Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Radical Leaders Prey on the Fearful and Naive

Today in OMG the Irony! and Read the Subtext, Folks! we have this:
The North Iowa Tea Party began displaying the billboard in downtown Mason City last week. The sign shows large photographs of Obama, Nazi leader Hitler and communist leader Lenin beneath the labels Democrat Socialism, National Socialism, and Marxist Socialism.  Beneath the photos is the phrase, Radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive. (AP Photo/Globe Gazette, Deb Nicklay)
Brought to you by the Tea Party. The thing is, they're right. Radical folks sometimes do prey on the fearful and naive. Take the Tea Party for example. They prey on the fearful and naive by telling them that healthcare reform will kill them, and that our president is just like Hitler and some Communist dude. Ya know, cause they're all socialists, HAHAHA.

Except nobody seems to have gotten that this was the point of the billboard. Because, of course, it never was the real point of the billboard. The real point is implied, through a visual tool meant to invoke a strong emotional reaction. In our shared conceptual framework, Hitler and whoever that guy with the Communist symbol is were above all else mass murderers. And OMG! they both used circular logos, and Obama does too! This alone is proof of their ideological similarities, right?!?
When you compare someone to Hitler, you're suggesting that s/he supports genocide. When you put a picture of Obama between two pictures of political leaders that represent tyranny and mass murder in our collective understanding of the world, you're suggesting that Obama is also a tyrannical mass murderer. It's as simple as that.

And ya know what? That's RADICAL. And it preys upon the fearful and naive.


  1. Anonymous7/14/2010

    The guy with the Communist symbol is Lenin, the ideologist of Soviet Revolution :) Stalin would be more logical choice, though...

  2. I know. But I'm betting the tea party was hoping he would be mistaken for Stalin, since Stalin was the more murderous of the two in the American view of it.

  3. Anonymous7/14/2010

    And while we're at it, all you have to do is put up a pic of any guy with a communist logo to invoke fear and trembling in the demographic that the tea party is targeting.

  4. I thought you were making this point by putting Stalin in strikethrough followed by Lenin. Stalin definitely would be the more logical choice for this purpose, and I'd be willing to bet that this group intended to put Stalin there but just accidentally grabbed a pic of Lenin. Either way, I'm sure the pic is intended to be interpreted as Stalin. How many Americans could identify Stalin and Lenin from a picture, anyway? It's the communist symbol that's the most important.

    1. And all of this is irrelevant now, since strikethrough code no longer appears to work in Blogger...

  5. Poinsett-ah7/14/2010

    How come Pol Pot's picture never appears in these montages? What does a guy have to do to get included with the tyrranical mass murderers anyway?


  6. hobomama7/14/2010


    This is America. We prefer white tyrannical mass murderers, thank you very much.

  7. Ahem. I admit to being one of those people who might not recognize a pic of Stalin. I only knew it was Lenin rather than Stalin because of the news article I read. On the other hand, I could reliably point out to you pics of Marx (young and old), Engels, Fromm, Mouffe, and Gramsci.

  8. Anonymous7/14/2010

    Also, pardon me for being a grammar snob, but it ought to be "Democratic Socialism." Sheesh!

  9. zerosumguy7/14/2010

    Critical thinking FTW!

  10. cheesecakelover7/15/2010

    Sometimes I wonder if the Tea Party is a big comedy act put on to entertain us and distract us from the real issues or something.

  11. Chelsea7/15/2010

    Appeal to Fear for 500, please!

  12. Anonymous7/15/2010

    *laughing through tears*