Monday, February 16, 2004

The Shorter David Neiwert (and I mean no snarkiness, because I agree)

The rhetoric in this country is beginning to sound a lot like late Weimar Germany.

It's one of those things that sticks in your mind.

One evening before the outbreak of war last winter I was chatting online, on AIM. There's a bulletin board here at Millersville where students talk about various things. My viewpoint on the looming Iraq War was well known there and among students because I write a long-running column on political issues. So this one night I was pretty much told, in the eliminationist rhetoric that Mr. Neiwert describes, that I should shut up or else and that I was a traitor for even daring to question President Bush's actions.

There's one anecdote.

In Fall 2002, before Congress came under Republican control, I reacted in anger over the the looming Iraq War, the sudden admission that North Korea had the bomb, and the general apathy of just about everyone. I put a sign on my dorm room door. The sign was ripped down, the door vandalized (with a knife) and threatening phone calls levied (which, I do still receive on occasion, I ranted about it a couple weeks ago).

There's another.

I'm not really mad about this. Just. . . intrigued. . .maybe a little worried. . . that it's happening. In addition, while all this was happening I mused and wondered if this is what Weimar Germany felt like before the fall. I even wrote about it in one column.

Michael, a historian, weighs in. Michael is a student of history---specifically Nazi Germany and he's creeped out.

What I am saying is that there are parallels here, and that they make me somewhat nervous. Something tells me it's going to be a little harder to get to sleep tonight than I'd anticipated, and please God I'm just being a little too paranoid or I've read just a little too much German history lately.

It's entirely possible I'm doing the same thing. I've spent the better part of two years researching and reading up on fascism and there are days I can smell the faint scent of Weimar in the air. However, all we really have is anecdotal evidence--my door being slashed, my phone troll. David speaks of a woman being told she should die because she's a Democrat. The Freepers are well-known for this type of rhetoric. There's a few stories about the Governator's election and how some of his supporters were little more than Brownshirts. Think Right or Else. . .

Once I got a fortune from a cookie that said "You will live in interesting times."


Perhaps "Bring it On" is appropriate.

(all this in response to Nooners...yes, Peggy Nooners. I've always thought she was two sandwiches short of a picnic but now..well, I think she finally got her picnic.

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