from the Congress Action newsletter

The Politics Of Paranoia

by: Kim Weissman
July 27, 2003

It has been observed that when leftists are out of power they become truly wacky – one might add, hysterical. But the danger posed by the extremist left to this country is no laughing matter. The present most visible target of their hatred is President Bush, but their venom is broad enough to encompass all conservatives. Their rhetoric has become truly despicable, and it bears reflecting on some of it. Comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler is a favorite theme of the left these days. Witness the following from a February CounterPunch editorial, and the Wall Street Journal’s publication of part of an exchange about that piece:

“Muslim fanatics is exactly what Bush needs to stay in power, win re-election in 2004, stack the federal courts, gut the Bill of Rights, and enrich its corporate sponsors. … It's going a bit far to compare the Bush of 2003 to the Hitler of 1933. Bush simply is not the orator that Hitler was. But comparisons of the Bush Administration's fear mongering tactics to those practiced so successfully and with such terrible results by Hitler and Goebbels on the German people and their Weimar Republic are not at all out of line.” – CounterPunch, by David Lindorff, February 1, 2003.

“Dave Lindorff, the guy who wrote the original Bush-Hitler piece, has now weighed in with a defense of sorts:

‘As one of the first to notice some similarities between Bush II and the early Hitler, I didn't actually say that George and Adolf were joined at the hip. Indeed, I suggested…that our unelected president was surely no Hitler, since Bush simply is not the orator that Hitler was. … While he has rounded up some Arab and Muslim men purely because of their ethnicity or religion, Bush has not started gassing them – at least not yet.’” – Wall Street Journal – July 21, 2003.

But the Bush-as-Hitler and Bush-as-tyrant slanders do not come just from the fringes on the left. An emeritus professor of politics at Princeton University wrote (think about the sort of anti-American hatred that our education dollars are supporting – the hatred preached in many Mosques and religious schools in the Middle East is only slightly more extreme than similar sentiments voiced in many of our own institutions of “higher” education):

“Like previous forms of totalitarianism, the Bush administration boasts a reckless unilateralism that believes the United States can demand unquestioning support, on terms it dictates; ignores treaties and violates international law at will; invades other countries without provocation; and incarcerates persons indefinitely without charging them with a crime or allowing access to counsel. …the White House promoted tax cuts in the midst of recession, leaving scant resources available for domestic programs. The effect is to render the citizenry more dependent on government…”.

This professor is frantic at what he sees as the institution of a single-party political system – conveniently ignoring the Democrat one-party political system that dominated American politics for decades. He illogically laments reduction of domestic programs that nonetheless somehow causes increased dependency on those very programs, conveniently ignores the fact that the entire thrust of the left-wing agenda has always been precisely that – increasing dependency on government – and he writes as though government dependency is something the left opposes. The Princeton professor ends his tirade with the following: “Perhaps the just-passed anniversary of the Declaration of Independence might remind us that ‘whenever any form of Government becomes destructive ...’ it must be challenged.”

Princeton is not the only institution of “higher” education attempting to put a gloss of academic respectability on slanderous hate-mongering. The University of California at Berkeley weighed in with the following, parading as a psychological analysis:

“…there is the ‘conservative paradox’ of right-wing revolutionaries, such as Hitler [note as a matter of historical accuracy that the proper name of Hitler’s party, Nazi, was “National Socialism” – not National Conservatism] or Mussolini or Pinochet, who seem to advocate social change in the direction of decreased egalitarianism. … There are also cases of left-wing ideologues who, once they are in power, steadfastly resist change, allegedly in the name of egalitarianism, such as Stalin or Khrushchev or Castro. It is reasonable to suggest that some of these historical figures may be considered politically conservative…”.
Note how Stalin, Khrushchev, and Castro, by anybody’s rational definition socialists and communists – the ideologies so beloved by the left – are transmuted by Berkeley into “conservatives” as soon as they gained power and began their murderous and oppressive regimes. Socialism and communism – the ideologies so beloved by the left – can’t possibly be seen as inherently murderous or oppressive, because if one were to accept the inherently murderous and oppressive nature of those ideologies, one would also be forced to acknowledge the oppressive intent of the leftists who endorse those ideologies.

In a press release about this “study”, a Berkeley media relations flak observed,

“Hitler, Mussolini, and former President Ronald Reagan were individuals, but all were right-wing conservatives because they preached a return to an idealized past and condoned inequality in some form. Talk host Rush Limbaugh can be described the same way.”

The hate-mongering on the left is by no means confined to ivory tower academicians. The formerly respectable NAACP managed to combine the currently fashionable Nazi slander with their obsession about the antebellum South and the Confederacy. At their recent convention, Julian Bond was quoted as accusing the Republican Party of "appealing to the dark underside of American culture. Their idea of reparations is to give war criminal Jefferson Davis a pardon. Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side by side.”

Bill Moyers, the PBS commentator, has engaged in numerous rants against Bush, at least once using his taxpayer funded megaphone (more evidence, should any more be needed, that the so-called “public” broadcasting system is an anachronistic dinosaur that has outlived its reason for existence); and the rest of the media has jumped on the Bush-as-Hitler bandwagon. CBS is producing a TV movie titled Hitler: The Rise of Evil, and TV Guide writes that “Hitler’s grab for power in Germany in the 1930s is a cautionary tale for contemporary America.” The executive producer proclaimed, “It basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil rights and plunged the whole world into war. I can’t think of a better time to examine this history than now.”

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace prize laureate and Holocaust survivor (a man who actually knows something about Hitler and tyranny, unlike the ignorant dilettantes on the left who heap endless praise on tyrants like Fidel Castro) said “You can be against the war or for the intervention [in Iraq]. But to compare America to Germany under Hitler – no, really, it's almost unworthy of anger, because it's beyond the pale.” Wiesel, incidentally, powerfully supported the intervention in Iraq:

“Had Europe's great powers intervened against Adolf Hitler's aggressive ambitions in 1938 instead of appeasing him in Munich, humanity would have been spared the unprecedented horrors of World War II. … We have a moral obligation to intervene where evil is in control. Today, that place is Iraq.”

Members of Congress have joined in the hate-fest: “This republic is at its greatest danger in its history because of this administration”, said Senator Robert Byrd. Bush's economic policy is the “most radical and dangerous economic theory to hit our shores since socialism”, ranted Senator John Edwards – and this guy is considered one of the more moderate democrats running for president! And former Attorney General Janet Reno liked the Bush-as-Hitler rant so much that, in a speech to democrats, she recalled her visit to the Dachau concentration camp and reminded everyone that the Holocaust happened because Germans just stood by. “And don't you just stand by”, she exhorted the crowd.

The left has long tried to stamp out what they call “hate speech”, which in their world usually means any speech that criticizes any of their own cherished ideas. According to the left, there is very little difference between “hate speech” and actual physical violence; and politically correct speech codes abound on college campuses, aimed at preventing the utterance of any words that simply might offend someone.

Clearly, analogizing President Bush to Adolf Hitler and conservatives to Nazis is highly offensive, and just as clearly these slanderous words constitute hate speech, and thus by left-wing standards, violence or near-violence. But in the real world words are not conduct, and there has already been enough confusion sowed in our legal system by conflating the two – such as the Supreme Court affording First Amendment protection for conduct such as flag burning by defining it as “symbolic speech”, leading to the entirely logical demand to afford similar protection to cross burning and offensive “performance art”.

The left’s vilification of their political opponents has become wildly extreme and offensive, and it has been mirrored by a pattern of deceit and disinformation from their friends in the media that far exceeds the normal level of distortion and propaganda in which the media normally engages. Just look at the distorted media reporting on the Iraq war and its aftermath – so bad that many commentators are warning that the disinformation poses a positive danger to future of peace in the Middle East.

At the root of all this is a circumstance that the left has not known for generations – the utter lack of political power in either the Legislative or Executive branches of government – and that has engendered a rampant paranoia on the left and in the media. Most cultural institutions are still reliably left-wing and, along with the media, have swung into action to overturn what they see as this abnormal state of affairs. Even the Judiciary, which the left has counted on for so long to impose an agenda on the nation that the left never could have won consensually through majority-supported legislation, can no longer be relied upon to institute the left’s agenda by fiat.

Case in point: In May a federal court jury in New York, in the lawsuit filed by the NAACP against firearms manufacturers, decided that most of the companies were not liable and deadlocked on the rest. But the jury’s role was advisory only, and the judge was free to – and was widely expected to – ignore the jury’s advice and find against the manufacturers. But this week the judge (“said to be one of the most liberal jurists on the federal bench” according to the Washington Times) confounded expectations and dismissed the lawsuit (but still denounced the manufacturers for engaging in careless practices). The left’s last-gasp attempt to hold on to the judiciary explains their unprecedented filibusters of any Bush judicial nominees suspected of being in the slightest bit conservative – that is, committed to interpreting the Constitution as written, rather than usurping the role of legislators and imposing their own agenda.

We are still more than a year away from the next election, and the left’s propaganda machine is already running at fever pitch. The spirit of liberty demands that we keep a watchful eye to preserve our freedom.

For more information:

“A Kind of Fascism Is Replacing Our Democracy” (article by Princeton professor of politics):,0,3380237.story

“Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition” (Berkeley study):
Press release:

Bill Moyers on PBS:

The above article is the property (copyright) of Kim Weissman, and is reprinted with his permission.
Contact him prior to reproducing.

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29 jul 2003;
update 21 apr 2010