Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why did Germans follow Hitler so slavishly?

This has been something of a burning question ever since the war.  What historians have said about it is reviewed here. And the reviewer is right to say that none of the answers given is satisfactory.  Yet the answer is right there in plain sight.  It is in the name of Hitler's political party:  The national socialist German worker's party.

Before I elaborate on that, however, I must warn that I am about to mention Donald Trump. So I want to make clear from the outset that I am NOT going to say that Trump is a Nazi.  Leftists say that all the time and I have often pointed out how hollow such accusations are.

As we all know, Mr Trump came to power with the slogan:  "Make America great again".  And despite being just about as unpresidential as you can imagine, that slogan took Mr Trump to the top.  That slogan had to have great power to overcome all the negatives (real and imagined)  associated with Mr Trump.

So guess what Hitler's message to the German people was?  Paraphrased, it was "Make Germany great again". (Hitler didn't put it exactly that way.  He put it more emotionally.  For instance "Vor uns liegt Deutschland, in uns marschiert Deutschland und hinter uns kommt Deutschland!")  Germany was badly hit by WWI so that idea was very attractive to Germans.  So nationalism, particularly in a time of stress, has very strong appeal.

And Hitler added to that a form of socialism  -- where socialism is defined as redistributing the wealth from the rich to the poor -- "Gleichberechtigung" in Hitler's German.  Hitler campaigned using exactly that word. See below.

But here's the odd thing.  It's such an odd thing that I will be called a dangerous neo-Nazi for saying it. Socialism as we know it today is under Marxist influence and as such is basically motivated by hate.  Marx hated everybody. It masquerades as compassion but it's really an excuse to tear down the existing society and its arrangements.  And the various extreme socialist regimes -- Soviet Russia, Mao's China etc -- show exactly how vicious and destructive socialism can be.

But Hitler's socialism was different and more powerful.  It appeared to be and he claimed it to be motivated by love -- love of the German people ("Volk").  Hitler's love for his "Volk" and particularly German young people really stands out here.  In a word, Hitler convinced Germans that he loved them.  And it was out of that love that he wanted to benefit ordinary Germans at the expense of the rich, particularly rich Jews.

And he saw socialism as being secure only within a homogeneous society, which Germany would become once the Jews were ousted.  See below.  The quote is from Mein Kampf and translates as "There is no socialism except what arises from within one's own people".  So he saw nationalism and socialism as organically connected.

So he didn't tear down the existing society the way hate-motivated socialists do if they get the chance. He wanted to redistribute but not to destroy.  As you will see from the speech linked above, he wanted to build up a united and heroic Germany, not tear it down. The Marxist aim of class-war was anathema to him. And whatever its motivation, socialism has a lot of appeal to people to this day. Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are evidence of that. Socialism offers security of all sorts.  It says: "You will be looked after".

So if someone is offering both socialism and nationalism all in one package, he has got a magic mix.  Hitler offered the perfect dream -- he offered it all.  And the offering was made all the more powerful by his success in convincing people that his "compassion" was sincere. So Germans shared his dream and marched on behind him to the bitter end.

Mr Trump too tends to convince people that he stands for the little guy but his means to his ends are very different.  Where Hitler wanted to redistribute the wealth, Trump wants to create it -- mainly by giving the unemployed jobs.  And because Trump is not wanting to take anything off anybody, he does not have to have an authoritarian State to enforce his wishes.  So he is in fact chopping away at the vast regulatory apparatus that Obama and some of his predecessors built up.   Trump is a capitalist, not a socialist, a deregulator, not an authoritarian -- and there is a world of difference there.


Pelosi Progressives — The Winning Formula for Republicans

The San Francisco Democrat raises an awful lot of money for her party, but her unfavorable status helps the GOP

Political parties once had the power to stand on their own platforms of ideas and policies. Voters would ideologically or practically align with Democrats or Republicans based on values and issues. As money and the power of incumbency have grown, along with the now-24/7 cable news cycle and the rise of social media platforms, individuals in leadership, particularly those of significant tenure and position, have become the face of their respective partisan groups.

It’s true that some conservatives and Republicans cringe at that fact. Now that President Donald Trump is moving his agenda, complete with his, er, extraordinary mannerisms, as the face of the Grand Old Party, angst is on display among the Republican ranks. Democrats are buoyed by this fracture and perpetuating the fairytale of Russia/Trump collusion to derail any agenda.

But there’s a chink in the Left’s political battle armor that’s proving to be an existential threat to their work to regain the House majority in the 2018 mid-term elections: The face of the Democrat Party and the political Left is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

In the special congressional elections that have occurred following Trump Cabinet appointments, Democrats intentionally declared each one served as a referendum on Trump’s unpopularity. Yet all four special elections were lost by well-funded Democrats. So much for the all-out rejection that is supposedly brewing among the American electorate against Trump’s agenda.

Two of these congressional races must be noted. First, in Montana, the GOP candidate to replace Ryan Zinke was charged with misdemeanor assault of a reporter the evening before voters went to the polls. Despite his popular folksy Democrat rival looking to benefit from a nationwide flurry of horrible press for manhandling a member of the “fake media,” Greg Gianforte won — maybe because he manhandled the media. Not only did Trump not cost Republicans a seat, but the accepted belief that media is the problem worked in favor of a fed-up Gianforte, who was pressed with a hail of questions about the GOP health care proposal. Montanans chose that over the whole state being represented by Nancy Pelosi’s values.

In Georgia’s 6th congressional district, a peach of a race shaped up with historic fundraising. Democrat nominee Jon Ossoff, who hadn’t found it necessary to yet live in the district he sought to represent, couldn’t vote for himself, nor could most of his California donors and big money coming from Planned Parenthood. When records show that of the almost $24 million raised by the Democrat, nine times more contributions came from California than within Georgia, Karen Handel, the GOP candidate was accurately able to state, “He’s raised millions outside of Georgia from Nancy Pelosi and outsiders who just don’t share our priorities. My opponent doesn’t live here [and] doesn’t share our values.” Ossoff and Pelosi lost to Handel.

In short, Pelosi’s unabashed hard-left stances based on sensationalized information are rejected, as were Barack Obama’s. But Nancy gets a little extra help in her public disapproval due to some of her antics. Let’s walk down memory lane.

Who can forget the oldie but goodie during the cram-down-our-throats passage of the insultingly name “Affordable” Care Act? Then-House Speaker Pelosi declared, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Or what about her later declaration that “I believe the [Republican-controlled] House of Representatives, at this time, is an unsafe place for children and other living things”? In December 2016, the California congresswoman whose worth is estimated at $100 million avowed, “I don’t think people want a new direction. Our values unify us and our values are about supporting America’s working families.”

Another favorite videoed moment of Pelosi was in January 2017, just days after Trump’s inauguration. Democrats marched in protest of Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban,” which merely called for a temporary pause in travel from nations Barack Obama identified as being of risk. Oh, the theatrics as the anti-Trump crowd watched Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana trotted out to the microphone to challenge Trump’s move. The hot mic picked up Pelosi feeding lines to him: “Tell them you’re a Muslim. Tell them you’re a Muslim.”

So, as Pelosi provides reliable ammunition for Republicans — and no, the use of this metaphor is not a call to arms or violence — why does she remain as the face of the Democrats?

It’s simple, really. The 77-year-old, first elected to Congress in 1993, is a fundraising powerhouse on the Left. Since rising to House leadership for Democrats in 2002, she is credited with raising almost $568 million for leftist candidates. Perhaps it’s no wonder the Democrat Caucus has moved so hard-left.

Furthermore, as noted in the June 27 CNN analysis declaring “Nancy Pelosi Can’t Be Beaten,” you can’t beat anybody with nobody. The shallow pool of candidates who might oppose Pelosi’s leadership are not viewed as credible — there are no young guns in the wings who pose a threat.

Pelosi’s unpopularity is no recent development. Back in 2013, Gallup showed she earned the distinction of being the most unpopular congressional leader. Just over the last eight weeks in 11 House districts that are targeted by Democrats for 2018, Pelosi’s job favorability didn’t surpass 37.2%.

Democrats may want a new face of their party, but their blindness to the authentic issues facing working Americans has been exposed. Republicans have much work to do in the House (and Senate) to capitalize on what’s become a gaping hole in Democrat armor — the obstinacy of the hard-Left. Thank you, Madame Pelosi.



Conservative group prods Walden over 'right to try' bill

The conservative group FreedomWorks is turning up the heat on a top House Republican to support bipartisan legislation that would allow terminally ill patients unrestricted access to experimental drug treatments.

FreedomWorks wants House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) to advance the Right to Try Act (H.R. 878), which was introduced in February but hasn’t moved through the committee.

“Right now there are millions of Americans lying in hospital beds, fighting for their lives. And Congressman Greg Walden isn't doing anything to help them!” the group wrote in an online ad urging its followers to tell Walden to support the bill.

“There’s bipartisan support so I don’t know why it’s still sitting there. It should be a slam dunk for the committee,” said Jason Pye, FreedomWorks’ vice president of legislative affairs.

The legislation was introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and has 41 co-sponsors, but counts only four of the committee’s Democrats as supporters. An Energy and Commerce Committee spokesman didn’t respond to questions about the status of the legislation or about Walden’s support for the bill.
But a separate Senate version of the legislation, championed by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), is moving much quicker and a lobbyist familiar with the legislation said it could be on the Senate floor as soon as next week.

Without House action, the legislation could linger. Supporters of the bill say the federal government needs to cut through the bureaucratic red tape of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval process. They argue that people who are near the end of their life should have a right to take riskier medicines.

“Right to Try” laws are on the books in 37 states, but have yet to be implemented at a federal level.

Vice President Pence is an advocate of the laws and signed Indiana’s right to try law in 2015 while he was governor. Pence met with proponents of the federal law in February and pledged the support of President Trump.

During a meeting with pharmaceutical executives in January, Trump suggested he'd make changes to the drug rules for terminal patients.

“One thing that has always disturbed me, they come up with a new drug for a patient who is terminal and the FDA says, ‘We can’t have this drug used on the patient,’ ” Trump said.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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