There is no greater challenge in contemporary America than coping with oft repeated smears and lies. Hitler and many others recognized that people could be conned by this tactic and he used it most effectively first in Germany and then in the countries that he occupied. I am not sure that he could have gotten away with the Holocaust, had he not used smears and lies both to discredit Jews everywhere and to deny that he was slaughtering them. When the Danes disclosed his tactic dramatically by getting most of their Jewish population to safe nations before his invasion, the truth was dramatically exposed. Those Jews left behind were sent to a ‘safe’ concentration camp with Danish eyes on their treatment and they survived unlike those murdered silently elsewhere.

As probably most readers can anticipate, I am drawing a parallel here with the Republican smears and lies about Obama. Scarcely a day passes when they do not promote yet another such and sadly all too many people are conned into believing this trash. Our typical TV media where most people get their political information are set up for just this sort of thing. An ugly Republican attack gets replayed over and over for several days — with scarce opportunities to answer what are usually complex matters. Think of all the Republican slogans that have been given by them the equivalent of constitutional standing. Anyone who knows history cringes and finds that he/she is now labeled one of those Ivy League snobs who care not at all for the welfare of their fellow Americans.

With the Supreme Court decision to allow corporations (those that control most of our wealth) to campaign freely for their supporters, we are in deep trouble. We can expect to see the smear and lie tactic now multiplied many times over. We shall get as our representatives what these wealth interests have paid for.

The parallels with our WW2 enemies are truly terrifying. How ironic that the Tea Party types are accusing our caring representatives of being exactly what they, themselves, are!

Let us hope that Obama and our decent representatives can counter this horror. But the money odds will be against them. We are seeing writ large what was done by the guy who burned down his own home and that of his wife and child and then suicided by flying his plane into an IRS office which had denied him the claim that his home should be considered a tax exempt church!

There is madness running wild in our nation. May it not destroy us as a democratic people!

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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