Once upon a time, there was a far-right political movement that was not content with the state of affairs. Many years before, after an extensive period of warfare, a new government was put in place, one that they considered illegitimate. There had also been some deterioration of the economy, although it had finally stabilized years later. Clever use of loan programs and easy credit glossed over the defective foundations of the economy while maintaining the appearance of abundant growth during a “golden age” of sorts. However, this created a dependency on the financial system that made this growth possible. Soon, with a stock market crash and the loss of credit nationwide, unemployment skyrocketed, furthering public resentment toward the current officials in office.
It was at this time that the movement truly sprung into action. Mass public protests and rallies against the government and its policies took place. Party messages appealed to voters’ lowest notions; racism and xenophobia reared their heads in addition to the prevailing economic concerns. Many lies were repeated over the airwaves to cement opposition against party enemies. As one party insider admitted:
“That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result,” he wrote. “It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.”
And so this strategy continued; at the next elections, individuals within this movement gained a small but significant presence in the national legislature, and their strong influence led many conservative parties to join their side. As the body met, it became clear that the movement would refuse to compromise with legislators on the other end of the political spectrum. The lack of action left the country to wallow in recession, which the movement then blamed on the existing government leaders. Religious and political minorities were blamed for the nation’s economic and security problems; terms like Communist were readily thrown around by party extremists. After the movement chose a clear leader for the next presidential election, one media giant threw his money and airtime in support of the candidate; his massive media empire had already been demonizing the existing administration. Several business leaders, fearing the perceived socialist actions of the government, threw their money behind the movement. The leader appealed to the frightened and demoralized middle class, promising to revive the economy (without giving specifics), restore the nation’s greatness, and protect it from a dangerous outside threat. The party’s official message downplayed the racism that had reared its head in earlier years, although it didn’t stay too far under the surface. With major emphasis on the interior ministry and the defense department, the party promised to keep the nation safe and to free its population from the slaveholder hands of the government.
That sums up the rise of Nazi Germany. What did you think I was talking about???
Author’s note: I am in no way trying to insinuate that electing Mitt Romney is voting for Hitler. I am, however, questioning the wisdom in voting for a party controlled by the Tea Party and willing to use any method, including those outlined, to win the next election. How many times do we have to put up with blatant falsehoods ($700+ billion cut from Medicare, death panels, eliminating work from welfare program, etc) and accusations (born in Kenya, secret Muslim, Nazi Communist – I question the intelligence of people who use both terms to describe ANYONE, not just Barack Obama)? Why consider a candidate whose campaign depends on giving no specifics on ANYTHING? Or a party whose sole goal has been bringing down the administration, regardless of the condition of the country they’re supposed to be helping? Consider the parallels, and ask yourself if people willing to play politics like this are really worth giving your vote.
The German Reichstag Elections of 1930, by James Pollock
Weimar Republic and the Great Depression – History Learning Site
Nazi Party – Wikipedia
Alfred Hugenberg – Wikipedia
Richard J. Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich. Penguin Press, 2004