When we think of fandom the image usually makes us think of the sports and the entertainment worlds, however there is another form of fandom that can be deadly. Political fandom when it encourages hate. The word “fan” itself comes from “fanatic.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes a fanatic as “A person exhibiting excessive enthusiasm and intense uncritical devotion toward some controversial matter (as in politics) Fanatics are convinced they are serving a righteous cause and that all means are justified …” Following the news that should sound familiar.
In the twentieth century we saw a striking example of a leader able to create fanaticism through his speeches Adolph Hitler. Those of us who saw newsreels in the forties had it implied that this was an insane little man who jumped around drawing the cheers of tens of thousands of Germans. Hitler was underrated as an orator as he was a master of turning a crowd of educated citizens into a mob. His voice would modulate from calm to excitability and he could wrap the emotions of his audience around his monstrous little finger. He used this ability to incite a nation to hate the Jews as well as others.
One could wonder if Hitler had at one time studied the works of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. That play has one of the most classic speeches ever delivered, the eulogy by Mark Anthony at Caesar’s funeral. Anthony was under pressure to make the assassins of Caesar look honorable while paying homage to the dead dictator. Speaking before a large crowd of Romans he played them to a fever pitch and by the end the people rioted against the assassins. The phrase “Let loose the dogs of war” was very apt here.
In our own nation various politicians have had groups of supporters, fans who would march and sometimes even riot on behalf of a candidate for office. In the latter part of the Twentieth Century the ability to rouse groups to fanaticism became a fine art thanks to television.
The first to successfully make ample use of both television and a liberal mainstream media was John F. Kennedy. This became apparent in the first debate with Richard Nixon. Democrats who only heard it on the radio thought their cause was lost. Nixon clearly did the better job. However, the bulk of the audience saw the debate on television and Kennedy’s youthful enthusiasm made him a rock star winner. What also helped was that Kennedy saw the value of star power, getting the liberal entertainment world behind you. The rat pack, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and his brother in law Peter Lawford were enthusiastic supporters. The liberal media loved this.
The next three presidents did not quite have the ability to arouse the rank and file of the American people to be what we would call fans. Then along came a conservative spell binder in Ronald Reagan whose years of training prepared him to reach out to the American people with common sense ideas that today’s president has mirrored to a certain extent. People rallied to Reagan with not just support but with love. Surprisingly even the rat pack was willing to set aside liberal views to support Reagan. Sinatra became a best friend and admirer just as he once was for Kennedy.
After Bush and Clinton another rock star came along that both the liberal media and Hollywood would love, Barack Obama. So would much of the Western world. This writer was in Paris in the Summer of 2008 when the primaries were taking place for both major political parties here. It was a surprise to see on the Champs-Elysee Avenue posters glamorizing Obama. Despite the recent discoveries being made about corruption under Obama the mainstream media seems to ignore the facts. Even the excuse that whatever crimes may have been committed, president Obama was on the outside and not aware of any wrong doing is bogus. President Obama was either directly involved or through silence gave consent.
That brings us to Hillary Clinton who has pledged to work for the election of Democrats in 2018. It would be a surprise if Democrats would want that with all the scandal erupting around her. During Hillary’s run for president she tried to make the most of support from the liberal mainstream media and Hollywood star power. She still has not accepted defeat and her defeat has seen another form of fanaticism arise, Hate Fanaticism. Hate against Republicans, against conservatives, against Christians against our nation as well as against President Donald J. Trump.
The protest marches in certain parts of the nation where naked woman have portrayed vaginas, riots where police have been attacked for doing their duty and the viciousness shown by progressive liberal leaders like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi would make one believe that we are approaching the time of the end. However, it is not a time to wring our hands and run around in circles. We must hold our leaders accountable for their actions and we can only do this by making our voices heard.
We do not want history to look back at us in one hundred years and ask, as so many do today about Germany, “how can a well educated nation be taken over by the madness of an Adolph Hitler?” We do not want it asked “how did the once great United States permit itself to fall to the fanaticism perpetrated by the left wing media and politicians?”