Thursday, September 04, 2008

"There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you"

Invocation of martial values by Palin:

"The governor was unflinching as she contrasted McCain's military record with a lack of armed service by Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware.

"There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you in places where winning means survival and defeat means death - and that man is John McCain," said Palin."

I'm reminded of one of the propositions that Otto Strasser outlined in "Germany Tomorrow", and that is that only people who had engaged in military service would be allowed to hold office. Otto Strasser was one of the Strasser brothers, the other one being Gregor, who represented the biggest challenge in the Nazi party to Hitler's faction. Racist but with a populist streak, endearing them to present day neo-Nazis who feel uncomfortable with out and out Hitler worship. Gregor was killed in the "Night of Long Knives". Both were anti-semitic of course. "Germany Tomorrow" was written at the end of the war when Otto Strasser was living in Canada, having moved there under an assumed name. It was something written to kind of clean up his image by moving from Nazism to more straightforward Italian style Fascism, which I suppose is some sort of an improvement in that hanging on the end of a rope would be decreased as a possibility if anyone actually believed him.

In his plan, only people who served in the military could hold office, both for the nationalistic patriotic reasons and also for the belief held that military training and service would mold people into a "New Man". Other highlights are that Jews and other social groups with different religious and cultural values would only be able to remain citizens if they converted to the dominant religion, adopted the dominant culture, and essentially completely assimilated. Otherwise they'd be registered aliens without equal civil rights.

Yes, the New Man will be forged in the heat of battle, not in the rooms of intellectuals or in the fat circus of professional politicians. Military experience ├╝ber alles indeed.

Hate to leave it here. Have to say that what a splendid job fighting to 'defend' the United States in Vietnam we all did. McCain was shot down and held as a POW, but that doesn't retroactively make the Vietnam war something that was vital for the survival of the United States. It's bad that McCain was tortured, but he wouldn't have been there at all if Vietnam hadn't happened, even if he pursued a career in the Navy. Which means he was tortured for nothing, suffering pointlessly for something that didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

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