If there is anything that I can take from my class is that promises are often empty, and rhetoric as sturdy as the air it fills. The saying holds true, actions are louder than words...even if not immediately self-evident.
In class we spent a good deal of time talking about why many people supported the National Socialists, then how they were forced to support them, and eventually why everything broke apart. Let me assure you, it was NOT because of Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt, they're assholes.
In the past few days I've written a good deal on the gap between their policy, their goals, and reality. Laws they passed were generally reflective of the mind of Hitler himself, and if the desired outcome was not met, new laws were passed and material was re-written and words construed to ensure that his state at least appeared to know what was up.
But memories are short and governments well-funded, and as time progressed people became caught in the media that surrounded them. As Himmler spoke of "male-comradeship" in the SS, he oversaw the systematic "breeding" of their children to multiple women "scientifically" deemed worthy of bearing a new little Fuhrer. As Hitler praised the "pure blood of the countryside" Germans moved en masse to cities for more pay, and the farms became worked on by imported Poles and Slavs captured from "impure" land. As Berlin fell the radio announced that, "Hitler was found dead after fighting the Bolsheviks!" And even in defeat his institutions carried on his deceit.
And I inevitably wonder about who we are now. Obama is CERTAINLY not a Nazi, and neither is Gingrich. But how often has their speech met our world? I think that although our intentions are generally good, and our atrocities more benign than in the past, we must always be critical and never faithful.
I think Organizing for America is a great idea, using the internet to give people a means and direction in trying to volunteer locally. But why is it on my.barackobama.com? The bottom says it is funded by the DNC and endorses no candidates but then why is his face everywhere? Isn't the point of political parties to elect people, anyway? Will it continue while he is out office? Don't Republicans want "stronger" communities too?
On TV now there's constantly ads from Republicans urging people to fight against GOVERNMENT-RUN EVIL STALIN DEAD BABIES health care, but why? Shouldn't the GOP want health care for ALL Americans? Instead of telling us"their plan is bad," why not ensure to us that your fears don't come true, but still work until all are covered and doctors well-paid and drugs cheap?
It does not take a genius to understand that Organizing for America is only left-wing media bull-honkey, making people think they are getting involved. Likewise, its not a secret that politicians who oppose social health care must be getting pounded by someone who received free Viagra from Pfizer.
What I got from this class is to always be critical, and my advice is to never become individualized, that having reasons for not doing what the herd wants always deserves attention; that questioning the world around us is often more productive than seeking answers...for anyone who claims to have them all must have gotten their ideas from someone else.