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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Goebbels' Pride: Tea Party Tactics

  Update to preface: Apparently the far right have been conditioned to believe that Nazi's were left wing because of the implications of Socialism being in the title. As Hitler defined below, you are simple minded, so you believe the thing you are told which allows for no contradiction with any previously held beliefs. In fact, among the earliest to be sent to death camps in 1936 were 11,000 Germans for "illegal socialist activity." Furthermore, in 1949, Einstein wrote this essay Why Socialism? He was a known Socialist and Nazi's offered a $50k bounty for his assassination. If this regime were socialist, to fit the needs of Fox viewers, either your cable television entertainment channel has been ill-informed, or the Nazi's were. [*]

Future historians and sociologists will surely have a lot of interesting research to determine how American society evolved to this place where a political party could be built solely on an agenda of hate. The Tea Party seemed to come out of nowhere and garner a substantial following while hijacking the "R" on every ballot they ran on. This created fear in the GOP and an eventual party acceptance of what had been considered far right radical ideals. It was the mastery of propaganda ploys developed by the Nazi party in Germany decades earlier which enabled this transition.

The Allies rid the world of the power of the Nazi party long ago. I am not insinuating that they have returned in the form of the Tea Party. I am however, directing the reader to the profound commonalities between the histories of their rise and the propaganda tools designed by the Nazis, which are now, quite clearly, being used and expanded on by the Tea Party. We have tired of hearing Nazis being compared to groups or individuals. It has been said too often when it was not remotely accurate and has since lost any credibility in an argument. The Tea Party uses the term all of the time. Of course, they don't know American history, so you can't expect for them to comprehend the complexities and depth of Germany's history and the Nazi party. Although the concept has been overused, I will offer more than enough comparisons between the propaganda techniques of the Nazi party and Tea Party to disprove any accusations of the word being misused here.

In 1930, Hitler’s tireless work throughout the country to build the Nazi party's ranks by promising every German just what they needed to hear paid off. He was able to ensure 107 Nazi seats to the German government. Before this, the Nazi party was considered a radical right-wing party with little relevance or presence. He capitalized on the new popularity of the party between 1930-1931 by enticing the industrialists of the nation to invest heavily with expectations of having favors returned once the party gained more power. He also benefitted from an influx of money from the German General Staff, who were looking to Hitler to disavow commitments in the Treaty of Versailles and allow them to rebuild the military beyond the 100,000 determined by the treaty. It was these monies which enabled Hitler to build the Nazi party to a national presence and fund the propaganda methods designed by he and Joseph Goebbles.

In 2008, the Tea Party was a relatively unknown movement and built a great following by capitalizing on what a group of Americans needed to hear. The election of a black President didn't sit well with many in the right-wing and that hate was enough to join them together. They were able to build their popularity and by 2010 had 138 Republicans across the country identifying as Tea Party members on tickets for the mid-term. Of these, 32% were elected. The party was initially, and continues to be, funded by the wealthiest Americans, such as the Koch brothers. In January of this year they reminded Congress through their PAC that they only had 3 things on their agenda. All of them were to strengthen the wealthy and weaken the poor.

It is clear that Hitler was well aware of the necessity of propaganda when he began writing his book, Mein Kampf from prison in 1923.  Historically the book is not remembered as having been a very significant or profound piece of writing, but more of the incoherent ramblings of a mad man in prison. However, a blueprint for his coming tyrannical rule was defined therein. This was to include his ideas of the necessities of propagandas use and those who would best be pulled in by its methods.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler defined the masses as his target and determined them to be more simple minded than those who would be scholarly and use reasoning in decision making. The simple minded were more childlike in being unsure about how to approach reason and wanting to have narrow options to determine opinions based on emotion: love vs hate, truth vs lie, right vs wrong. He noted that the use of any methods of propaganda must never exceed the intelligence of its audience.

[This was certainly a technique adopted early by the Tea Party propagandists in only seeking to draw in those who could only maintain the simplest of ideas based on emotion devoid of critical analysis]

Hitler defined the use of his proposed tools:  "Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side.  The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.  Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula." [1]

[Goebbels would be quite impressed with the mastery and expansion of these ideas used by the Tea Party today. From the constant barrage of quick one liners, "Its Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve." to the use of memes to offer quick messages with imagery to get the point across with ease to a more "feeble" minded following.]
The Germans were given a repeated image of the man they were meant to fear and revere.

The Tea Party, which is presently leaderless, uses a similar tactic in reverse to instill the same fear. They have been conditioned to hate President Obama. They have been conditioned to believe that he is going to ruin their country. They have willingly believed the most outrageous slanderous lies about the President which enabled this mythology of being an evil leader to be instilled. They have heard him called a Nazi, a Socialist, a Communist, a Satanist, a Maoist, a Fascist. Because none of them know what these things mean, they will believe and repeat it. It will never occur to them that there is no way for a single person or party to encompass all of those ideals. Recent history has offered even the most uninformed human beings pause where they, if only subconsciously, understand fear when they see the picture of Hitler offered above. How does the Tea Party use this fear to snare their followers?

At present, not only are they attempting to depict the President and all Liberals as being anti-Semitic, but they are offering visual depictions to instill the fear, as well. This is not a limited case. Below, find a commentary comparing the two. The propagandist also gave his readers a photo of Obama pissing on the Israeli flag. See? He hates the Jews. Just like Hitler.

Like the Nazi party, the Tea Party was able to take advantage of societal unrest to build a loyal following by exploiting the needs of its country's citizens of the time. Both came during a time of economic collapse due to expensive wars. The Tea Party also recognized the unbelievable hatred that was building in the country over its having elected its first black President. This hatred was easily turned into fear by their constant nonsensical rhetoric about this man and his intentions to ruin America.

Since 9/11 the right-wing radicals have had a severe hatred and fear of Muslims. And anyone from anywhere in the Middle East, really. Because they are intellectually incurious, they don't make distinctions. If they have an appearance or name that might be Muslim, they hate them. During President Obamas first campaign for election the radicals on the right condemned him relentlessly for statements attributed to the pastor of his church in Chicago. They noted that he had gone to that church for years and had to have heard the hateful banter they determined his pastor had indoctrinated into his fellowships thinking. They still mention this today. Their leadership also told them that he was a Muslim. They are still repeating that, as well. Apparently they have never questioned why a devout Muslim has spent so many years in a Christian church. You have to be desperate for the unity and the message you receive from your party to willfully repeat these obvious contradictions and never question your leaders or yourself. That is exactly the type of person the Tea Party wants.

Like the Nazis, the Tea Party has been very careful to create the enemies its party should fear out of those who the leaders of the party need to demonize to promote their ultimate agenda. The poor are not only an easy target because they have no means of lobbying for any support, but they offer the Tea Party faithful someone to feel superior over. They do not question why they are asked to have such disdain for the poor. They gladly encourage ideas of getting rid of the safety nets in our society to protect the poor and the elderly. They are also glad to blindly support the wealthiest of our society who are the only ones that  will ultimately benefit from the policies the party wants to destroy.

The Tea Party has identified the intellectuals to be a detriment to their movement, as well. Having their followers hating the intelligent in society is dually advantageous. First, the intelligent are the ones who can see what is going on and can point it out to their followers. As they have already been conditioned to distrust and hate them, they will not listen. Second, they are offering their party an opportunity to feel superior to those they had always felt inferior to by telling them that the Tea Party are really intelligent by virtue of being the only ones who can see what is going on - the Liberals are ruining the country. Mike Huckabee has repeatedly dismissed the "over-educated" (because, apparently, that is a thing?) when indicating the superiority of the moral and patriotic Tea Party. Rick Santorum told the Values Voter Summit in 2012, "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side." He explained that smart people, and the universities, wanted to tell them what to do. [2] He intimated that their very liberties were at risk because of those smart people. Hitler also offered messages against the intellectuals of that society who would oppose his messages and expose his lies. Many of them met the same tragic end of the concentration camps as the other demons Hitler created.

Once the Nazis gained power, one of their first objectives was to rid the country of all of the labor unions. These were, of course, the groups that were seeking to ensure the rights of the working class. The Tea Party is quite eager to do the same. They are systematically attacking unions state by state, and have been able to minimize their presence in 25 states, so far. The leadership says they are starting a "Right to Work" initiative. This sounds great to the people who were so easily convinced that the unions are an evil enterprise. Those of us who follow the news and know how to read and think for ourselves, however, realize that this "right to work" means that an individual is allowed to participate in a labor union and not pay fees, which means the union cannot function as it has no capital. Therefore, really, the unions are gone and your employer has a right to fire you without cause and your rights at work have just become profoundly limited. This has been a very effective tool in reducing the voice of the middle class in America and also in creating even more opportunities for the corporations who support and fund the Tea Party to exploit its work force.

It is well known that Hitler never cared about religion, but he used Christian ideals and avowed loyalty to them as a means of building esteem with the Germans. He convinced his followers that they were superior by virtue of being Christians and this was a reason to condemn the Jews. The Tea Party politicians also call themselves devout Christians. They use their supposed righteousness to condemn those who would oppose its leaders. Like the Tea Party leaders, Hitler successfully manipulated the texts of the Bible to support ideas of Jesus being a warrior who had hate in his heart. Fortunately, Hitler and Jesus hated the same people.

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice." [3]

Of course, the Tea Party has also been able to rewrite the Bible to support some of their positions. Through scripture, they determined that Jesus condemned the poor and preached against their support and care. In a House Agriculture Committee debate regarding food stamps in 2013,  Representative Juan Vargas (D-CA) cited the Book of Matthew which says, "[Jesus] says how you treat the least among us, the least of our brothers, that's how you treat him."[4]  To counter, Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN) cited the Book of Thessalonians, "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat." This scripture has been repeated ad nauseam by the Tea Party to denounce the rights of the poor. The party faithful who do not need reason or comprehension to understand the context of the scripture can easily ignore the entire message of Jesus Christ as having loved the needy and promoted their care throughout the Bible. They are, again, complicit in their own ignorance whenever they repeat it, of course, as they condemn Socialism and this was a favorite mistranslation of the Bible for Lenin, as well. They gladly took this as a support for hate and have been able to live with themselves and still think they are true Christians while refusing to protect the less fortunate of our society.

In Nazi Germany, at the heart of all appeals to the citizens, was a reminder of their superiority. They were able to unify in hate over the Jews, Liberals, homosexuals, free masons, etc. The Tea Party, so far as I can tell, hates everyone. They, too, hate the Liberals. Until recently, they hated the Jews. They hate Muslims. They hate people of color. They hate homosexuals. They hate immigrants. They hate poor people. They hate college educated people. The leadership has created a mythos of their superiority over any in society who would be a threat to their agenda.

Nazi superiority was also attributed to their being German. They had a very extreme nationalistic view where their primacy convinced the country to accept invading and overtaking other countries. This lofty esteem is similar to that of the exceptionalism Tea Party leaders are trying to demand today. Their leaders define America's exceptionalism as being defined by virtues only the party followers have. They have already been conditioned to believe that they are the only ones who are patriotic, intelligent, and moral. They believe that the reason they have such a hard time in this world is directly because of those who are not in the party; those who are inferior. This makes it very easy to support an agenda of debasing groups of people and not bat an eye when your leaders attempt to take their rights away.

Creating the myth of superiority is essential for the Tea Party to draw in the basest of a society because they have always been outsiders. They are now being given an opportunity to believe that they are superior over all of those who they had once felt inferior to. Perpetuating the myth is essential in order to maintain party loyalty through a fear of having to go back to feeling obsolete and ordinary if they were to disassociate with the party.

Hitler's nationalistic views espoused the idea that only "true" Germans had a right to occupy Germany. Hitler wanted to make a pure German society and defined the pure 'master race,' being only Aryan. He systematically removed those who were not white, Christian or heterosexual. The Tea Party has not dictated a means of creating their ideal race, however, they are very quick to  promote the creation of laws to actively discriminate against non-Christians, homosexuals and persons of color. They also desperately want to rid America of all immigrants and deny their children born here of their birthright. Where Hitler's misplaced idealism lies in his having been Austrian, the Tea Party blindly ignore the fact that, unless they are native Americans, through their dismissal of children born in America, they are admitting that they are not "true" Americans.

Because Hitler's final objective was to go to war, militarism was very important. Although Germany was emotionally and financially spent from WWI, he needed to rally them to a reminder of their military greatness and a drive to reestablish Germany's might. The Tea Party are also very eager to go to war and very militaristic. They promote a true love for the military, but while always eager to fund military endeavors, they refuse to support bills caring for military families or veterans.  Its leaders, much more than those of the general GOP, were the ones to denounce any attempts at diplomacy with Iran. Their only objective has been to have another war. I do not assume that their desires are driven by a desire for world domination, but I do assume, like Hitler, they are knowingly and willingly ignoring the needs of their country.

It is easy for a rational mind to question how Hitler was able to create such a following. Hermann Goering, Hitler's Reich Marshall testified at the Nuremburg Trials regarding the Third Reich's capacity to get the country behind them:  "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." [5]

The above tactic has been used to the word by the Tea Party. They are forever brought to fear of Muslims and terrorism. The fear is created and perpetuated by their spin doctors on the radio and television every single day reminding them that Liberals hate and want to ruin this country. And so does the President. I literally just got a Tweet from a party "patriot" while I was creating this part of my this post. The timing was amazing.

Fear is instilled in the Tea Party followers at their core whenever their leaders tell them that the Liberals want to take their guns. It is a ploy that has worked for a very long time. It has never occurred to any of these fanatics to do any research and find the bill that anyone has ever proposed to outlaw the 2nd Amendment. There have been common sense proposals about allowing only people who have not been arrested for violent crimes to have access to them. And there have also been attempts to make it a requirement that anyone applying for a license should have a background check. One would literally have to be irrational to believe that those ideas were unjust. But it is a fear tactic their leaders know will get to their base and I don't imagine they will ever let it go.

Hitler's propaganda machine was very much a patient undertaking. He began in the mid 20s by starting a group called the Hitler Youth. These children were chosen as the most fit and best representations of what a perfect German would stand for and they were indoctrinated at a very young age to the Nazi ideals. When they went to war he had already assembled and completely trained his military. He had been able to brainwash them at their most vulnerable, during childhood. By the end of his regime, all of Germany's children were forced to attend. It was brilliant, really. Fortunately, the Tea Party are too eager and selfish to take the kind of time it would take to build up their party. This will, I believe, be one of the things that will finally determine their eventual collapse.

The education of all of the youth of Germany was also very important Hitler's mission. All schools had very specific guidelines of what to teach and which aspects of their society to focus on. Mein Kampf  was a traditional gift for weddings and graduations. The Nazis held book burnings for All's Quiet on the Western Front, and when the movie was released it was banned, as well. The theme of the movie was not the patriotic reflection that Hitler required to define the nationalism he was trying to promote. Presently, the right are literally trying to get away with removing aspects of our history in school curricula in order to drive the lessons toward those of patriotism that they are so bound by.

As the Nazis began taking power, one of their objectives was to have complete control over all of German media and the other countries it would eventually topple. They said it was to remove the lies that had been disseminated about their leaders. In the 20s, 30s and 40s the best means of getting a message out was the radio. It was a favorite tool for Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, because as the population was expansive they could communicate to the masses. The objectives were to condemn the Jews, build tones of nationalism and dismiss other media which were not loyal to the Reich.  Today the talk radio environment is basically only right-wing propaganda. A decade ago, several right leaning companies purchased and closed down most of the radio networks on the left. But, its necessity became nearly obsolete with use of the Internet.

Televisions were not widely used during Hitler's rise and reign. Visual entertainment was common in the cinema. This was a place for the propaganda machine to instill itself subtly. The propaganda department had to approve every movie that was released. The directors were offered financial rewards for movies the regime determined to be promoting the Nazi agenda. The Tea Party have a television cable channel with the word "news" in its title and they have many propagandists in the ranks who take opportunities whenever available to promote their rhetoric on all other channels, as well.

During the time of the Nazi regime, propaganda was very limited. They had many fewer outlets than are available today. Many of the images and messages are the same, but the capacity to reach an audience instantly has made all techniques of propaganda easier. The most exploited by the Tea Party are those of the television and the internet. They create and perpetuate lies and rhetoric constantly and are able to dissiminate to all of their followers immediately. Again, fear is their greatest weapon. A constant stream of reminders are offered to their followers about which groups they need to monitor and they are then inundated with reminders of these groups having intentions of ruining the country they so love. For example, these are the stories on the Tea Party's web site that were added just today.

Well, there we have it right off the bat! The 'Black People' are taking up arms. And that's from the NAACP - two boogey men in one story, dare we read on? Just be warned. They're black, you know?! The second story here is one of the Tea Party's favorite targets, Planned Parenthood. Only a Tea Party member would believe that they were helping pimps manage teen prostitutes.

In the first headline we are not only reminded about the sinful gays and their desire to get married, but look at that picture! Is that a Nazi salute behind that flag?  In the second we are reminded that men are repeatedly victimized by women and the government for being misunderstood about their sexual advances.

During this time for reflection and remembrance of the Holocaust, let us not forget that a noted reverend of our country also believes that it could happen again. But this time, instead of Aryans leading the way it will be the Muslims. And America will be the target.

The government is wasting our tax dollars on those gays! (And did you see the picture? They're GAY!) Also, remember Tea Partiers, the Liberal government wants to monitor and control your every move.

First notice that Jeb Bush, the only forerunner in the present GOP race for President (who happens to not be in the Tea Party), is siding with the current President, the one we liken to Hitler and want you to believe is out to ruin this country. Second, look at those filthy immigrants sneaking over the border. Don't forget about the threat that they pose to your families.

Well look here, a Liberal Democrat and a feminist? Does it even matter what the story says? We already know we hate her. The story tells its readers that she is an activist who made sexist remarks on social media. Apparently, that right is only extended to men?

And finally, a lovely reminder of the victimhood the Christians face from the Muslims. We hate them. Don't forget.

I found the following today and it disturbed me to my core. I can understand that I am hearing repeated rhetoric when someone tells me about this newly rewritten Bible. I guess I just didn't expect to see it done so blatantly on a Tea Party site. Now this is not THE Tea Party site. It seems to be from the Texas chapter? I am not sure. But this is a blog from dated 1/2/15. It is a brilliant play on words by mixing Baptist and Amnesty. Pretty crafty, huh? Maybe the Liberals aren't the only smart ones? Herein the blogger first demands that all churches should be a hotbed of conservative activism. (because, duh!) It goes on in depth to explain that the Baptist 'elites' (oh, we know that word, we hate elites) want to support offering amnesty to the illegal immigrants. Finally, after unbelievable rhetoric and condemnation of everyone you could imagine, the blog concludes by demanding that the Tea Party faithful speak with their pastors and make sure they do not support such a disgusting and Non-Christian proposal.

Maybe some Tea Party politicians are unaware of the depth of the party's depravity. I will be only that generous. It is possible that they were once sincerely religious people who were in politics for reasons they may have been passionate about. Maybe their egos got caught up in the whirlwind of the ease of finding party support and electability. Maybe having been wrapped up in all of that, they are thoughtlessly in a party that espouses hate through Jesus. But I think most of them are very aware of what they are doing and, more importantly, why.

Fortunately, the following the Tea Party has been able to attract is much smaller than that of the Nazi party. This is because their rhetoric only appeals to a small portion of America. Of course, since its inception they have not had a Commander in Chief. Although there are sincere dangers in the number of people who are not aware of what is going on at all, there is a large number of people who have been able to see what is happening from the beginning. And there are more catching on every year.

I do not conclude that they are attempting to take over the country and enslave any citizens they deem objectionable. But their broad objective is clear. And it is ruinous not only to the people who are blindly following them, but to America at large. If given the opportunity to pass the laws they want to pass and afford corporations the lax regulations they seek, we will be left in a place much worse than the Great Depression. I say this because our population is much lazier and more selfish than they were in the 20s. So many things that Americans used to be able to do for themselves are obsolete now. If they are able to get rid of Social Security and Welfare, minimum wage and manage to deregulate the protections of the average Americans, we will be fucked.

Of course, these are just the financial aspects of our society that will be decimated. Women will find themselves with even fewer rights than they have now and I imagine discrimination for gays, people of color and immigrants will become a mandate.

Although many on the right like to compare President Obama to Hitler, I challenge them to create a credible comparison as I have offered here. Otherwise, if you truly want to believe that you are intelligent, be thoughtful about your loyalties. And your future.

[1]  Mein Kampf citations are from the Project Gutenberg-hosted 1939 English translation by James Murphy [2] [3]  Baynes, Norman (1942), The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939 1, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-598-75893-4 . [4] [5] Public Domain [*] #AtoZChallenge #TeaParty #Nazi #NaziParty #Propaganda #NaziPropaganda #TeaPartyPropaganda #SarahNobleWhy Socialism?

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