Is America about to goosestep? Richard Mourdock warns about some unseemly trends in U.S. life
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/8/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Jewish groups were highly incensed with comments made by Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock's farewell speech. Without varnish, Mourdock warned that America is treading down the same path that Germany took in the years following World War I.
"The people of Germany in a free election selected the Nazi party because they made great promises that appealed to them because they were desperate and destitute. And why is that? Because Germany was bankrupt," retiring treasurer Richard Mourdock says.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The people of Germany in a free election selected the Nazi party because they made great promises that appealed to them because they were desperate and destitute. And why is that? Because Germany was bankrupt," Mourdock said at the Indiana Republican Convention this past weekend.
In the height of the Great Depression and under the pressure of the Treaty of Versailles, the Nazis fed the poor and put millions of unemployed to work with government programs -- before plunging the entire world into war.
"Over the next several years, every time a program began to fall apart, Mr. Hitler's party was very, very good at dividing Germany by pointing to this group or that group," Mourdock continued. "First they went after their political opponents. Then they went after the aristocrats. Then they went after the trade unionists. And ultimately, of course, they went after the Jews. They deprived them of their property, their rights, their citizenship, and for millions their humanity. Because they were bankrupt!"
According to newspaper the Indy Star, Jewish groups took exception to this analogy. "We are extremely disappointed to learn that Treasurer Mourdock chose to invoke the rise of Hitler and the heinous acts of the Nazis in comparison to America's national debt," Shelby Anderson, president of the Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council said. "Such comparisons are highly offensive and trivialize both the suffering and memory of the six million Jews and millions of others who perished under the Nazi regime."
"[It's] deplorable to suggest that a nation in debt is somehow one step away from perpetrating crimes reminiscent of Nazi Germany," vice president of the council Stephen Klapper added.
Allen County Republican Party Chairman Steven Shine, who is also Jewish, defended Mourdock's comments.
"I think he was showing what could happen to a nation that has a citizenry that believes life is hopeless, that there is no way out. I don't think at all he was comparing Obama to Hitler under any circumstances, but the political environment that could create a government that relied on a charismatic leader, rather than the freedoms that the country has."
Mourdock made his remarks as part of a farewell speech. Barred from seeking re-election by law and, Mourdock appeared to choose to make his fiery comments since a media campaign cannot affect his future political prospects.
Mourdock lost a race for an Indiana Senate seat after Democrats and their media allies uncharitably misconstrued comments he made about rape and abortion to push their "War on Women" meme.
"Now I know some of you, especially some of the guests in the room, are thinking, there's a wild-eyed Republican speaking craziness," he told his audience. "We are in a grave situation. And my last duty to you as a Republican at this convention is to ask you to influence everyone you know in this state and without."
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