I could have written these words six months or six years ago, the substance unchanged. I’m writing it now because the nutbucket Republicans and their Fellow Drivellers have invited us all to ponder the comparisons between the forces of modern American politics and the Nazis. In my view it’s a fair question to be asked, but only after acknowledging the extreme result was horrid, and unlikely to be replicated. It’s that result that prevents discussing the forces and ideology that led to it, the target of Pin-The-Label crying foul even if the association is legitimate.
However, history does repeat, but perhaps most often as echo rather than shout; an aftershock reverberation less destructive that leaves us wondering if it’s artifact or harbinger. The reason some stoop to echo the political tactics of extremism is because, even though it is a shrill, cheap and destructive political trick, it has proven to work.
This historical - hysterical repetition resembles in substantial ways the original event, but with a new twist more appropriate to the times. In modern terms, it’s a remix of an old song to make a new one. So, I'll answer the question our Republican friends pose: Who’s spinning the Hip-Hop Hitler?
I’ll begin by explaining the basic differences between right and left wing radical movements, then the similarities.
Identifying right - left extremism
Politically, right wing moves away from equality, towards the rule of the few, left being the opposite.
Economically, left radicalism moves toward equality, an attempt at financial leveling; the Worker’s Paradise, where all share in the state’s bounty.
Right wing radicalism is used to support a wealthy ruling class that convinces the masses of indoctrinated adherents that their interests are the same.
In terms of demagoguery – seeking support of an agenda by tying it, somehow, to a popular set of prejudices, the leftist embraces their fellow “downtrodden” minorities and blames the wealthy for society’s problems.
The rightist embraces the wealthy, and blames the minorities for society’s problems.
Therefore, left wing political movements are Bottom –Up, the lower classes rising to claim some form of equality. In this case, the political equality is a good thing, the extreme economic leveling proven to not work. They are the disenfranchised seeking to upset the rulers.
Right wing political movements are Top-Down, the ruling class indoctrinating that lower class element to do their bidding by telling them what to fear and why, which, by “coincidence,” happens to serve the upper class goals. Here, the powerful seek to maintain or expand their position by encouraging dissent and distrust among the lower classes.
Left Wing, Right Wing – Same Bird
There are at least two similarities between left and right extremists. Both are ideologues – holding a strong but irrational, fundamentalist belief in a political ideology. It is this certainty that disables them from accepting democratic rule because they are sure the rest of us must be forced to their belief for our own good, regardless of popular will. And, well…both are stupid people. I realize that ignorant is a less harsh term, so I will clarify. I am largely ignorant of Quantum Mechanics, so I don’t act like I’m not, or have Glenn Beck explain it to me – that would be stupid.
I should point out that I’m talking about political stupidity. There are many intelligent people who function very well in our society, but when it comes to politics their ideas aren’t well formed. They treat politics as some do religion, placing their faith in certain beliefs, explained to them by people they trust. They do so without critical examination, either because they are already convinced, and/or are incapable of that task of reasoning. Their problem begins with transferring that religious-type faith in the unknown and unknowable to a political faith that is often in contradiction with the known and provable.
There is little hope in influencing an ideologue, because if your ideas are different they see you as the ideologue; how could you be so ignorant as to not see the obvious validity of their viewpoint? You must, therefore, oppose everything they stand for, and now identified as an enemy of the Right and Just you must be converted or tormented.
Such is the nature of a radical viewpoint. Those whose extremist thinking places them at the South Pole look around and see nothing but north. They think like a cultist, so any contradicting information you have to offer must be the product of a conspiratorial effort directed at discrediting their Great Patriotic Vision.
There is no sense in arguing with them, it's futile.
OK, got it, now answer the question
I think I telegraphed the answer, so let’s get to it. Our right wing is real and radical; their frozen minds dictating their South Polarization, making them see the Sasquatch of the radical left in all directions. There is no radical leftist movement in America, period. The “conservative media” was a creation of some of the wealthy and used to advance their goals, even though it runs on its own "useful idiot" energy now.
Socially, their demagoguery is directed at most of the usual suspects the Nazis also sought to scapegoat. The only difference between Goebbel’s list of those to blame for society’s problems and the list drawn up by the Newt Gingrich’s of the political world is the absence of Jews and Gypsies. (That’s some “talent” you have, Newt...) The others – homosexuals, intellectuals, liberals and socialists – remain. Ol’ Adolph couldn’t get enough of blaming Germany’s societal decay (also a popular illusion) on the permissiveness of Liberalism.
Economically, there is no better example than the healthcare issue. The insurance company lobbyists and Republican propagandists create false flag organizations and use their media to gin up anger among those less than average political IQ True Believers whose stupidity opens them to believing what they are told. Yes, the “Astroturf” Town Hall shouters’ anger is real; it’s only the reason for it that is invented. Told they are threatened, they react on cue.
Thus wealth’s position is preserved while the same liberal/socialist/minority straw men are burned in effigy as the excitable nativists dance around the flaming phantoms that have descended from the above. Top-down, as always.
I could go on as examples are abundant, but the above points to the reality, and answers the question. The last subject right wingers should want to talk about is the destructive result of a right wing movement. But they can't resist because it's such an emotional hot button for the dull thinker to use, even as the true comparison doesn't flatter them.
It’s no surprise that those spinning the echoing reverb of Hip-Hop Hitler are the right wingers; he is, after all, the granddaddy of right wing extremism.