Lately Rush Limbaugh has gone on a number of "discourses" about the history of Nazi Germany. I strongly believe that much of this is via evangelical zealots and bigots and brought to his attention by his brother David Limbaugh. David, as we have seen in previous posts, seems to have a love affair with evangelical bigots, liars, hatemongers, dominionists, and assorted other nefarious rabble claiming to be "Orthodox Christians". David links to many of their sites on his website.
Limbaugh's point, I suppose has something to do with the slippery slope of the loss of freedom, and a wish to tar people he views as "the opposition" with a Nazi imprimatur. While the Democrats have also engaged in this tactic in the past, they generally have not gone as far and in as much (mostly incorrect) detail as Limbaugh has in recent commentaries. Witness this recent sample from earlier this August (sorry for the color coding, but it helps to follow the cross pollination and outright borrowing of ideas) :
"Well, the Nazis were against big business -- they hated big business. And of course we all know that they were opposed to Jewish capitalism. They were insanely, irrationally against pollution. They were for two years mandatory voluntary service to Germany. They had a whole bunch of make-work projects to keep people working, one of which was the Autobahn. They were against cruelty and vivisection of animals, but in the radical sense of devaluing human life, they banned smoking. They were totally against that. They were for abortion and euthanasia of the undesirables, as we all know, and they were for cradle-to-grave nationalized healthcare."
This should sound startlingly familiar to people who are acquainted with lunatic evangelical conspiracy freak nutcase Brannon Howse who wrote in a column on May 5, 2009 the following:
Hitler was an environmentalist and vegetarian. Marriages performed by the Nazi state frequently included blessings of "Mother Earth" and "Father Sky." Today Americans increasingly accept radical environmentalism, pantheism, and the celebration of Earth Day.
Hitler killed 270,000 handicapped people through active euthanasia. America and the courts are rushing toward the same with the murder of individuals such as Terri Schiavo. Oregon voters passed their Death with Dignity Act in 1994 and re-affirmed it in 1997. Washington state voters legalized doctor-assisted suicide on November 4, 2008. In December 2008, a Montana judge ruled terminally ill residents of that state have the right to physician-assisted suicide, and "death with dignity" is gaining acceptance in other states as well.
America is rushing toward government-sponsored, national healthcare. We already have a form of this in Medicare and Medicaid. Hitler, too, expanded and centralized Germany's healthcare system. As Melchior Palyi explained, "The ill-famed Dr. Ley, boss of the Nazi labor front, did not fail to see that the social insurance system could be used for Nazi politics as a means of popular demagoguery, as a bastion of bureaucratic power, [and] as an instrument of regimentation."
Hitler exploited the economic collapse of Germany to take over as dictator and usher in his brand of socialism. America's financial crisis has given liberals in both political parties the opportunity to grow the size of government and implement freedom-robbing socialism at lightning speed.
All of this comparison with Nazism, explorations of the interest of Nazis in the "occult", and other general rot belongs in the historical dumpster where it was left. However, it has now begun circulating among extreme bigot evangelicals, conspiracy theorists, and other loons, and is used in comparison with modern day America in general, and Barack Obama in particular. It is a dangerous development in extremist rhetoric and Brannon Howse has been pounding the subject in columns and radio shows for months.
This similarities and links go much deeper than those explored in this brief post.
I believe that David Limbaugh is the link to Rush's use of much of this material. David links to Howse's website Worldview Weekend on his own site and he speaks at Howse's Worldview conferences. The rhetoric Howse has been using for months is startlingly similar to the rhetoric Rush has begun using in recent weeks. All of it comes out of a conspiratorial evangelical end time view that is both filled with distortion and lies, and is potentially dangerous if a true believer were to snap and act on any of this garbage.
Here is an excellent link to a podcast and transcript that analyzes Howse's rhetoric and its origins. I highly recommend listening to the podcast with its sound bites, but the transcript is valuable too.
Here is the link to the reprinted material on this blog.