Monday, November 9, 2009

Hitler meme* on Pleasant St.

I was quite startled/stunned/surprised while walking down Pleasant St. a couple of hours ago to see large placards with that infamous photo of Pres. Obama with a Hitler moustache on them next to a table and set up right outside the post office.

When I came out of my meeting with the mayor, the two people running the table were packing up. The placards (actually A-frame signs) said something about LaRouche, so I'm assuming it's part of Lyndon LaRouche's efffort to sink the health care bill.

As I walked by the table, I said, without looking at the people, "Not nice."

The man replied, "Obama is going to hell!" (Actually, I think he said some word that included "Obama," but I didn't quite catch what he said.)

I shook my head. "Nope, not nice."

*What is a meme? This is what it is, according to Wikipedia:

A meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with "cream") is a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. (The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word μιμητισμός (pronounced /mɪmɪtɪsmos/) for "something imitated".) Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures. Memeticists have not empirically proven the existence of discrete memes or their proposed mechanism (compare the status of Platonic forms or of concepts such as "ideals"), and memes (as distinct from ideas or cultural phenomena) do not form part of the consensus of mainstream social sciences.


Tom Salemi said...

Good for you.

Bella said...

I would had been shock too! And I would had also had said something and it would had been more than not nice!
Good for you for speaking out ! Maybe we should get some people together to protest this! I do not want this trash in our city!

macsurf said...

Ditto on what Tom said.

But this incident, in Newburyport of all places, begs a bigger issue that should concern all reasonable Americans, regardless of party affiliation or intelligent liberal/conservative differences.

That issue is the growing strength of true Right wing extremists within the GOP, and the apparent inability, or unwillingness, of much the GOP leadership to confront these extremists and, given their relatively small numbers over all, relegate them back to the far right fringes of the party where they belong.

Instead, members of the GOP congressional delegation are welcoming these extremists into the halls of Congress where they display ghastly images of the victims of Dachau and purport that Americans will suffer the same fate if health care reform is enacted.

Several Republicans that I, even as a life long liberal Democrat, are enabling these fanatics.

The GOP once thought it could exploit this far right, often Christian extremist wing of the party for elctoral gain, and then marginalize them once in office and and go about the busines governing.

As long as the GOP was in power, with Bush for eight years, and both Houses of Congress in GOP hands for six of those years, the GOP could keep the angry tiger they selfishly exploited in check.

But beginning in 2006 when the Dems took back control of the legislative branch, and then in 2008 when Barack Obama won the presidency, the national GOP lost all control of the extremists they helped create.

Now, the national GOP is trying to figure out how to ride this angry tiger back into political power without being devoured by it.

This is VERY dangerous stuff. Dems and liberals, especially in our relatively secure northeast enclave,who dismiss this stuff as just the rantings of a few nuts at our own very real peril.

I won't be back in Neburyport until April.

But this morning, I showed my German neighbor here in Costa Rica some of the on line video clips of the Tea Baggers' occupation of the Capitol.

Gretel, who is a free lance journalist covering Central American politics for several German newspapers and magazines, watched the videos in horror.

She looked at me and said, "Miguel, I thought after Obama was elected and Bush was gone, your country would get back on track. But it's worse. This stuff is absolute madness."

Sadly, I had no alternative but to agree.

Anne said...

ooooo, they were lucky I was not walking past the P.O. I would have turned the bloody table over.

Anonymous said...

What is more troubling are the unregulated "A-frames" :O

Anonymous said...

don't recall all the outrage when it was pictures of george bush/hitler...

macsurf said...

Anonymous, I'm a raging, left of center, liberal.

When I heard others of my philosophy likening bonny Prince George the W to Adolph Hitler, I would jump right down their throats and tell them such a comparison was an insult to the milions of Jews, gypsies, and gays who were systematically slaughtered by the Third Reich.

But last week, on Capitol Hill, the, overwhelmingly white, Tea Party, Christian extremist movement opposed to health care reform, thought nothing of displaying ghoulish and grotesque immages of the innocents who were murdered at Dachau and claim the same fate awaited Americans if health care reform passed.

THAT is a vile misuse of history and should enrage every American, liberal or conservative.