A book came out in 1996 called Hitler's Willing Executioners, by Daniel Goldhagen. The book remains controversial with (rightly so) plenty of detractors. But Goldhagen's principal argument has merit -- namely, that Adolf Hitler himself never killed a single Jew; rather, it took countless thousands and millions of ordinary Germans to carry out -- to execute -- Hitler's plan. In this, Goldhagen was exactly right, and his observation ties back to Meyer's thesis and, more so, what I've long feared is happening with the American Left.
What Hitler and his minions did was thoroughly demonize their enemies, convincing the German masses that Jews and other despised groups were subhuman, untermenschen. A major factor in Hitler's political advancement was his amazing ability to fabricate an assortment of handy scapegoats for the nation's ills. He got away with blaming anyone but himself for whatever calamity or misfortune. As he did, his followers assented, nodding their heads and bleating like sheep.
What the American Left has done to its enemies is not entirely dissimilar, even while certainly not approaching the crass, deadly level of the Nazis. But whether it's Obama himself, or his campaign, or Media Matters or MoveOn.org or any number of left-wing groups and websites and publications and media outlets, the American Left has been merciless in thoroughly demonizing opponents. Liberals don't just politely disagree, or agree that people can disagree; no -- too often they caricature those who disagree as vile reprobates with no possible good intentions or reasoning for their positions. It's a very illiberal thing to do.Kengor then goes on to illustrate the demonization of the TEA parties as racists neanderthals and those standing up for traditional marriage as haters. Once these Left wing groups started to demonize the TEA parties, or traditional marriage supporters, it was picked up by the mainstream media, and became part of the "common wisdom." Liberals are driven by emotion. They don't seem to ask themselves hard questions, or think critically or carefully. Instead, they seem to simply absorb the zeitgeist . Kengor again:
As conservatives, we saw from the outset that this was pure politics -- actually, pure political demagoguery. Conservative talk-shows played clips from select liberals (such as Chuck Schumer) admitting as much. We saw right through it. But liberals don't think that way. They aren't wired that way. They're incredibly emotional people who can be easily prodded by their party/ideological elite, especially with the spontaneity and instant communication of social media -- the new mother's milk of the liberal mob. They really are prone to fads and fashions and mass behavior in ways that conservatives plainly aren't. I've seen it again and again. Conservatives aren't perfect, and have their own quirks and vices, but they don't tend toward this kind of group thinking and collective action. For conservatives, the ability to think logically and independently, based upon beliefs and values deeper and timeless, and to not be seduced by what Pope Benedict XVI calls the "anonymous power" of the latest fads and fashions, is what makes them conservative to begin with.
And so, when word was out among the Left that the Tea Party was comprised of genuine evildoers, the wider liberal masses, whether at blogs and nonprofits and Facebook or working for the IRS not only responded; they retaliated. They acted naturally. They didn't need Obama to tell them what to do. Exactly as Herb Meyer says, there was never any need for a printed order from Obama
Thus, the current scandals. When a substantial part of an entire bureaucracy is composed of liberals, or people who feel they must spout the party line to maintain their comfortable lifestyles, what you get are people who, despite the laws, believed what they were doing was right.
Please read Kengor's piece in its entirety first, then go to Jonescu's piece. While Kengor explicates the source of the scandals that have rock the present administration, that fact of the matter is that we will always have people who are easily led by an appeal to their emotions. We will also always have people around who are ready to exploit such people by tugging on their heart strings. The idea is not to let them become so powerful that they can dictate what rights they will allow you to have. Jonescu:
The American Founders, great statesmen standing on the shoulders of great philosophers, derived from the wisdom of the ages an all-important lesson, one subsequently distilled for all time by British historian Lord Acton: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." In other words, any normal man is susceptible to the temptations of power, from which it follows that a society that wishes to remain free and just must avoid granting its governing authority excessive powers. Placing one's trust in the integrity of one's elected officials while handing them "legal" means to wipe out or circumscribe all your natural rights at their discretion is, as the great advocates of (true) liberalism understood, foolhardy in the extreme, for such blind trust presumes exactly what history and sound reasoning teach us never to presume, namely that the world is comprised of pure and untainted souls on one side, and evil and corrupt souls on the other, such that choosing good leaders is merely a matter of electing one of the "pure" souls.
Obviously, Barack Obama is a Marxist subversive, so there is every reason to fear that excessive power cannot be trusted in his hands. It does not follow, however, that such power can or should be trusted in the hands of a better man. To reason that way would be to forfeit or deny the awareness of man's inherent imperfection, an awareness which used to be standard issue with every new package of adult common sense.
Right now, we have a regime that is untethered from the Constitution, and even above the laws they have written. But it will be no different when a Republican steps into the Oval Office unless he is prepared to address the Unconstitutionality of the laws, not only those being written, but those already on the books. Currently, the Constitution stands as a rebuke to all three branches of government. The courts do not say what the document says, because the Constitution speaks for itself. In the recent NSA scandal in which we find out that the government has been storing hundreds of millions of our phone call records, and now under PRISM, our e-mail communications, and social media postings, all under something called a blanket warrant. Blanket warrants are not Constitutional. Sifting through the private phone conversations of innocent people is not Constitutional. Ambassador Bolton pointed out on Fox News that PRISM is legal, because all three branches of government signed off on it. But they didn't have the authority, granted by the Constitution to make these laws, and Ambassador Bolton should know that if the law does not comport with the Constitution, then the law is null and void. Indeed, the same goes for hundreds of laws that people trip over daily. In this way, the use of authorities not granted takes away our freedom and our liberty.
We have been heading down the road to socialism and serfdom for a while now, and things have only gotten progressively worse. We have elected philosopher king after philosopher king, of both parties, only to discover that they were...well...ordinary men who put their pants on like everybody else.What do you say we try something different? Why instead of electing the latest philosopher king with a made up image from Madison Avenue, why don't we limit the scope of the power he wields over us? Why not try going back to the Constitution?