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Prime-time Republicans are Hard to Take
Source News for Social Justice Action
Date 04/09/03/11:57

Prime-time Republicans are Hard to Take
by Hugh Pearson
Published on Thursday, September 2, 2004 by Newsday
Long Island, New York

As I watched Tuesday night's network coverage of the
unrelenting political propaganda hour known as the
Republican National Convention, the first thought that
came to mind was of old newsreels of those self-
congratulatory Nazi rallies held in Germany during the
reign of Adolf Hitler.

For many people, I'm sure, such a comparison sounds
extreme. Yet, just as the Nazis were obsessed with
endless displays of swastikas, the Republicans are
obsessed with the red, white and blue (for that matter,
the Democrats are, too).

In the same manner that the German people were told
that Nazi leadership was faultless, the Republicans are
telling the American public that no one knows what's
best for the world except the current leadership in the
White House.

"If you believe this country and not the United Nations
is the best hope for democracy, then you are a
Republican!" bellowed California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger.

In the same way that Nazis rationalized doing away with
democratic rights and launching a pre-emptive war to
protect the self-interests of the Third Reich,
Republicans this week continue to encourage the
American public to ignore our Constitution's directive
that only Congress has the right to declare war (thus,
we are not officially at war with anyone), and that a
pre-emptive war with no exit strategy will actually
protect "the American way of life," rather than further
endanger it.

Simultaneously, on the streets of New York City, the
police are responding to dissent by protesters from
around the country with a mild approximation of the
kind of crackdown that happened decades ago in Germany.
Tuesday night they arrested close to 1,000 protesters
in an attempt to make sure the demonstrators couldn't
come close to displaying to a world shocked by the mess
our government has made of its foreign policy that,
indeed, dissent in America is alive and well.

With the cooperation from the broadcast media, there
were ominous signs that the Republicans have every
intention of continuing to dumb down the American
public, turning us into collective putty in their
hands. Indications came not only from the propaganda
espoused by Schwarzenegger, but in the performance of
President George W. Bush's twin daughters, Barbara and
Jenna. Having the audacity to stand in front of the
convention like two bored rich girls at a coming out
party, they told the audience: "Since we've graduated
from college, we're looking around for something to do
for the next few years..."

How about suiting up and joining the front-line troops
your father has sent to fight in Iraq, in his
misdirected effort to protect your privileged
existence?

After watching this convention on television, about the
only sign I could find that the Republicans have any
understanding of the real struggles facing those in
this nation without the privileges epitomized by the
president's daughters came from the mouth of the
president's wife, Laura Bush. Our first lady
acknowledged that making the ideal of freedom in
America real has been an arduous task.

What neither she nor anyone else speaking from the
podium acknowledged is that the economic and foreign
policy facts of life in America are about as far from
Republican fantasies as Crawford, Texas, is from New
York City.

Convention speakers want us to believe that
decisiveness from our current president, even if you
disagree with where he has led us, beats the wishy-
washy pronouncements from the mouth of Democratic
presidential candidate John Kerry.

Given the tone of what Republicans have been telling us
at their convention about the direction George W. Bush
is leading us - and the way they are delivering the
message - let us not forget one other thing: Hitler was
decisive, too.

---------------------------------------------------
Hugh Pearson is currently working on a biography of
James Weldon Johnson and is a publisher of the Web
site, NYAge.Net.

Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.

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