During the ’08 campaign, a young woman, whose grandmother had survived
Auschwitz, shared with me that her grandmother was becoming increasingly upset
by the political scene.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because my grandmother is frightened by the reaction of the huge crowds at Obama’s speeches. She says, ‘That’s how it started under Hitler. Massive crowds, all mesmerized by his speeches.’”
I heard this reiterated by several people I know, who have family members who survived the Holocaust. The survivors all felt alarmed and increasingly unsafe.
At the time, I remember feeling saddened, but also slightly embarrassed by their comparison.
It seemed, at the time, such an overreaction. The Democrats had found a perfect candidate for their Leftist agenda. What did this have to do with 1930’s Germany?
Now I realize that they were all “on to something.”
No, I don’t think we are about to be rounded up by the Gestapo.
But I do think we need to listen to survivors of totalitarian regimes.
Svetlana Kunin lived in the Soviet Union until 1980. The following is an article from her series, “Perspectives Of A Russian Immigrant.”
President Obama insists his policies are driven by a “common sense” approach. He also speaks in terms of “we the people” and “the government is us.”
Such declarations are reminiscent of old Soviet posters displayed for all to see: “ALL POWER BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE” and “PEOPLE AND COMMUNIST PARTY ARE ONE.”
But the real power in the USSR was in the hands of Communist Party leaders. They, in the name of the people, defined foes of centralized government as “enemies of the people.”
Similarly, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security has defined right-wing extremists as “those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority….”
To watch citizens in every corner of life, the Soviets relied on embedded snoops who reported on conversations and moods of co-workers and friends. The Soviets would envy the tools available to the Obama administration to spy on American citizens today.
Soviet leaders freely sacrificed citizens to reinforce their agenda, cover up incompetence and retain power. They loved to use teachable moments to demonstrate what happens to citizens who do not follow government directives.
Information accumulated on citizens was handily available and used by all forms of state media to publicly denounce, humiliate and punish non-conformists….
Soviet Communists professed “FREEDOM AND EQUALITY FOR ALL HUMANITY.” President Obama talks about fairness, equality and social justice.
Like Communist Party leaders in Moscow, government leaders and their acolytes in Washington lead lavish lifestyles. Soviet citizens faced constant shortages of basic necessities. Here, food stamp enrollment is up 70%.
With the implementation of ObamaCare, life in America will have even more in common with that in Soviet Russia. As members of the government had in the USSR, members of Congress will have dedicated, taxpayer-paid clinics with upscale technology and care. The rest of us will have to rely on less-expensive, low-quality medical services….
But while President Obama’s use of rhetoric, social policies and intimidation has a lot in common with Soviet Communists, his administration doesn’t rationalize all means of production. “If you talk to us, it turns out we’re pretty common-sense folks,” Obama said at a fund-raiser this month. “We don’t want to tax all businesses out of business….”
Americans as a result don’t need to worry about toilet paper shortages as experienced in the former Soviet Union and in communist Venezuela t0day. We’ll have our toilet paper, just not our liberty and freedom.
Here is another survivor of a totalitarian regime. I had included her story in an earlier post, but I do think it is worth repeating: