Obama speaking before the adoring multitudes at Invesco Field, Denver. What do Obama and the Reichsfuhrer have in common?
I've been writing -- and others have also -- about the similarities between the Obama approach to campaigning and the events in Germany in the 1930s. Film buffs among our group will be aware of the of the brilliant (and evil) Nazi filmmaker, Leni Riefensthal, who did the film (we've all seen it) called "Triumph of the Will," featuring everybody's favorite Reichsfuhrer, Adolph Hitter, and masses of cheering, chanting Germans (although not of course Jewish Germans).
It's perhaps the greatest propaganda flick of all-time.
In his acceptance speech, Obama will "make love" to the audience, which will be adulatory. He will recite all the slogans David Axelrod provided him -- and the audience will respond as the world's largest collection of cheerleaders. Only the cynics among us will have flashbacks to the old films of Mussolini and Hitler (and perhaps the videos of Rev. Wright?).
Leni Riefenstahl, although long dead, will be smiling. The speech will be as rhetorically powerful, albeit empty of any meaningful political and social content, as anything we've ever heard.
The call (demand? order?) of all young Americans to "National Service" should not, of course, be confused with "the Hitler Youth," although admittedly, I do share that "confusion."
The most partisan member of the U.S. Senate will call us once again to "post-partisanship." The most racially divisive figure of our time will order us to go "beyond race." The man who called his grandmother "a typical white person" will point lovingly to her in the crowd. The man who sat for 20 years in Rev. Wright's church will tell us about the depth and breadth of his judgment. The man who has absolutely no connection to the U.S. military will assert that he's ready to be commander-in-chief.I don't know about "y'all," but I can't wait!