He was a slick talker for sure....He talked people into hating an entire race of people.

    It really troubles me when I hear someone as "educated" (intellectual may be better there....hence the " " marks....unsure of the right word slam meant) as _______ [one of the people who objected to Kalner's correlation] talk [in other threads] about liking Obama because HE TALKS BETTER! Sure, [Obama] may be against XYZ that [______, the Obama supporter] believes in, but, darn it, he sure can talk with the best of them.

    This woman is right to fear this happening again. It may not be Obama....but! What if it is?

    Only those who know the "warning signs" can shout out the alarm. If no one chooses to listen...well...who knows what can happen?
  • You know, I kept hearing about how charismatic Clinton was... and about how much everyone liked him so much even if he was against everything they believed in. I've had some personal experience with such people and I see the same thing in Obama. I can't TELL you how incredibly leery I am of such people, based on personal experience, and I just don't trust him.
  • From what I've been reading in the news, the Democrats expect to increase their majorities in the US Senate and House of Representatives dramatically, which means carte blanche for a liberal president to roll his policies and his judicial appointments through without dissent.

    Those policies and appointments take us in a direction that may be hard to turn back from.

    So it's not that conservatives are quaking in our boots over what damage one man, Barack Obama, can do, even though he is one of the most extreme liberals in Washington. It's what damage the entire federal government can do in the hands of a filibuster-proof liberal majority just because the voters decide they want "Change" for change's sake.
  • Why is it that every time that someone examines an issue and comes to an opposite conclusion than the liberal one, that person is "wacko" or "needs help" or, more commonly, is "terrified".

    This elderly woman who wrote this isn't "terrified". She is simply in a position to draw conclusions from historical parallels and you aren't. You may be in a similar position someday, but right now, she is qualified to speak to such a comparison and is entitled to do so.

    Whether she is correct in her conclusions or not is entirely another issue, and certainly remains to be seen. But to dismiss anyone in her unique position as "terrified" or "in need of pharmacological help" is immensely disrespectful as well as shortsighted.
  • My grandparents came from Germany before the war, although most of their family didn't and there are great-aunts and uncles who died in the camps.

    But from what I hear of people who lived there, life was great. Jews held all sorts of positions of prominence. Many were war heroes from WWI. Germany was full of education and progressive thinking. None of them ever imagined that something like the holocaust could happen there, of all places.

    I don't have it in me to jump and say that something similar will happen in the U.S. I pray not. But it is a very real possibility and one that we all need to be cautious of.

    [To this last comment, about being cautious, an Obama supporter asked, "It's a real possibility when? Just if Obama is elected? Or always?"

    And the original poster replied, "At any time. Hopefully never."]
And your thoughts?
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