As I look at the massive amount of “change” our country has endured since I was a child, I’m not feeling a lot of “hope”. I had long wondered how our country had gone from one of fierce independence, strong work ethic and Judeo-Chrisitian values to one where living on the dole is viewed as an entitlement to some people, and it comes with a free obola-phone. The fierce independence and looking after yourself and your family has become “let the government do it”, “wait for the police” and “there ought to be a law”. We are to have been a country ruled by law, not mobs. And we have moved so far away from that. “How could this happen?” A friend of mine on Facebook asked that the other day. This column was already percolating in my brain when he did. I may have some insight into it.
You know the old saying there is nothing really new under the sun? Well, many of the things we see in America now have been done before, and succeeded brilliantly for those that implemented the policies.
Let’s do a little compare and contrast, shall we?
There is a traveling exhibit from the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education called “nazi Propaganda”. No, I didn’t mean to capitalize nazi. There was an exhibit of artifacts and a lecture series that explored different aspects of the Propaganda.
“Propaganda is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert”~~adolph hitler 1924
hitler had one of the best at propaganda Joseph Gerbils (Goebbels, yes, I enjoyed doing that too), who said that “Any man who still has a residue of honor will be very careful not to become a journalist”. That’s pretty rich coming from a one time journalist.
When hitler came to power in 1933, Germany had a very well developed communications system. There were 4,700 daily and weekly newspapers, a total circulation of 25 million. Of these 81% were locally owned, although there were some national ones that had even attained international recognition. When the nazis came to power in 1933, they owned less than 3% of the 4,700 papers. Through the elimination of the multi-party system the nazis gained control of the newspapers that had been run by those parties. The nazis used the press and radio to create fears of a communist uprising and then the populace was willing enough to accept limits and the curtailing of their liberties.
The nazis had a great ally in Julius Streicher who produced Der Strumer, a virulently antisemitic “newspaper” and I use that term loosely here. Mostly it ran articles on how the Jews were to blame for everything wrong, and they wanted to start a war while the rest of the world wanted peace. They ran horrible cartoons by “Fips” designed to isolate and dehumanize Jews. It ran from 1923 to 1945 and during the Weimer Republic was the receipient of many lawsuits by politicians and Jewish groups. It did not stop them though, and when hitler came along, it thrived. The nazi regeime also embraced the new technology of radio and television. They already had a thriving movie culture. With the creation of the people’s radio, hitler’s speeches could be broadcast everywhere, factories, homes and even the streets, and they were. The cheap mass produced radios had very few stations available on the dial, quite the shocker that, eh?
The German propaganda machine was also at work in the US and Britain believe it or not. In many news stories of the time the writing was done in such a was as to create fear among Americans and the British and leave them wanting to just get it over with and give in. Interestingly to me anyway, most of these stores came from the AP. Germany also forbid it’s citizens from getting any news from sources outside of Germany. But with the great radio shows on, why would they want to? I mean who could turn down hitler speeches and home making tips all in one broadcast? Besides, listening to the BBC was considered very treasonous, and punishable by prison time.
Propaganda was used to sell the majority who hadn’t voted for hitler (was it racist back then to demand voter ID?) that there would be this national community, it’s just that a few people wouldn’t be part of it. Germans by in large it seems, ate that National Community Hope & Change stuff up. It was necessary to convince them not to intervene when they saw their neighbors of many years being hauled off and their belongings taken away. The ghettos were posted with signs warning of health dangers, that was meant to discourage non-Jews from entering and seeing conditions for themselves. With the lack of sanitation, people starving and lack of medical care, that was somewhat true, but not why the nazis posted the ghettos. Films were staged in the ghettos to show the German people that the Jews bred and carried diseases. The goal with that would be to decrease any sympathy the Christians might have felt and any desire to help the Jews. The Jews were also portrayed as not caring about anyone but themselves. Films were also staged to convince the world that the Jews were being treated very humanely, and just in the camps for “re-education” to the nazi way of the thinking and life. Nothing to see here folks, move along.
Part of the goal of the propaganda was not so much to enlist ordinary Germans in killing the Jews, but to convince them not to intervene on the Jews behalf. After all, they weren’t REALLY human were they?
So, why is this relevant today? People would recognize the dangerous conditions and do something about it before it ever got this far again, right? No set of Americans would sit idly by while one segment of the population was marginalized and attacked by leadership would they?
How about people who believe the Constitution should remain the law of the land, and not ruling by pen and cell phone?
Would the government ever paint such people as “the enemy”?
Would the government ever single out those people and use the force of the government to go after them?
Remember all the antisemitic cartoons? Some of these appeared in newspapers, some were made up by readers.
The Media Research Center put together a lovely list of some of the worst attacks by the mainstream “media” on ordinary American Citizen. Curiously, the “media” was very supportive of Occupy Wallstreet.
What happens when a reporter actually tries to do the job, and report on Government and investigate stories? Um, doesn’t turn out well.
So, while in Germany many of the newspapers MAY have been forced to regurgitate the party poop, in America it seems we see this kind of reporting, not because of being forced into it, but because the media itself is on board with the ideology of the current regime.
Anyone remember Candy Crowley from CNN a “moderator” (chuckle, chuckle, snort) helping the President out during the debate against Mitt Romney? Or who can forget the classic of CNN making it appear a semi-automatic rifle is a automatic by the way they talked during the “report”.
Speaking of ideology, when the media constantly calls a semi-automatic rifle an “assault rifle” and report on someone shot breaking into a house as a “gun shot victim” because the home owner shot him? Does that not seem to be allowing their ideology to drive the story, to influence people that haven’t a clue about guns? To convince people that the ability to defend themselves and their families from any kind of a threat is not something they should want.
Nice blog post about CNN and guns.
And a great video to show anyone who doesn’t understand about a semi-automatic and fully automatic.
If you want to compare how the obama infatuated press handles a story think about what you are hearing now that there was a Republican landslide on Tuesday. The media is marginalizing that, saying the people want Republicans to work with obama. The British press presented the story a bit differently.
As did the Candadian http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/67371
I discovered the first time I went to Ireland and listened to the news on the radio as I was driving that the way I heard stories on the radio in Ireland was vastly different than the way they were presented at home.
Why would the media do this? Lie to citizens, target certain individuals (think Sarah Palin or Phil Robertson) certain businesses (Chik-fil-A or Hobby Lobby) try to isolate them, polarize and demonize them?
Some pretty good answers can be found in the film Grinding Down America. You can watch it on YouTube, but you have to find the different sections. Or, if you don’t mind the Spanish subtitles, the movie is in English, and it is well worth watching.
So, my first villain in “How could this happen”, is the media. And unlike Germany, the mainstream media in America is part of the problem, not the watchdog.
I mean seriously, if they can’t even report a story involving a gun correct AFTER it has happened, why do we even listen to them give a weather FORECAST?