It Could Happen Here.

I didn’t want to go this far before, because I didn’t think it was necessary, but I do think that if our country sees a Hitler, he’s not going to be a guy with a funny mustache. He just might arrive in a package called Sarah Palin.

She is mesmerizing. Hitler derived his power from his ability to mesmerize. In both cases the power may be primarily sexual. Hitler in his addresses to crowds had the ability, it is well documented, to make German women swoon.

Sarah Palin doesn’t even know that she’s the next Hitler. I’m sure it would come as a surprise to her. That doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen.

I used to think her mesmerizing power was something only the Democrats needed to worry about. But now that she’s making speeches attacking Obama not for what he says but as the dangerous-other, and referring to “those East Coast people” in a thinly-veiled attempt to make middle Americans think “Jew,” her power is something the whole country ought to worry about. I’ve said from the beginning that Sarah Palin was not to be underestimated. Her ability to galvanize an enormous portion of the population who are susceptible to her divisive message is a talent to be dismissed at our peril.

Those who have thought the danger of Sarah Palin is that she is unqualified to be president have had it all backwards. The danger has never been that she’s unqualified, but that she is supremely effective — in the service of some very un-American ideas. The liberal/left bloggers who think she made a poor showing in the debate because she refused to answer questions are missing the point. She spoke exactly as she wanted to. And those who were listening most closely heard exactly what they were waiting to hear.

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16 Comments on “It Could Happen Here.”

  1. Mark Contorno says:

    Ted,

    This comparison of Palin and Hitler is so right.

    Thank you and Bravo!!!!

    She is true evil along with her co-Maverick. Eck! They are both so sickening.

  2. rovronr says:

    The way I understand it, Hitler was hardly a fearful, dangerous, threatening presence to the inter-war Germans. He was a savior who appealed to traditional dreams and illusions of prosperity and hegemony. If the Germans had had an Iditerod, Lena woulda filmed the darn thing, also, ya know?

  3. Mr. Wonderful says:

    It’s always dicey to invoke Hitler (cf. Godwin’s Law), and in this case you have to distinguish between the type of orator/demagogue she is, and what she would want to accomplish. Hitler was Hitler not only because of his mesmerizing abilities, but because of his outlook, plans, and the kinds of people with which he surrounded himself.

    Does Palin want to exterminate Jews? Probably not, although she probably is waiting for Jesus to do the job for her. Is she a fascist demagogue?

    The answer might be taken from the Monty Python sketch in which Graham Chapman announces (in paraphrase), “I want to state in the most emphatic possible terms, that there is absolutely and positively no cannibalism in the Royal Navy. And by that I mean, there is a certain amount.”

    Of course, we don’t know what she’d be capable of if she became president. Let’s never, ever find out.

  4. Ted, you make a good point. But what is Obama, if not mesmerizing?

  5. tnaron says:

    That’s an interesting point, too, Diane. I guess I would say Obama at his best is inspiring, in a near-Rooseveltian way. What is the difference between inspiring and mesmerizing? One difference is that “inspiring” appeals mainly (not 100%, maybe not even 70%, but mainly) to the head and to rationality, while “mesmerizing” appeals to more instinctual (and sometimes, not always, baser) drives. Now, one could argue that we should not ignore our instincts, but, especially in times of crisis, using our heads seems a better way to find a “what should we do next” that will turn out well.

  6. Rationality, “using our heads” is, of course, the better way in times of crisis…Let’s just say that to suggest Ms. Palin perhaps has the capacity to commit the heinous acts of a Hitler because of her ability to “mesmerize” an audience is just wrong and unfair [well, I shouldn’t interject the Pollyanna notion that things are fair – “things” are seldom fair…or balanced -smile].

    Moreover, the adjectives associated with “mesmerizing”, relate more or just as much to the head and rationality than “inspiring”…ie. compelling, absorbing [certainly Obama is compelling…so I guess I’d have to say that both Obama and Palin are mesmerizing- and inspiring…to their diverse constituencies…and that’s key…I mean, Sarah Palin would never mesmerize you or the majority of the voters…so…where’s the danger…of a Hitler.

    No. It’s more than dicey…it’s wrong. She’s no mental giant…certainly not any self-professed intellectual’s choice…but Hitler? And, remember, Palin is an eighth cousin once removed from Roosevelt..Obama is an eighth cousin once removed from ..is it Dick Cheney?

  7. rovronr says:

    Regarding Sarah Palin mesmerizing the majority of the voters, don’t forget Hitler was not installed into power by the majority of the voters. Hitler ‘mesmerized’ a minority who bullied him into power. this is the fear. That a minority, a large minority, but a minority nonetheless, can bully the majority in some very crazy ways. I don’t fear Palin. But it’s pretty easy to fear those who scream out at her rallies.

  8. tnaron says:

    And would Palin resist being carried to power on the shoulders of that militant minority? I don’t think so. Whether she chose the role for herself or not, she would accept it. She has accepted their scary screams, not rejected them, so far.

  9. In answer to your question. “And would Palin resist being carried to power on the shoulders of that militant minority?”
    I would say, No…and neither would Obama.
    And by the way, Ted, I find it interesting you use a Marxist slogan, Militant Minority, in reference to Ms. Palin.

  10. tnaron says:

    I had no idea Marx used that phrase! I have never read him. It just seemed to be the right description. I’m pleased to know I’m in good company, I guess.

    The financial events of the last weeks seem to vindicate Marx, though, at least as far as I understand him. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that we are witnessing (and suffering from) the inevitable result of capitalism left to its own devices, i.e. when not sufficiently regulated.

    And why that’s on topic in a Sarah Palin discussion is that, historically, times of economic chaos are the ones most likely to lead to fascism. (Not using that word to be provocative, just using it because it seems appropriate to the message she’s delivering and the message she’s getting back from the crowds she’s delivering it to.)

  11. I had no idea Marx used that phrase! I have never read him. It just seemed to be the right description.

    I don’t believe I said Marx *used* that phrase…but the Militant Minority Movement was *Marxist* based and I find it difficult to believe you’ve never heard the phrase…or about the movement. And may I say, you have no need to read Marx.

    As far as capitalism being left to it’s own devices, I believe there is some discussion about attempts being made a couple years ago to “regulate” Fannie and Freddie…and I believe there are those who voted against it. We shouldn’t forget about the savings and loan debacle where David Paul [second only to Keating]…backed to the hilt by Democrats in high places and with their complete complicity…kept regulators from knowing the truth about Centrust Savings. Paul contributed greatly to their coffers [the Democrat politicians]…just a casual research shows $10,000 [distributed through his family members] to Joe Biden in the 80’s.And in 1986 Paul was awarded the 1986 Americanism Award by the Florida Regional Board of the Anit-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
    Much the same is going on now. Who knows what totally underlies this *latest* crisis.Probably furtherance of the Trilateral Commission of which both Allan Greenspan and Paul Volker are founding memebers.

  12. tnaron says:

    I’m very not up to speed on the Trilateral Commission, but I don’t think anyone who’s reasonable denies that the Democrats share responsibility for the current debacle. Fannie and Freddie seemed to be more the Democrats’ babies than the Republicans’. But this crisis is bigger than Fannie and Freddie. It’s also, and possibly mainly, about the giant hedge funds which were overleveraged — and that happened because they were allowed to be. And that happened because lobbyists for the hedge funds were able to persuade enough members of Congress to allow them to be. A Congress that was Republican-ruled for the first six years of Bush’s two terms.

  13. Many people are not “up to speed” on the Trilateral Commission and, in fact, have never heard of it…but it has always fascinated me for over 20 years…as has the Federal Reserve which, of course, controls US and world economy. Both entities have in common the reins of power in the hands of the few…the former being private by invitation and the latter, elements of both private and public.

    Absolutely, the crisis is bigger than Fannie and Freddie…and I commend you for stating that reasonableness demands Democrats share the blame…unlike Ms. Pelosi…but the walls did come tumbling down during the last two years and it’s Humpty-Dumpty time now…and the reins of power are certainly in the hands of a few. Let’s hope these few haven’t just been hungrily waiting…or worse, complicit in the development of the present crisis and can steer the economy on an even keel for the benefit of all.

    But then, I’m just a chic singer, former cheerleader, and dumb blonde [slbeit totally natural blonde -does that make me at least dull normal?] …so what do I know. I only knew that I felt suggesting Sarah Palin could have the attributes of a Hitler was over-the-top. Do I think she’s capable of creating enthusiasm?…as we say in Maine…AYAH. But she’s no “Hitler”.
    We all need to cease being “cheerleaders” for political parties.

  14. Sue Baragona says:

    Maybe we’re missing the point. Although Ms. Linscott may have been obsessive on the trajectory of the Trilateral Commission (which actually has everyone in DC with a belly button as its members), she off-handedly dismisses the ground-up view of those people who are quite affected by the fallout. These are the folks who have been jobless, future-less, and without hope for a few years running. Those conservative and quiet members of America who need someone to speak for them. They don’t know politics, and believe in the God almighty. Someone has to speak their language. What better person than a cheerleader who speaks black and white? This person who disregards the gray areas of accountability, and sweeps right past that issue of national responsiblity and energetically lays the blame on someone other than you. This is great! Now, the enemy has a name, and it’s those liberals, or those colored, or those feminists, or . . . just fill in the blank.

    Creating enthusiam is a cheerleader’s job. It by no means guarantees success for the team. Its frightening that Palin has found her level of “hotness” in clinching a mob mentality. And, finding that pedal, she is not hesitating to push it to the limit. I do not find the comparison of Palin to Hitler invalid. She is no mere cheerleader, hoping to push McCain to victory. She has consistently used the tools of divisive rhetoric, corporate dogma, and hot-button jingoism in her daily use of the media to appeal to her perceived base. This in and of itself would put her on any thinking person’s WTF list. That, and the fact that she possesses no etiquette of logic, nor true understanding of a true world view, leads me to believe that she is truly at a pre-Hitler stage in her career. It’s not the Jewish people she’s after, it’s those of us who don’t fit her description of God-fearing Flag-waving AMERICANS!
    What does scare me is the fact that this winkin’ hip-slinger has a mediocre IQ, an absolute aversion to the real and growing underclass, AND an overweening and narcissitic obsession with putting her name into history.
    I truly hope that I and my family will not have to deal with her after Nov. 4!

  15. Anna Gretta says:

    I must confess, frankly she scares the hell out of me. I secretly turn her books around when I am in the book store hehehe. I also change the channel on the TV or radio whenever she is mentioned, media is driven by audience numbers, a collective decision to turn our backs on her is an action we can take. Thanks Diane.


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