Take No Prisoners

Rhetorical Deathmatch: Goebbels v. Rove

Well, folks, today is the anniversary of the tragic attack of the World Trade Center seven years ago. Seven years later, and we still have not caught the man behind that attack; seven years later, and we still have not ended the ‘threat of terrorism’ as W. promised; seven years later, and we are still living in a state of fear and anxiety in the United States of America. Why is that? Why is our biggest fear in America the threat from small clans of nomadic terrorists, often living on remote mountainsides or inside caves? The answer lies in two four-letter words: Karl Rove.

Karl Rove. If you see this guy on the street, kick him in the nuts.

That’s right. Karl Rove is the reason we are still in a state of fear in America. It’s not because of the very real threat of terrorist attacks; it’s not because there are people out there who want to kill Americans. It’s because Karl Rove has infiltrated every aspect of American life with his rhetoric of fear. Now, you might not be a history buff like me, but there is another elusive figure in world history who reminds me a lot of this Rove cat. His name is Joseph Goebbels, and he was propaganda minister for the Nazi Party of Germany. He was a master of using fear to manipulate the masses of Germany, much as Rove is a master of using the same rhetorical tactics on the American public.

Can you imagine what a rhetorical deathmatch would look like between these two? It would be like watching a debate between McCain and Bush: two assholes spouting the same shit. But hey, now I’m inspired, so let’s compare quotes. I’ll go ahead and put some Goebbels-constructed propaganda next to the bullshit Bush and his croneys spout, and hey, we can even make it a little quiz. I won’t tell you who said what, so you can see how, um, easy it is to spot the differences. Don’t cheat, now.

1. “[We] must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”

“The art of leadership… consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention.”

2. “Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character.”

“As people do better, they start voting like Republicans. . . unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing.”

3. “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.”

“I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen… I know it won’t be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.”


So folks, if you want something to be afraid of, don’t fear terrorism. Don’t fear Islam, or people who are culturally different. Fear assholes like Bush and Rove, who seek to manipulate a nation through fear… very much like another group of people earlier in the world’s history. Today is 9/11, but don’t spend today reflecting on how badly we need to unite against the perceived enemy across the sea; spend it reflecting on how badly we need to avoid being turned into a nation of blind sheeple following the rhetoric of a four-letter word like Rove. If you want to honor the memory of those who died on 9/11, don’t let their death be the inspiration for more murder.

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