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View Diary: My Grandfather Fought in WWII . . . on the Other Side (175 comments)

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  •  We were either smart or lucky (10+ / 0-)

    We reversed course before the Bush administration was able to consolidate its power. That's as if the Germans had wised up and booted the Nazis in 1934.

    It could have gotten much worse.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Wed May 28, 2008 at 04:20:43 PM PDT

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    •  Dont go there (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crankyinNYC, Jacob Bartle

      I hate bush as much as anyone else.

      But dont go making the Bush = Nazi argument. We have a unique opportunity to bring america forward by electing a positive force in politics in Obama.

      Stick with that theme rather than making evil martyrs of Bush & co.

      •  We know not how far they'd go. (3+ / 0-)

        Look at how much they've done already.  The comparison may not yet be warranted, but it could be one day.

      •  I'm very careful about Nazi comparisons (15+ / 0-)

        as you might imagine. What opened my eyes was when I had to teach a Holocaust unit to an eighth-grade social studies class and looked into how the Nazis rose to power in Germany. The parallels between the Reichstag Fire Decree and Enabling Act and the Bush administration's power grabs, including the Homeland Security and U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. acts and the "unitary executive" doctrine, are alarming -- even more so when you figure in the provisions that the administration asked for but didn't get, such as federalization of the National Guard.

        But don't take my word for it. Look into it yourself.

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Wed May 28, 2008 at 04:34:20 PM PDT

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        •  German friends of mine, of 3 generations, also... (11+ / 0-)

          ...noted the parallels.  These were people very well versed in history and the dangers of misinterpreting it.  Everyone was afraid to remark on the parallels until one person did, and the flood of conversation that followed was one of the most gripping -- and chilling -- I've ever encountered.

          •  It lets us off the hook too much to compare (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            crankyinNYC

            the US to an incipient fascist state. I agree the concentration of power in the executive is dangerous and needs to be fought. There are surely some similarities-- there is a mass movment of the right-- and I think that if the system (& I don't mean the Republican party here) were seriously threatened there could be such a danger. But we have had over 200 years of continuous constitutional government--even through a bloody civil war-- and even during the McCarthy period repression was limited, compared to under historical fascism. Unlike during the Weimar Republic the moral and political legitimacy of constitutional government is not really challenged. It may not be all that democratic-- but it works just fine to produce and reproduce legitimacy for the established system. And having freedom of speech ain't chopped liver.

            The point is-- the amount of repression we face is negligible. (How many Kossacks were disappeared by security forces last year?)  We have access to information. We have the freedom to organize. But I don't see it getting used nearly enough. And I am not convinced that the failure of progressive forces-- up to now, let's say-- has been due to repression, or fascism. Repression is always a factor, even in a regular capitalist democracy, but I just think we need to look deeper.

            •  true (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Geenius at Wrok, juancito

              the thing is that it is only by drawing parallels that we become aware of what COULD be IF we don't change, and I do think we are headed in a dangerous direction. I'd rather be paranoid and avoid a fascist state than not vigilant enough and say 'whoops. Guess Godwin wasn't too far off the mark after all.' We aren't being rounded up NOW. But legally it's POSSIBLE (which is worrying enough), we have a president willing to blatantly ignore the law because he has not been held accountable by anyone, and there are selective attacks against political opponents (Siegelman, etc.) and writers/bloggers/journalists (Dan Rather, etc.)

              So no, maybe not just on the verge of fascism, but we're closer than is comfortable to me.

              Also, I think that the age of overt totalitarian regimes of the Nazi/Soviet kind is a bit past; repression is a little more subtle now (China of course is more along the Soviet model but not quite Stalinesque). It's more targeted; and we're rather used to distractions as well as being overworked, undernourished, and overstressed about healthcare, etc.

              Tiberius to the Roman Senate upon their assurance that they would pass whatever laws he liked: "How eager you all are to be slaves."

              by StudentThinker on Wed May 28, 2008 at 09:24:34 PM PDT

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        •  A brave diary,... (3+ / 0-)

          ...and brave comments.  Thank you, GaW.

        •  I think we're right to make comparisons (5+ / 0-)

          The comparisons may not be correct, or particularly apt, but we are right in making them, and always being aware of what is possible.

          Otherwise, were it to come again, we would never see it coming.

          So I disagree with those who complain about making Nazi comparisons.  If this is off-limits to us as a people, then how can we ever ensure "Never Again"?

      •  What did you do in the war, Grandpa? (4+ / 0-)

        Since the issue is the service of a candidate's grandfather, is it relevant to ask who Prescott Bush was supporting?

        December 12th (2000) changed everything.

        by aravaipa on Wed May 28, 2008 at 05:31:26 PM PDT

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    •  I don't think we were ever that close to allowing (2+ / 0-)

      Bush to consolidate power. I think the evidence resides in the values that we have taught this new and very large generation that is now coming of age. Every poll of these young people indicates they reject almost all of the negative philosophies that have been put forth by this administration. They refuse to demonize minorities or believe that government can do nothing to help those in need and they disagree with the use of the military as the only foreign policy tool. Perhaps it is partially as a result of the peace and prosperity experienced by the citizens here in the time periods in which their parents were raised as well as the relative peace and prosperity of recent times that has helped in this regard.

      •  The Unitary Executive Branch that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sara seattle

        does not respond to oversight seems like an ominous step in that direction.

        "You don't make peace with friends. You make it with very unsavory enemies." -Yitzhak Rabin

        by sailmaker on Wed May 28, 2008 at 07:18:29 PM PDT

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        •  definitely (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sara seattle

          But the only way they were going to win this battle was to win over the hearts and minds of this young generation coming of age right now. That's what Hitler was able to do and why he was able to succeed in consolidating power. Without the youth he would have been nothing. The good news in that the Boomer's did a good job raising these kids with good values (despite problems with the educational systems). Thus, I think the fascist minded people in this country had little chance of accomplishing their goals. The wave of opposition lurking beneath the surface was just too strong.

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