Friday, October 29, 2010

Germany's Der Spiegel Tries To Give American "Tea Party" A History Lesson - Fails Miserably

From Der Spiegel:
Europeans have noticed that some opponents of the Tea Party are being demonized as "socialist". That rhetoric has at times included references to far more sinister chapters in history. An editorial in Germany's Der Spiegel newspaper last week slammed the Tea Party’s references to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany when criticizing the Obama administration’s policies as being irresponsible, flippant and ignorant.

"The Holocaust was the result of murderous ideological fanaticism of the kind not to be found in leaders forced to face re-election every four years," the newspaper's editorial said. "
Hey,  Der Spiegel, you Germans ELECTED Adolf Hitler. Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, through election, and strictly according to the rules of Germany's Parliamentary system. The idea that he was not elected "democratically" is a misnomer. If it is true, then almost no European leader is ever elected democratically.

You stupid fucking idiots.


Oliver (Germany) said...

Sorry, you are wrong. Hitler was not elected. He never got the majority in the Reichstag. He was appointed Chancellor by President von Hindernburg and Hitler's government was - in the beginning - a coalition. NSDAP never got more than 37 % in parliament. After he was made Chancellor, he used his power to deinstall the systema and to install a dictatorship by means of force and emergency legislation. End of story.

Exactly this is the problem with you Americans. Making big statements and comparisons, but knowing only half of the facts.

You do not even know what real "Socialism" is, but you're using this word all day long. Pathetic.

Pastorius said...

Everything was legal. The Parliamentary system elects people without a majority all the time. All governments under the Parliamentary system are coalition governments.

When Hindenberg appointed Hitler Chancellor, that was legal.

That's how the German Democracy works.

Pastorius said...

That's what I was thinking, AA. I thought I'd be polite and not say it.

But, I'm glad you did.

Oliver (Germany) said...

Yeah, "whitewashing"... We Germans take full responsibility for our history, thank you. If you are looking for whitewashing, go to Turkey or Japan.

I fear it is pointless to have a serious discussion with you about the senselessness and inaccuracy of comparing the president of the USA as democratic leader(which many Tea-Party-guys are doing right know, or so I read) with a lunatic who murdered 6 million people with gas. This obscenity should be obvious. If not, all discussion is futile from its very beginning. Every German (or European) politician or canditate dumb enough to make that comparison (or another comparison of this kind)would have to resign immediately. And rightly so.

A political climate, where such comparisons are possible without any public outcry is no basis for responsible, sensible political discussion.

Oliver (Germany) said...

Ah, one last comment: if you REALLY want to have fun, I recommend the leading article of the new SPIEGEL magazine, published today, which reads:

"The desparate states of America - A nation losing its optmism.",1518,ausg-4767,00.html

Don't get me wrong, I wish you and the USA all the best. Germany ows you very much. But your political landscape right now looks insane to me and many other Euopeans. Are there no moderate, sensible people left in your country?

Pastorius said...

The point is not what Hitler did. The point is how he got elected. He was elected, almost solely, on the basis of the rules of the German Parliamentary system. The only exceptions to that were the Reichstag fire, and some beatings in the streets. Such beatings, very unfortunately, often occur leading up to elections. (Obama had his SEIU thugs).

But, the reality is, Hitler's party won the most votes in a popular election, and the Parliament formed a coalition, could not come to an agreement (after three consecutive elections and failures to come to a cohesive coalition and agreement on who ought to be Chancellor), and according to the rules, Hindenburg made the choice.

That is, as I keep saying, according to the rules.

My point in repeating this is to say, Very Evil Men Like Hitler Can Be Elected Democratically.

Now, you may want to point out to me that he did not win the majority of the popular vote. But, that doesn't matter. The Parliamentary system is developed to represent minority views within a system, so there are usually five or more parties (not two, as is typical in our system) so it is as per usual for a Chancellor or Prime Minister to have not won the popular vote with a majority.

And, the thing that has frustrated me in this conversation is, you know that to be true. You live in the system. I do not. I know it by having read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (twice), having read articles and descriptions about/of the Parliamentary system, and from having family in England who have told me about it.

Yes, I know your other point is, the popular vote does not elect the Chancellor. Instead, the Parliament elects the Chancellor.

So, what are you trying to say, the Germans don't have a Democratic system?

If that is what you are trying to say, and you don't like it, then change the system. Don't blame anyone else for the fact that Hitler was elected according to the rules. It's not anyone else's fault.

And, as to your point about America having problems of it's own, believe me, we are more than aware of that. We are not happy at all. I have never seen such disatisfaction. Unemployment in California, where I live, is over 22%. I make less than a fifth of what I used to make. I lost my business, and I am close to losing my home, and many of my friends are in the same shape. So I, and the other here, know all about it.

Oliver said...

Well, yes, Hitler got Chancellor according to the rules of the system, you are correct on this one.

And you are right with your observation that I only wanted to point out that he never had the majority of the electorate behind him. This was not much relevant in the Weimar parliamentary system, as you said correctly, too; but it shows that Hitler never took power by majority. A lot of people (even Germans) don't know this. I just thought that you belong to the people who think that 90 % of all Germans voted for Hitler in the first place. I am glad that this is not the case, and I regret my words concerning historical knowledge among US-Americans. Memo: Trivialization = always bad idea...

Maybe we have a misunderstanding here. SPIEGEL also - I presume - only wanted to point out that one can't compare a "normal" democratic leader with old Adolf. We Germans are very sensitive with this. It disturbes us.

As to Americas current problems: I'm sorry to hear that you and your friends/family are affected by it, and hopefully things will get better soon. In fact I certainly don't have any right to take part in this discussion because of my lack of personal experience. But as I read the newspapers and follow the news the current development in US-politics makes me a little ... baffled. There seems to be a lot of hystery and few rational discussion. There seems to be a certain degree of "hate" in the daily political debate which is certainly not healthy, neither for the people nor for the country. I've seen photos comparing Obama with Hitler, Stalin and so on, which is no way of dealing with a political opponent in a democratic system, whoever he/she may be. I hope the USA get through the crisis without going to extremes. You (still) are a too important country to paralyze yourself this way.

Pastorius said...

My problem with what Spiegel wrote is that Hitler was elected under a system whereby he would have faced checks on his power.

What happened with Hitler could happen in almost any Democratic country in the world.

Spiegel seemed to be saying there were extraordinary circumstances at play. That is not true, sadly. The most ordinary of Parliamentary circumstances brought us Hitler.

You wrote: "We Germans are very sensitive with this. It disturbes us. "

I respond: None of us here believe Germany is filled with Nazis. That being said, I am concerned that Europe may decide to settle it's problems with Islam the same way it settled them towards the end of the Middle Ages. And, if so, I am afraid that the anger at Islam will spill over to the Jews as it did in Spain in 1492, when both the Jews and Moors got it.

It seems to me, Europe knows it's history well enough.

So maybe you could tell me, why is it that Europeans seem to think, "This time, it will work out with the Muslims"?

You said: I've seen photos comparing Obama with Hitler, Stalin and so on, which is no way of dealing with a political opponent in a democratic system, whoever he/she may be.

I respond: Yes, I agree. There were many people who compared George Bush to Hitler as well.

Pastorius said...

Oh, by the way, thanks for being kind. I'm sorry that I was rude.

Oliver said...

Okay, one comment on Muslims in Europe from a German's point of view:

As you certainly know, there are a lot of Muslims in Europe, ecspecially Germany, ca 4 % of the population nowadays. Mainly they are from Turkey and were/are so called "Guest-workers" (or their descendants). They came to Germany to help our economy in the 60's as cheap labour forces, and everybody thought: "Well, they will go home when their jobs here are done. So why annoy them with forcing them to learn German, as long as they live by the laws and stick to themselves."

The problem was: most of them stayed in Germany, with their families, instead of going home. These families were often undereducated and not integrated, as a result of the policy mentioned above. Since 10 years or so the government is trying to change this situation by forcing those (and other) immigrants to learn German and be part of our society. That's what Merkel meant when she said, that "Multikulti" had failed. There can only be ONE culture in one country, but no "parallel societies", as you may call it. Of course this doesn't mean that those people must listen to German folk music or love Bavarian beer. But they will be accustomed to it just by growing up with it, if they are - integrated!!!

Personally therefore I think that the "danger of Islam" is a little bit exaggerated. Islam is a religion, not a plan for worldwide war. I know a lot of "Turks" who were born in Germany, are German citizens, speak better German than many Germans and "feel" German in every way (including the food). They certainly don't want to be defined only by their religion (which they practise very sporadicly, if at all). The current debate helps little there: imagine the "muslim" doctors or engineers in spe at university, who are so frustrated because of the whole "Islam-debate" that they decide to go "home" to Turkey or elsewhere, because they don't feel welcome in Germany any longer.

Saying this I don't deny that Islam has not had its "enlightenment" yet, as we Christians had 200 years ago. But the better Muslims are integrated in our societies (USA as Germany or UK or France) the more "secular" will their religion be. And having a religion in privacy (or having none at all)is everyones basic right under your constitution as it us under ours, as long as the constitution and the laws are respected.

I don't believe that Muslims will overtake Europe by birth and I don't think that they will challenge Europe's judeo-chistian heritage, if the governments

a) regulate the immigration of Muslims by numbers
b) try to integrate Muslims and their children into society (school, language etc.), if necessary by legal pressure
c) try to establish a culture of "respect" rather than fear

Of course this does not solve the problems we have with those stone-age-lunatic-Islamists there are in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran etc. But do we have to deal with them? No. Leave them alone, and they will leave us alone.

Maybe they have their enlightenment sooner or later. I bet they have...

Pastorius said...

I hope you're right. But, I don't think you are.