BACK WHEN BEING A NAZI WAS A CAREER-ENDER

There's nothing meaningful about anniversaries per se; they are but a convenient excuse to raise and recall historical events that are interesting, relevant, or important. Sunday was the 90th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic from Roosevelt Field to Le Bourget in Paris. Truly, honestly, it stands as one of the most incredible (if pointless in the practical sense) feats a person has ever accomplished. A modern equivalent might be someone named Jane Doe showing up at a spaceport with a capsule she made in her yard and flying to Mars by herself while Elon Musk and NASA look on and predict her imminent death…followed two years from now by footage of her standing on Mars waving.

I could talk endlessly about the technical aspects of the accomplishment, so I will stop myself in advance. Suffice it to say that papers called him "Lucky Lindy" not simply because it sounded cool but because the quest to fly the Atlantic from New York to Paris produced nothing but an impressively long list of corpses until Lindbergh did it, and continued to kill well funded, highly experienced crews in technologically sophisticated aircraft for years after. To point out just two examples, pioneering French aviators Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli flew a technological marvel called L'Osseau Blanc to their deaths in an Atlantic crossing attempt shortly before Lindbergh's try. And Richard Byrd's team, which included both a dedicated navigator and a radio operator, survived its crossing flight but missed its intended arrival point in Ireland by nearly 800 miles. They crash-landed in France, essentially hitting Europe at all only because it is too big to miss if one flies (generally) eastward. Lindbergh, meanwhile, flew what was essentially a powered box kite alone, navigated with a pad of paper on his knees and zero forward visibility (the windshield was blocked with a gas tank), and landed exactly where he said he would, to the foot.

More to the point, Lindbergh's act achieved him a kind of fame that has no modern equivalent. The news cycle is so short today that the kind of all-encompassing, smothering, planetary fame that met Lindbergh will probably never be repeated. He became famous to the point that living anything resembling life became impossible for him and more or less destroyed him. It led directly, through constant reports about details of his home life, to the kidnapping and murder of his son in what was, until the OJ Simpson Trial (more on that in a moment), the Crime of the Century.

So, parts of us feel sympathetic to the idea that Lindbergh might be driven by the harassing pressures of fame and adulation to become…a little odd. Maybe develop something of an antipathy toward his fellow man. He could have been forgiven a curmudgeonly, even misanthropic, leaning or two. But that's not what happened. What happened was not forgivable. In a high school auditorium in Iowa in 1941, Charles Lindbergh doused himself in gasoline and lit a metaphorical match. His speech on non-intervention, coming on the heels of years of uncomfortable flirtations with Nazism, "America First" boosterism, and the very darkest corners of the generally already quite dark Eugenics movement, ended Charles Lindbergh with an immediacy and finality that was nothing short of breathtaking. It is impossible to think of another example of a person who went from universally admired public figure to persona non grata as quickly and totally as Charles Lindbergh. OJ Simpson is a rough equivalent, although his popularity never reached the heights of Lindbergh's. Bill Cosby comes to mind as well, although he was already well past his peak of esteem by the time his public defenestration came. Lindbergh went from proposals to name new states after him to He Whose Name is Not Spoken literally overnight.

It is more than a bit striking, then, to read the text of Lindbergh's career-ending speech now, in light of the knowledge of the revulsion with which it was greeted and how thoroughly it destroyed the public reputation of a man who until that moment could virtually do no wrong. Does it not seem almost…tame, by today's standards in American politics? Far from being career suicide, giving that speech today would merit a book deal, a syndicated talk show, and a career in Republican electoral politics. Compare this to the writings of people who currently occupy positions of authority in the damn White House and Lindbergh practically comes off as some sort of reasoned moderate. My point is not that Charles Lindbergh's anti-Semitic, eugenics-guided fascist sympathy adds up to an idea that is defensible or has merit; the point is that none of this would hurt him or his reputation much today. The actual President would shower him with praise, which contrasts neatly with FDR's take ("If I should die tomorrow, I want you to know this, I am absolutely convinced Lindbergh is a Nazi.")

There was a time when being at least borderline into Nazism was a liability in America. Apparently that time has passed. Of course, until WWII began Lindbergh's views were not exactly unique among Americans. However, rather than continuing to reject them based on the lessons learned during that almost unimaginably destructive conflict, we are now content to move backward and claim that perhaps we had things right all long back in the days when Madison Grant was respectable reading. I don't need to explain in much detail what that kind of thinking led to, I hope.

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66 Responses to “BACK WHEN BEING A NAZI WAS A CAREER-ENDER”

  1. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Slight typo: You meant L'Oiseau Blanc (the white bird). Excellent piece, and I tend to agree with you, though I haven't read Lindbergh's speech due to a desire to retain my breakfast.

  2. verbal Says:

    I hadn't read that speech before. Compared to today's rhetoric it certainly is mild. I think a lot of DJT fans would call him a cuck for it.

  3. J. Dryden Says:

    We can blame a lot of things for the current state of "Come on, He's Just A Nazi, It's Not Like He's A Bad Guy"-ism (trademark!) to what amounts to a collective decision to forget WWII except insofar as the fodder for simplistic movies. I'm not going to indulge in a "Get Off My Lawn"-level rant on the state of education, but I will say that I have taught classes of college-level freshman that necessitated an explanation on the basics of the war and what was at stake. (Frightening Example: A student asked, quite sincerely, "What did Hitler do that was so bad?" He wasn't downplaying; he literally knew nothing about the man except his name and a vague reputation as a bad guy.)

    Movie Nazis aren't to be taken seriously, for the same reason that Stormtroopers (the Lucas kind, but I see where your head's at) aren't to be taken seriously: we the audience know that they're going to lose. So we don't worry about them–in fact, they're kind of fun, in the way that jumpsuited henchmen are fun: they have no specific qualities, no ideologies, no identities beyond "Bad Guys."

    Those are the only Nazis we know–and again, we don't worry, because they're going to lose. That…wasn't something that we were sure of in the '30s and '40s. Back then, it was very much on everyone's mind that Holy Shit These Guys Could Win (yes, yes, historians can Monday-morning-quarterback how There Was Really No Way The Third Reich Could Have Prevailed, but that was not the general perception at the time)–so when Lindbergh said, "You know, they've got some good ideas"–well, he was talking about truly terrifying men and ideas that people knew from first-hand experience were evil. (Side note: Fuck Henry Ford. Not necessarily entirely relevant here, but I feel it's best to insert that into every discussion.)

    Point is: We've lost that perception of them. As guys who could win. As guys who are engaging in organized killing. And–when the war was over–as guys who committed the greatest act of evil of the 20th century. (And up against some pretty major competition.)

    We just don't see Nazism as RELEVANT anymore. Which means that when someone spouts off something clearly riffed from the Hitlerian playbook, our collective response is equivalent to a toddler who makes death threats–disapproval, but nothing more, because what's he gonna do?

    And of course, there's the other thing: the fact that a lot of people in this country really DO agree that a White Christian nation is an ideal worth the deaths of others to achieve. You know, so long as those deaths are kept politely out of sight. And since a major element of the media is now devoted to telling those people that they are right in everything they think, well, why NOT fly the Swastika over the White House–it's not as if, thanks to gerrymandering and the electoral college, they have anything to lose by doing so.

  4. diana Says:

    Excellent post, thanks!
    unfortunately ties in with the argument that fascism was just European colonial behavior taking place in the motherland instead of the colonies. Unless there's external enemy to fight, we have no natural antipathy to this logic.
    BTW have you seen the Man in the High Castle? The show makes the point that it would not be too hard to emphasize the founding fathers' slave-holding in schools and claim Nazism is not that alien to American civilization…

  5. Alan C Says:

    This makes me think of this corollary of Godwin's Law: once you compare the other side to Hitler/the Nazis you've lost. Of course the exception to that corollary would be if the other ACTUALLY IS like Hitler/Nazis.

  6. SeaTea Says:

    I believe that Lindbergh also came up with a way for P-38s to greatly increase their range. Something about a fuel-air mixture he came up with, which meant that our fighters could fly much, much deeper into territory than they had before. A not insignificant thing in the overall war effort.

  7. diana Says:

    All the more amazing when you realize that this speech is far more factually accurate than anything coming out of today's alt-right: "We were told that aviation, which has held the British fleet off the continent of Europe, made America more vulnerable than ever before to invasion." This turned out to be absolutely true at Pearl Harbor.

  8. Steve Holt! Says:

    I can see the alternate universe memes already – (glamorous pic of Lindbergh) "Bravely flew solo across Atlantic", (photoshopped pic of Obama to look like the devil) "Can't even fly a plane!"

  9. Kaleberg Says:

    There were a lot of Nazi sympathizers in the US before the war. Look at Trump's dad. The US had and still has lots of home grown racists, so Nazi racial theories fit right in. Remember, the 1920s were when the big anti-immigration law was passed with its racial quotas, just in time to keep out refugees from Europe. (Interestingly, then as now, immigration had been falling for a decade before the big anti-immigration push.)

    By 1941, when Lindbergh opened his yap, the Nazis had invaded most of Europe and the British and Russians were fighting a desperate battle. Sympathy with the Nazis had been going downhill for a while. With the stories and movie footage coming out of Europe, it was harder and harder to be sympathetic to stories about oppressed German minorities in Poland or Alsace. If nothing else, US unemployment was falling thanks to British military demands driving US production. Two months later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on the US.

    Interestingly, Lindbergh didn't completely vanish. He still had some respect among airmen. I read a letter in Flying Magazine some years back describing his morale boosting visit to a US base in the South Pacific where he flew missions against the Japanese. He had been a lot of the guys' boyhood hero and the reason they were in the Air Corps, so there were mixed feelings knowing his attitude towards the Nazis. He didn't exactly redeem himself, but I gather the letter writer and his colleagues learned something about heroism, patriotism and humanity, sort of the lesson Conrad was giving in Lord Jim.

  10. Kaleberg Says:

    BTW, when was the last time we had a hero like Lindbergh? Was it John Glenn in the 1960s? Was it something about the machine age? The big modern technological advances don't involve the same kind of physical courage, but are we past that sort of thing now? Look at the anonymous astronauts of China. Is that the new model? Even the USSR had Korolev loosely fictionalized as D-503.

  11. SeaTea Says:

    I can't help but be struck by the similarity of the US options at the time of Lindburgh's speech and those right before our invasion of Iraq. "How is this our problem?" vs "He's a ruthless dictator committing atrocities and we must intervene." It's interesting because one is nearly universally regarded as the greatest white-hat moral undertaking of the modern age and the other is nearly universally regarded as a total shit-show. The circumstances of both, however, were eerily similar except that Saddam didn't have the grand ambitions of regional conquest that Hitler did. Or perhaps he did, but they were squashed by his failed invasion of Kuwait.

  12. sluggo Says:

    It's ok to punch Chas. Lindbergh, because, you know, it's always ok to punch a nazi.

  13. ronzie Says:

    When I was in high school back in the mid to late 70's they showed us a film about the death camps, I think it was called "Night And Fog". It was brutal, and afterwards a LOT of kids were crying. I don't know if they still teach about what the goddamn nazi sons-of-bitches did using material like that now, but they ought to, and tough shit if it upsets anybody, this evil MUST be remembered if it's to be prevented in the future.

  14. DH Says:

    Was the gasoline also metaphorical? Because if the gasoline was real but only the match was metaphorical, then that's just crazy.

  15. democommie Says:

    "(Side note: Fuck Henry Ford. Not necessarily entirely relevant here, but I feel it's best to insert that into every discussion."

    Never inappropriate to remember that a fucker was a fucker.

    Lindbergh, IIRC, was pretty much the toast of Nazi Germany when he visited there and received a military decoration from Herman Goering while at a dinner in the U.S. Ambassador's residence in 1938.

    He was a very smart and not very nice person–unless you were a white person of eurpoean descent. Fuck him.

  16. Robert Walker-Smith Says:

    I read a social history of this, "Those Angry Days", a couple of years ago. That speech was the apex of Lindbergh's isolationist efforts, but he'd been at it almost since the tanks entered Poland.

    Isolationism was much more popular than we sometimes imagine, given that many of us grew up in the most interventionist period of USA history.

    In high school, we were shown a film about the Nazis. The part I remember is the scenes of the Nuremberg rallies, followed immediately by footage of the liberated camps. It was my first awareness of the power of images to manipulate: 'hey, kids, isn't this exciting? Well, it led to THIS.' If you tried that today, some asshole with fashy hair would complain to the school board.

  17. Safety Man! Says:

    It is frightening to contemplate, that today's GOP is a coalition of people who are outright Nazi's, people who aren't but think the whole authoritarian thing is swell, and people who just think that their "side" is winning. Not sure what to think about that. Not sure how much the different strata matter, if at all.

  18. papermache Says:

    Read "The Plot Against America," Philip Roth's version of an alternate reality where CL defeats FDR by a landslide in the 1940 Presidential election. Very hard novel to finish in these current times in America.

  19. Major Kong Says:

    @SeaTea

    At the time of the Iraq invasion the Iraqi Air Force had ten (count 'em) flyable aircraft on any given day due to lack of spare parts. I know this from flying Northern Watch not too long before the invasion. On any given day their entire Air Force flew maybe 2-3 training sorties.

    If they were really feeling frisky they might send a single MiG-25 up towards the no-fly zone at high speed to see if we were paying attention. The F-15s would inevitably send him running for home.

    During the invasion they did not launch a single aircraft in opposition.

    This pathetic remnant of a military was spun as an "existential threat" by the administration and the media.

  20. A Different Nate Says:

    Maybe modern politics have made me tone deaf, but I actually don't see anything too objectionable about this. Obviously there isn't much to be said for isolationism in the face of the Nazis, at least these days, and there's some of the classic "Jews run the propaganda machine" stuff that you'd expect of the time. He was also dead wrong about the capacity of the Allies to invade Europe and smash the Nazis, though this was early in the invasion of the USSR when it looked like they were going to fall apart next Thursday.

    But I don't see anything in this speech that would make me think Lindbergh was a Nazi, or indeed anything but a guy who was really into non-intervention. Was this seriously the proverbial straw?

  21. Dave Ducharme Says:

    While Lindbergh's words would certainly appear tame by today's standards, they still show that the art of the shrill dog whistle was just as gleefully used then as now. Lindbergh carefully painted both England and the Jews as the aggressors in the then European war and England specifically as invaders.

    There was the brief admission that maybe the Jews have a valid beef with Nazi Germany, not so much justification though. But the theme was that the Jews should try to get along and not drag the nice people of the rest of the world into their conflict.

    I believe that Lindbergh's words appear tame by today's standards, not because they were but rather because he was simply more subtle. Language was still at least somewhat venerated back then and was wielded more like an artist's brush, whereas today it's swung like a cudgel or axe.

    Such subtlety today would no doubt be written off as the words of a cuck, afraid to "speak truth to power", when in actual fact the drooling masses just wouldn't understand the subtext.

  22. Major Kong Says:

    One of the most horrifying movies I have ever watched is called "Conspiracy".

    Nobody gets killed. No blood is shed. There is no violence at all.

    Just a bunch of high ranking Nazis holding a conference and planning the Final Solution.

    Well worth watching if you can find it.

  23. Scotius Says:

    'One of the most horrifying movies I have ever watched is called "Conspiracy". '

    I would also highly recommend "Die Wannsee Konferenz". It's "Conspiracy", but in the original German.

  24. democommie Says:

    Empires come and go.

    The U.S. has been imperial (without a figurehead emperor–although we seem to be cursed with a wannabe) since around 1812 or so. That's when we wanted to roll up Canada and make it OURS. Since then the U.S. has invaded numerous countries on any number of specious pretexts and aided /abetted a number of odious regimes for "freedom"–although it usually boils down to the corporatists establishing or protecting a profit stream.

    Every empire that I've read anything much about fails when it becomes dependent upon other countries to pay its bills (tribute in one form or another) and foreign soldiery to maintain its interests, and "extend the
    mailed fist of peace.".

    Absent a fundamental change in the world, we're going down, one way or another.

  25. Aurora S Says:

    @SeaTea–

    I was thinking the exact same thing about the similarities to Iraq. Another difference besides what Major Kong described would be the "yellowcake uranium" WMD excuse to get us into war with Iraq–a war that we were initially sold because 9/11 and Justice–was absolute, proven bullshit. There were sooo many relatively unaddressed scandals…no-bid contracts being given to lobbyist friends and former business connections like Lockheed and Halliburton…things that had a bit more substance than just "yeah, I bet the prez is totally only doing this to make money".

    @A Different Nate–

    Yeah, I see what you're saying. He was pounding his fist on the non-interventionist theme, and I agree that within the context of being an armchair quarterback without the benefit of hindsight, a non-interventionist stance alone doesn't seem to be objectionable enough on its face to warrant him being shunned from society. The paranoid anti-Semetism, isolationism and anti-government fuckholery contained within appears pretty meh compared to, say, the shit Ted Nugent or Mel Gibson has said. Though Dave Ducharme made an excellent point–the difference is in the sleight of hand. We aren't accustomed to subtlety anymore.

  26. JDM Says:

    I don't know if you could make the case that this was so for Henry Ford.

  27. Aurora S Says:

    @SeaTea–

    Oh, and the naked attempt to equate Saddam with Hitler and framing the whole thing as saving the world from another Holocaust which we totally had to stamp out ASAP because it was going to definitely be the same thing. Which sort of made sense emotionally, but kind of fell apart when people remembered that we were busy at war picking off Muslims in the desert ourselves and torturing people at Guantanamo Bay.

  28. quixote Says:

    diana: Nazism doesn't just = bad stuff. Nazism was/is what happens when true believers charge at their dream of the Right Thing no matter how many people get killed. (Communists, with different true beliefs, did the same thing. Fundamentalists of all stripes, with different true beliefs do or are capable of the same thing.)

    Colonialism, on the other hand, is going after resources no matter how many people get killed. People have been doing that since forever, and the "no matter how many people get killed" part is the same. But the motivations are fundamentally different, which means the way to stop it is fundamentally different.

    That's the important part. The way to stop it is different.

  29. Gerald McGrew Says:

    So in the old days, right-wingers complained about the "Jewish media". Today the complain about the "liberal media".

    Interesting.

  30. almostgreta Says:

    I'm on a discussion forum with mostly Americans and someone started a thread on eugenics, asking, quite seriously, "What's wrong with improving the gene pool?" They didn't see anything wrong with eugenics whatever. They didn't see anything wrong with paying money for it either. And a lot of people agreed. We are so in the toilet in this country.

  31. Katydid Says:

    @Almostgreta; Virginia practiced eugenics until the late 1970s, which mostly means they sterilized non-white women without even telling them what was happening to them.

  32. April Says:

    Almostgreta – You might point out that the most educated in America are mostly liberals.

    http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/a-deep-dive-into-party-affiliation/

    Education. Democrats lead by 22 points (57%-35%) in leaned party identification among adults with post-graduate degrees. The Democrats’ edge is narrower among those with college degrees or some post-graduate experience (49%-42%), and those with less education (47%-39%).  Across all educational categories, women are more likely than men to affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic. The Democrats’ advantage is 35 points (64%-29%) among women with post-graduate degrees, but only eight points (50%-42%) among post-grad men.

  33. Katydid Says:

    @SeaTea and April; the big hullaballoo in 2003 was the right-wing whine that "Hussein is killing HIS OWN PEOPLE" Of course, what they were referring to is when Hussein gassed the Kurds (a nomadic minority similar to the Gypsies in Europe)…in 1986/87. Using weapons given to him by St. Ronnie Raygun's administration. I learned about that in Der Spiegel and Le Monde–German and French newsmagazines–and was appalled by the graphic photos, but as I recall, nobody in Murikkkuh gave a shit and I don't think it even made the news here.

    Also recall that Cheney outed Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA agent, because her husband wouldn't go along with the lie that Iraq was dripping in WMD.

  34. Major Kong Says:

    We also stood by and watched when Saddam brutally put down Kurdish and Shiite rebellions in 1991 right after Desert Storm.

  35. democommie Says:

    @ JDM:

    I'm not sure what point you're trying to make; can you elaborate?

  36. Ormond Otvos Says:

    "Marry a tall doctor" IS eugenics, just haphazard.
    Don't fool yourself.

  37. April Says:

    Ormand – Sure, selecting one's mate is eugenics, but on a personal level. I don't think there are many people against that. It's way different when it's state-sponsored eugenics.

  38. April Says:

    apropo of previous comments on the benefits of a "benevolent" autocracy…
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/05/24/alphago_beat_top_ranked_go_player_ke_jie_in_china_so_china_censored_it.html

  39. mago Says:

    Eugenics and Nazi activities still received academic discussion in the 70's and usually came down to who decides with the unspoken assumption that some dysfunctional zygotes deserve destruction but not in the State's hands.

    A Jewish patron/employer remarked more than once that he felt an obligation to enrich a deteriorating gene pool by reproducing as much as he could, an idea initially found repugnant, but truth is I came to think, what the fuck, why not?

    However, this hedge-fund algorithm magnate Mercer who helped toss the election would undoubtedly say the same thing and he's produced some foul spawn.

    The most intelligent thing I can say is shit's all screwed up, mon.

  40. democommie Says:

    "Benevolent autocracy" is in the same league as "Jumbo Shrimp", "Military intelligence" and other such oxymorons.

  41. Major Kong Says:

    "Marry a tall doctor IS eugenics, just haphazard."

    Tall women like tall men and short women like………tall men.

    (Speaking as a 5'8" man)

  42. geoff Says:

    Not trying to be a dick, but it's certainly arguable that the Nazi party would never have arisen, or at least taken power, had the US not intervened in WWI. The USA's overseas wars have almost always been disastrous, at the very least for the people whose countries we invaded.

  43. quixote Says:

    Others have already made the point, but just to second:

    Eugenics, literally, i.e. meaning good birth or good by birth before nurture has done anything, there's not necessarily anything wrong with. It's about who decides. It's about who has control.

    All the horrifying examples are the state deciding.

    Individuals deciding, but not really freely, based on fashion could also end horrifically. Twitter deciding what constitutes a "good birth" might be even worse than the state. Gender selection, already practiced, already leading to nasty social consequences in India, is another example. (I know that's kind of a tangent, but it's related.)

    So, I, personally, am convinced that we'd be smart to leave eugenics entirely out of it, even under individual control. Sole exception: medical conditions that make a good quality of life impossible.

  44. Andrew Laurence Says:

    Anyone who would say out loud that they should reproduce a lot because their genes are so great and others are so bad is a person who should not reproduce at all.

  45. geoff Says:

    (Which is not meant to imply that our domestic wars against the native peoples and ourselves (1861-1865) were not also disastrous.)

  46. mago Says:

    Quite so Andrew, the arrogance astounds.

  47. joel hanes Says:

    Jo Walton wrote these amazing alt-history books with titles from old English currency: Farthing, Half A Crown, and Ha'Penney

    Lindbergh's fame never breaks; he is elected, and the US never emters WWII.
    Germany prevails.
    But the Germans never quite take Britain; these books are set in the years after the war has ended.

  48. define and redefine Says:

    As another point in the Iraq/WWII comparisons, there's also the difference in our intelligence-gathering capabilities prior to each conflict. As the Chilcot report makes very clear, there were lots of folks who knew that invading Iraq was a disastrous idea before we did it. I acknowledge my ignorance in the matter, but I kinda doubt that would be true for WWII.

  49. mm Says:

    Lindbergh's father was a US Congressman who opposed US entry into World War I (and also the Federal Reserve). He probably influenced his son just like Fred Trump did.

    Lindbergh did fly in the Pacific and showed the other pilots how to get more range by adjusting their settings and the way that they flew.

    Similarly, Jimmy Doolittle's raiders tuned their bomber's engines to get maximum range for their raid on Tokyo. Just before the bombers were loaded on the Hornet they were tuned up by the regular Army Air Force mechanics who saw that nothing was set correctly. Doolittle's mechanics had to redo the tuneup.

    There is a radio broadcast recording of Lindbergh's return to the US from France anchored by Graham McNamee which I heard years ago. He is very excited and you can feel the crowd's excitement. Also McNamee mentions that this is the first time that music was broadcast live coast to coast. It has to be online somewhere. (I bought it years ago from one of the old time radio dealers who used to sell reel to reel tapes of radio broadcasts).

  50. Tim H. Says:

    There were women willing to believe in his genetic superiority:
    http://www.dw.com/en/lindberghs-double-life/a-1620936-1

  51. carrstone Says:

    Remarkable.

    A progressive seeking to establish equivalency between a Nazi-then and a Nazi-now.

  52. SeaTea Says:

    I'm also reminded of the Dixie Chicks who merely said they were ashamed the president was from Texas. That was enough to completely destroy their lives and careers for a decade. When pro-war hysteria is sweeping the country, woe be to eh who would call for sanity and reflection.

  53. Brian M Says:

    Lindbergh's father was a US Congressman who opposed US entry into World War I (and also the Federal Reserve). He probably influenced his son just like Fred Trump did.

    There are legitimate, non-Nazi reasons for these positions (especially WWI). Some historians argue that American involvement in the war between competing imperial fascisms helped create many of the horrors of the 20th century, including WWII. Plus, Wilson was a pious, pompous, racist fraud who can be seen as one of the worst presidents in history, especially w/r/t racial issues.

  54. Brian M Says:

    carrstone: cryptic does not equal intelligent.

    Geoff: You and I had the same reaction.

  55. Major Kong Says:

    Of course everyone knows the Nazis were really liberals.

    Which is why Nazis today are all far right.

    Bang your head against the desk enough times and it will eventually make sense.

  56. democommie Says:

    @ Major Kong:

    And they were, according to a number of bugnutzKKKrazzee rightwingerz, ALL GAYtheists.

    In , some of SA were definitely gay–and when they'd outlived their usefulness, their deaths (murdered by other nazis) proved usefuller, still, in getting the General Staff of the Wehrmacht on Hitler's side.

  57. Brian M Says:

    I can see Milo as a very enthusiastic SA-style bully boy. As long as someone else is doing the actual physical labor of beating and window smashing and he is just in charge of…"directing" the activities.

  58. Tareena Says:

    "two years after the start of war, the American army has a few hundred thoroughly modern bombers and fighters–less in fact, than Germany is able to produce in a single month."

    This is a striking statement on Industrial capacity.

    Also there is nothing in Lindbergh's speech which is incorrect. You can attack it on grounds of rhetoric and emotion, but not logic or fact.

  59. democommie Says:

    Lindbergh was a racist.

    I note that he confined his WWII service to where he wouldn't have to see bombs droppin' on the Aryans.

  60. democommie Says:

    Whether the U.S. should or should not have entered the first World War is, of course, a moot point. If the U.S. had stayed out of WWII it would have been a matter of time before Hitler and his criminal regime set their sights on the U.S. with it's ample supplies of geld, silber and juden.

  61. Brian M Says:

    demo: Can't disagree that it is a "moot point". Only that the constant cries for us to save the world often seem to lead to worse horrors. Definitely the case with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya (thanks, Hillary!) Syria, and many of our Central American colonial/economic exploitation adventures.

    I acknowledge WWII as well, but the contrarians in the historian community largely blame WWI for enabling Hitler and hence WWII.

    And…you want to talk about "racism". Our pious fraud Princeton grad President Wilson is an amazing example, even beyond much of his time.

  62. democommie Says:

    @Brian M:

    "Only that the constant cries for us to save the world often seem to lead to worse horrors."

    Can't argue with that. Otoh, while our foreign policy has been horrible for at least a couple of hundred years, it's been a very dynamic relationship with other nations/empires. Unfortunately Foreign Service types tend to work like generals, negotiating the way they were trained to, instead of adapting in real time.

    Regarding the historians. Well, yeah, they are still arguing–about why Cain was the aggressor or why Abel was egging him on until Cain figured his only choice was a nuclear family first strike.

    Yeah, Woodrow Wilson was a motherfucker's motherfucker.

  63. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Lindbergh's view that the British were railroading us into war had a lot of support at the time. In particular, the Hearst press and the Chicago Tribune, led by that blithering jackass Robert McCormick, ranted nonstop about perfidious Albion. Even after Pearl Harbor, they kept insisting that we should devote all our resources to fighting the Japanese and leave poor misunderstood Hitler alone.

  64. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Anyone here read "The Plot Against America" by Philip Roth? It's an alternative-history novel in which Lindbergh becomes president and keeps America out of WWII because…well, I don't want to be a spoiler, but let's just say it's not out of sympathy for the Nazis.

  65. democommie Says:

    "I don't want to be a spoiler, but let's just say it's not out of sympathy for the Nazis."

    Tell me it doesn't have anything to do with a business tycoon who's just a buffoon who marches to Putiain's tune and already in June is winning too much too soon, the fucking loon.

    Too bad Sinclair Lewis is no longer with us (I suspect he, Andrew

  66. democommie Says:

    Sorry about the double post–fucking Chromebook

    "I don't want to be a spoiler, but let's just say it's not out of sympathy for the Nazis."

    Tell me it doesn't have anything to do with a business tycoon who's just a buffoon who marches to Putiain's tune and already in June is winning too much too soon, the fucking loon.

    Too bad Sinclair Lewis is no longer with us (I suspect he, Andrew Jackson, Frederick Douglas and Elvis are sitting in the 19th hole lounge at the Golden Gates CC, tossin' a few back and FOTCLTNAO*). If he was he could be working on the proofs for "Babbit on the Potomac".

    * Floating On The Clouds Laughing Their Non-existent Asses Off

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