03 September 2014

Video of the day -- Reich!

This video was made as a joke, and not a very good or interesting one -- what if some of the most evil men who ever lived had just been stars in a sitcom?

But there's a more important point here.  How often have you ever seen these men like this, smiling and laughing and acting like normal people, with cheery music?  We're used to thinking of them as evil monsters -- which they were -- and to seeing them depicted as such.  But that makes us wonder how voters in the most advanced nation on Earth at that time raised them to power.  Couldn't they see that these were monsters?

Well, no, because they didn't look like monsters at the time.  They looked like this -- normal people.  Those who had read Mein Kampf had no excuse.  They must have known what Hitler was planning to do.  But a lot of people hadn't.

Keep that in mind when you consider Christian Right politicians who seem like regular, easy-going people, belying their surreal words about gays or atheists or reproductive rights or freedom of expression.  Those words are the reality.  He whose words proclaim him a monster probably is a monster, even if he doesn't look like a monster.


Blogger Ahab said...

If we expect evil people to have horns and hooves, we'll never see them. It's vital to remember that "normal" people can commit evil acts, as this decidedly odd video shows.

03 September, 2014 08:24  
Blogger Tommykey said...

When you wrote about easygoing Christian Right figures, I immediately thought of Mike Huckabee. He likes to project that regular fella who likes to play rock and roll vibe, but he's just a mendacious hack.

03 September, 2014 09:15  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ahab: Yes, you'd never guess what any of them went on to do.

Tommy: Huckabee comes to mind to me as well. A hard-core Christian Right figure, widely touted as a possible 2016 Republican Presidential candidate, and known for his "amiability".

03 September, 2014 16:52  
Blogger Jono said...

Even the criminally insane can have a few "normal" moments now and then. Especially if someone is watching.

03 September, 2014 17:34  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

This made me think of a few books I've read whose respective authors had encounters with various dictators. While some of the writers in question failed to be swayed by the charms of whichever autocrat they had dealings with, most portrayed the tyrants they met as surprisingly warm and charismatic individuals. Perhaps the most notable example was a British author by the name of Christopher Robbins, who travelled extensively in Kazakhstan a number of years back, and wrote a book recounting his experiences. He actually managed to get an audience with the country's (notoriously authoritarian and corrupt) leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who took such a shine to him he let him accompany him on various bits of official business around the country. The book was called In Search of Kazakhstan, The Land That Disappeared, but it could've just as easily been titled Why Nursultan Nazarbayev is the Most Awesome World Leader Ever!, as it seemed to devote half its pages to praising him.

From my own personal experience, I can also attest to the surprising likeability of evil people, as one of the most charming people I've ever met was a guy who was in prison for murder.

04 September, 2014 05:12  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

It is just this sort of apparently normal behavior that led Hannah Arendt to create her concept of the "banality of evil." These guys (and our modern American equivalents on the right) do not look like the thing that you fight at the end of "Diablo," and those who are not paying a lot of attention (about 99% in the United States) can easily fall for surface appearances. You mention "Mein Kampf-" the great majority of the (few) people who read it in the 1920's simply couldn't wrap their heads around the notion that someone might actually mean what Hitler had to say.

04 September, 2014 13:58  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Jono: Good point. Whatever's done with cameras present is likely for the cameras.

Zosimus: It figures that some dictators know how to turn on the charm -- it's part of what helped them get into power.

Green: True, and there are a lot of people now who can't wrap their heads around the idea that the Dominionists and their ilk mean what they say.

06 September, 2014 02:21  
Blogger Unknown said...

Regarding Mein Kampf, a big problem (even with Jewish intellectuals) was that people considered it just overblown propaganda -- not something that Hitler intended to carry out with such ruthless efficiency. I think that's an even more important point than the observation that people like Hitler were known to be quite charismatic. When people like Ted Cruz claim that they want to get rid of food stamps, they do not mean (as many apologists would have it) that they only want to trim the program and make it more efficient. They want to kill the program -- full stop. It's important to listen to what people say -- especially before they have a lot of power. Rand Paul is running all over the nation rewriting statements he made when he was younger. But he was telling the truth then and we would be very foolish indeed not to take him at his word.

06 September, 2014 13:34  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

That's true. If the country actually elects any of those crazies as President someday, we'll never be able to tell the rest of the world we weren't warned.

08 September, 2014 14:51  

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