The secret to selling bad ideas is to make sure they are the only ones available. This is how totalitarian regimes take power. Whether it was Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany or Vladimir Lenin in Communist Russia, the pattern is largely the same – totalitarian dictators come to power by enshrining themselves as cults of personality and then creating political monopolies through often less than delicate campaigns of indoctrination and censorship – especially censorship enshrouded in the intimidating aura of state power. Ironically, these cloven-tongued leaders often rise to dominance by preaching power to those they will dominate, provision to those they will impoverish, and liberty to those they will force into state labor. Whether they claim to be left or right, revolutionary or reactionary, communist or fascist, the result is always the same – tyranny.
The great discomfort for many Americans as they watch the current presidential contest is that the scent of such totalitarianism hangs heavy in the air; the pattern so familiar in European dictatorships seems eerily present in Barak Obama’s presidential campaign. Senator Obama, obviously intelligent and gifted with enviable powers of communication, has for all of his eloquence, done very little in the real world other than campaign for office. His supporters can not tell you what he has done that qualifies him to run the most powerful nation the world has ever known, but they know he was born for the job – they were there at the convention; they heard the speech; they felt the magic; chills ran up their legs, and they cried their eyelashes off as Mr. Obama stood tall between the ivory columns of a Greek temple to accept his party’s nomination for President of the United States.
If there was any remaining question of his revolutionary greatness, scattered around the nation are tri-color campaign posters of Mr. Obama, bearing a striking resemblance to the larger than life representations of Lenin, Marx, and Engels used by soviet propagandists in the glory days of Mother Russia. These communist styled knock-offs featuring Mr. Obama staring nobly – if melodramatically – into the distance and emblazoned with one-word utopian mantras such as “Change,” “Progress,” or “Hope,” were designed by Shepard Fairey whose obsession with communist propaganda overflows in his “OBEY” brand website which brandishes a Cyrillic-styled banner that reads “Propaganda Engineering” and boasts the company motto “Manufacturing Quality Dissent Since 1989.”