How are Democrats in the House toning down their rhetoric? Well, Rep. Steve Cohen is comparing the Republicans to “Goebbels”, a Nazi and one of the fathers of modern day propaganda. Glenn responded to Cohen’s comments on radio this morning.
Cohen said, “They say it's a government takeover of healthcare, a big lie just like Goebbels. They say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie and eventually people believe it. Like blood libel. That's the same kind of thing. The Germans said enough about the Jews and the people believed it and you had the Holocaust.”
“So basically the Republicans are Nazis and the Republicans are using the tactics of Goebbels. Now, I can see Media Matters right now because they have got the quote from me where I was on global warming and I said these are the tactics used by Goebbels,” Glenn said.
Glenn then shocked the Media Matters/liberal blogosphere world by issuing a retraction. “Let me, let me just say this. That I have to retract what I said when I said that progressives were using the tactics, like Al Gore, using the tactics of Goebbels because it was wrong.”
Why was Glenn wrong? He was wrong because the progressives were not using the tactics of Goebbels, they were using the tactics of Edwards Bernays and early 20th century progressives.
Glenn explained that Goebbels himself has admitted to using the propaganda tactics of early 20th century progressives. “Now, let me give you the more enlightened point of view. Today's progressives are using the tactics of Goebbels that were really not Nazi tactics because the Nazis were using the tactics of the early 20th century progressive. So the Nazis really didn't ‑‑ they were under ‑‑ there's no such thing as a Nazi tactic. It was Edward Bernays. And I'm sorry that I don't have this on good authority. I only have this from the diaries of Goebbels.”
Glenn added, “So I can just say the progressives are using the progressive tactics. That were also used by the Nazis.”
And, as Glenn pointed out, people like Cohen are guided by the same sense of enlightened despotism that Bernays and early 20th century progressives had. People like Cohen don’t believe that people are capable of making good choices for themselves, so the intellectual minority needs to guide and prod the “herd” for their own good.
As Cass Sunstein said, “Once we know that people are human and have some Homer Simpson in them, then there's a lot that can be done to manipulate that.”
Glenn said, “So when Cohen gets down on the floor of the House and he says that Republicans are Nazis, I don't have a problem with that. I don't have a problem. Because I understand who he is. And I understand how he views the American people. He views the American people as cattle, and there needs to be enlightened despots.”
According to Glenn, Cohen’s comments shouldn’t be shouted down because it reveals his progressive mindset and opens up the opportunity to have a dialogue about his views. “This is not Republican or Democrat. This is the difference between freedom and enlightened despotism,” he said.
So what does Glenn think Cohen is doing? He is trying to guide the “herd”, the American people with some “Homer Simpson” in them. And Cohen and other “ranchers” do this by separating the people who don’t agree with the progressive agenda.
“So you have to discredit them,” Glenn said. “You have to get the rest of the herd to separate themselves from that. They have to believe they made the choice. ‘No, I don't want to be with him or he's dangerous or any...’ you have to convince them. Now, how do you do that? Well, you use the tactics as Cohen said were Nazi tactics. But they're not Nazi tactics. Those, those ideas were later called PR. Public relations. Because the guy who started modern propaganda saw that it had been taken from him and used by the Nazis. And he knew that propaganda now had a bad name and so he did what all progressives do: Changed the name of propaganda to public relations. But that's what the tactics are, the Nazi tactics were progressive tactics. They got it from the progressives.”
“This is why you don't shut people up. You must decide. This is why I've been saying to you, decide. You must know what's true. You must know what's historically true,” Glenn said.
“The debate can be had and the debate can be won.”