Did the Nazis know they were Nazis? I mean, of course they knew that they were members of the Nazi Party. This is not what I mean. But did they know that they were going to be known as the most hateful people this planet has ever seen? Did they know that their ideas would be one day synonymous with hate and prejudice? I don't think so. For them their ideas were totally justified in the face of the challenges their country confronted. The idea that the Jews were not responsible for the misery of Germans sounded absurd; to suspect that Hitler was fabricating motives for starting wars would be preposterous, as good Germans would never do such a thing. But seventy years later, the Germans still ask themselves how such a dreadful series of events could have happened in their homeland among their good people.
Now the Tea Party is not the Nazi Party, and tea baggers are not Nazis. But as I watched the 99.99% white followers of the Tea Party leave the Capitol yesterday and saw the tension rise, I couldn't help think that we are living in very dangerous times and some people are not aware of what their ideas mean. So even though I wouldn't go as far as calling the tea baggers Nazis, I would like to point out some very striking similarities between the two groups' ideologies. Let's see where they agree.
- Blaming minorities (immigrants) for their woes: check
- Ultra-nationalism: check
- Attack on homosexuals' rights: check
- Supporting a war fought under false pretexts: check
- The defense of Christian-Protestant values against "Bolshevism": check
- Attack on the unions: check
So is the Tea Party the new Nazi Party? Interestingly they have a strong point in proving that they are not. After all the Nazi Party was a socialist party. Yes, Nazism means national socialism, but a socialism of a very different sort. A socialism that would provide social services only to the national German majority. And we all know that the Tea Party is against any kind of social welfare programs. I could try to argue that it was not socialism that led Germany to the dustbin of history (Volkswagen and the autobahn are still around after all), but militarism and ultra-nationalism - the first half of their name. I doubt the Tea Party would be willing to listen though. I just hope that the good people of this country think hard on the legacy they want to leave for their children.