From a great blog that I read more than I would like to admit, more chilling comparisons between the US today and Germany under Hitler’s sway. It quotes William Shirer’s journals from his time in Berlin in 1939:
How completely isolated a world the German people live in. A glance at the newspapers yesterday and today reminds you of it. Whereas all the rest of the world considers that the peace is about to be broken by Germany, that it is Germany that is threatening to attack Poland over Danzig, here in Germany, in the world the local newspapers create, the very reverse is being maintained. (Not that it surprises me, but when you are away for a while, you forget.) What the Nazi papers are proclaiming is this: that it is Poland which is disturbing the peace of Europe; Poland which is threatening Germany with armed invasion, and so forth. This is the Germany of last September when the steam was turned on Czechoslavakia.
For perverse perversion of the truth, this is good. You ask: But the German people can’t possibly believe these lies? Then you talk to them. So many do.
Whatever you believe, it is stunning to read the foreign papers… so little of what is accepted as fact by the rest of the world would run in any medium-city daily here. Even the former “papers of record” report from behind the mirror, with the Times defending Judy’s “brave stand” and the Post bankrolling Rummy’s little torchlight parade marking the fourth anniversary of 9/11. It may not be martial law yet, but the Pentagon needs a name and a phone number if you’d like to march in the “America Supports You Freedom Walk,” and I expect a friendly soldier will ask for “your papers” when you show up? How much longer until the GOP morphs into “The Party” of every nightmare of the Kafka-Hitler-Stalin era? To answer my question with another question, how many more Supremes will Bush get to appoint?
I’ll cop to paranoia–fine. But not from anyone whose defense is “it would never happen here.” Because every time an American says that, and pulls the blanket a little higher, we lurch that much closer to the edge.
No ostrich routine for me. I will err on the side of vigilence–remember vigilence, that thing that is supposedly the eternal price of freedom? Problem is, vigilence is sad and depressing and way less fun than reading about Tom Cruise flipping out, less gripping than watching the Parade of Missing White Women that is cable news.
I’ll either be wrong and happy, or tucked away wherever they stash the thought criminals… in which case I will have the cold comfort of having been right all along, and of not having to read the news every day.