Let's look at some evidence bearing on the above question. I won't spend any time on the first equation above because I think that by any objective assessment Bush is simply a fairly conventional center Rightist who has acted well in accordance with the policies ("compassionate conservatism") that he proclaimed before gaining office. I actually see GWB as more a Christian gentleman than a real conservative.
The Left-dominated educational system has ensured that it is now known only to historical specialists but Hitler, by contrast, gained power on promises that were to a large extent the direct opposite of what he eventually did when he gained office. He actually campaigned on an ANTIWAR platform! See two of his 1930s election posters below. The first one reads: "Mit Hitler gegen den Ruestungswahnsinn der Welt" ("With Hitler against the armaments madness of the world") and the second reads: "Mit Adolf Hitler "Ja" fuer Gleichberechtigung und Frieden" ("With Adolf Hitler "Yes" for equal rights and peace").
There is a fuller picture from which both the above images were taken here. Hitler's British counterpart, Sir Oswald Mosley, of the British Union of Fascists, campaigned on a very similar platform. See below:
Obama eat your heart out!
I am perfectly confident that Obama will never gain the unrestricted power that Hitler did or that he will do as much damage as Hitler did but to place him in an accurate historical context should nonetheless help to predict the directions in which he will move if he gains office as POTUS -- something that is otherwise difficult because of the high generality of what he says in his speeches and his very limited voting record as a political office-holder.
I have previously pointed out how Obama's constant calls for unity above all are very much like what Hegel, Hitler and Mussolini preached. As I said on that occasion:
In fact, with his constant inspirational calls for national unity, Obama is eerily reminiscent of the Fascists. If he spoke German he might well be inclined to adopt as his slogan Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer -- as Hitler did ("One nation, one government, one leader")....
Put very briefly, the Fascists were (following Hegel) the "one big happy family" Left while the Communists were the deeply embittered "class war" Left. Hitler only hated the Jews. Marx, Trotksy, Lenin and Stalin hated just about everybody -- Marx particularly so. You can readily see why the two types of Leftist despised one-another.
And presenting oneself as the man of the "middle way" -- which Obama does -- is also of course classic Fascism. It was a major theme of Mussolini's. So there are good reasons to compare Obama to the prewar Fascists. And it is therefore also no surprise that this sounds VERY much like a common reaction to Hitler's speeches among pre-war Germans:
Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair.
The other great leaders I've heard guide us toward a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.
Hitler's speeches had a similar effect. As Elie Wiesel noted:
"The fact is that Hitler was beloved by his people — not the military, at least not in the beginning, but by the average Germans who pledged to him an affection, a tenderness and a fidelity that bordered on the irrational. It was idolatry on a national scale. One had to see the crowds who acclaimed him. And the women who were attracted to him. And the young who in his presence went into ecstasy.
So, once again we see that Fascism is not dead. It is now called "Progressive" -- as indeed it always was.
But Obama is a warm and kindly figure, you might say -- not a madman like Hitler. To say that is to ignore history, however. A warm and kindly figure is exactly how most prewar Germans saw Hitler. See here for instance. It's just snake-oil skillfully sold by someone who is very good at it.
So what do I predict if Obama gains office? I predict a maximum attempt to extend the reach of government into all aspects of American life. So the only hope that remains for what is left of America's freedoms (and it is a hope with reasonable prospects) is that the Senate will thwart him. SCOTUS could also be of some help but nobody would want to rely on it.
Posted by John Ray