October 26, 2010

Our very own Sturmabteilung

English words never sound quite as sinister as their German equivalents, which is one of the reasons that American Fascism just seems like a lot less fun than the Italian and German versions. I mean, really: Tea Party? I enjoyed reading Johnny Tremaine as much as the next young patriot when I was a kid, and the Boston Tea Party seemed like a thrilling caper that really showed those stuffy Brits that we had arrived on the world stage. Thus, what a come-down that the movement which borrowed the name has nothing to do with the American Revolution but is mostly just a religiously-inspired, regressive, Christian-revanchist goose step down memory lane. (Patent pending on that sentence, btw.)

As proof that we can't do anything right, including mob violence, here's a picture making the rounds of a Rand Paul supporter stepping on the head of a MoveOn.Org troublemaker who showed up at one of Rand's Klan meetings. Point one: the SA would never have worn white sneakers. Das ist so lahm. Although Rand Paul's supporters do utilize the main technique of the Brown Shirts, the Sturmabteilung, which is violence to make a point. Let's face it, there simply comes a time when you know you're so damn right that anyone who disagrees with you needs to get their head stomped. Rand's supporters have become sick and tired of all these intellectual digressions, these "discussions" and whatnot. So get out of here or we'll throw you to the ground and stomp on your head.

Such an approach does discourage the expression of opposing points of view. We should be under no illusions about that. Hitler's National Socialists never actually achieved an electoral majority in Germany, either (as the Tea Party will fail here to do as well), so to compensate for that shortfall, that "delta" between where Adolf wanted to be and where he got through the electoral process, Hitler used what you might call his political Irregulars, enforcers who kept the whole open debate thing from getting out of hand. The young woman who showed up at the Rand Paul rally with an offending placard no doubt got off lightly compared to the Brown Shirt treatment circa 1936, say, but we've got to give the Tea Party a chance. They're learning, after all. Hitler did not perfect the art of violent intimidation overnight either. These things take time.

Turning the country into an open-air asylum takes time, too, but we're getting there. I note with singular satisfaction that the First Amendment is now under open assault from the Tea Party gang. Ken Buck, who is leading in the Colorado race for the U.S. Senate as the Republican/Tea Party candidate, does not like the idea of separating church from state, although he likes the idea of forbidding the government from "establishing" a religion (because, for example, what if a Jewish president were elected? Or a Muslim? Okay, another Muslim, the TP's would say.) Then America, obviously a Christian nation from the get-go, could find itself in a messy situation, with the Koran calling the shots instead of the Ten Commandments as God intended.

Buck has a half percent lead, and Nate Silver thinks he's got a 54% shot at getting elected. One of Ken's concerns is that he finds it "scary" how "secular" the country is becoming. Well, we can't have that. It's the secularists (Sekelar Hoomanists, as the church of my childhood used to call them) who advocate ideas such as science, with the dire threat it presents of a detailed and accurate understanding of reality. Science has produced such ridiculous red herrings as global warming and evolution, for example, ideas so pernicious and subversive that one poll showed that 14% of Tea Party people themselves believed in man-made climate change! Only 86% of the Party is cleaving to the Party line! Fortunately, as any student of history can tell you (that is, most people not in the Tea Party), Hitler knew how to deal with dissidents within his own party as well.

So anyway, just picking up the pace of posting in advance of next Tuesday. Heh heh. After which, I think a dissenting view like mine, contrary as it is to the general drift of the country, might place my head more or less where that young lady's is in the picture. And thinking about the steadily deteriorating educational system in this country, I would not think that the tendency of the populace is going to be away from superstition, religious intolerance, anti-intellectualism, obscurantism and that whole constellation of crazy stuff. Quite the contrary. Might not be a bad idea to develop at least a contingency plan for moving somewhere else, some country where the rule of law, high intellectual and educational standards, open debate, freedom of artistic and political expression - where all such things are common and revered.

You know, someplace like Germany.

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