On February 27, 1933, a mad man set fire to the German Parliament Building, the Reichstag, shocking the German nation. The arsonist was proclaimed a Communist and as everyone knows, Godless Communism was a threat to peace loving Christian Nations -- like Germany.
The leader of Germany at the time was Adolph Hitler.
Contrary to what many people have been lead to believe, Hitler did not become dictator through a coup d'Ã©tat. He came to power through strictly democratic means. He asked for special powers to deal with terrorism and the German people, reeling with shock, granting him powers to deal with the crisis -- powers he never relinquished.
George W. Bush is no Hitler, but the parallels of a nation surrendering its liberties to a government is not new.
Who can blame the German people? The Reichstag was akin to Capitol Hill's House and Senate, although not on nearly so grant a scale, yet the psychological dagger went into the heart of the German people. The reaction of the German people ought to be understandable to Americans who went through 9/11. And as far as the Reichstag goes, rumor has it that the fourth hijacked plane that went down in Pennsylvania was headed either for the Capitol Rotunda or even the White House, itself. If the White House was knocked out, the President could have alternatively gone to the Pentagon and we know the hijacked DC plane that circled for about an hour was crashed right at the helicopter pad where Bush's chopper would have brought him in case of that. This 9/11 plot was dark indeed.
Homeland Security was important in the Fatherland. Instead of the Patriot Act, the Germans pushed through The Enabling Act and gave up freedoms that were not restored until after the Second World War was over and Germany had invaded any number of countries to protect its security.
In the meantime, Germans openly vented hatred toward Communists and passed legislation against non-Christian minorities, especially Jews, and homosexuals. Today we see states attempting to pass legislation against homosexuals and proclaiming a national agenda the pushes Christian values ahead of citizens who do not share the vision of the fundamentalist who hold sway over the Republican Party.
The point is not to say Bush is any Hitler. Rather, it is for us to pause and think how it happens that people give up their freedoms to a leader who says he needs special powers to deal with a crisis.
But terrorism is real, say some. The President needs to deal with this threat. It is for a good reason that we surrender our liberties.
Can you think of anyone ever surrendering their liberties for a bad reason?