9/3/09

Really, Pat? Really?

Contemporary Nazi sympathizers with a large media footprint are hard, but apparently not impossible, to come by. In this bit of revisionist history, Pat Buchanan claims that Germany never wanted war and even perversely implies that the genocide was the Allies' fault: "Hitler wanted to end the war in 1940, almost two years before the trains began to roll to the camps."

Which reminds of the time I inadvertently attended a Ralph Nader rally. It was actually a documentary that I was obliged to see for reasons I won't go in to, but you can probably imagine the crowd at a Nader-movie within spitting distance of the Pacific. It was not a subtle film; the audience booed and hissed, actually hissed, at every archival image of Ronald Reagan, who played the villain in this particular movie. Buchanan, however, was presented as an affable third-party candidate sharing Nader's pain. No hissing for Pat, the anti-Semite, just thoughtful nods and furrowed brows with one index finger over the lips. I wanted to stand up and scream, "Are you all mad?"

It was, if nothing else, a vivid reminder of the power that film form has over even well-educated people.

(Though at the end of the movie I felt like I had been hit repeatedly over the head, I politely clapped as is meet and right so to do when the filmmaker is in attendance; however, I did refuse to go to my feet when Nader himself made a surprise appearance. "Dear Lord, " I thought, "I hope he's not running for President again." Turns out he was.)

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