Dennis Prager’s profound and disturbing meditation about “good Germans”
Sometimes, someone writes an article that is more than just an article. It is an urgent warning bell telling us something very profound about ourselves and the path that we’re on. Dennis Prager’s most recent article sees him come to terms with the fact that even Americans can become the functional equivalent of “good Germans;” that is, we are on the verge of becoming the type of people who, while not actively complicit in evil, just go along with it.
Many years ago, when Obama was consolidating his changes in America, an Irish friend of mine told me that it was inconceivable to him that Americans would give up their liberty. He felt that liberty was in Americans’ DNA and that nothing would cause them to abandon that core principle. My friend never imagined the Wuhan virus, an infectious disease with a 99% survival rate for people under 70.
In a matter of months, in most American states, millions of Americans meekly abandoned liberty. They allowed themselves to be imprisoned in their own homes, they gave up their businesses, they stopped educating their children, and they treated religious worship as something akin to a satanic death ritual.
Our politicians – not our legislatures – but just our politicians issued arguably unconstitutional edicts, our police enforced them, and we backed down. We also allowed all the Karens in the world – the officious, hectoring strangers -- to cow us into abandoning our liberties. We whisper about them, but we let them have their way.
Now, there’s a vaccination in play and we listen meekly as Herr Doktor Fauci keeps ruminating about making these vaccinations – the long-term effects of which are a mystery – mandatory for work or travel. In New York, the legislature is seriously contemplating a law that would empower it to imprison anyone with a communicable disease that the state, in its unquestioned wisdom, doesn’t want to have around. If you’re accused, even your right to a lawyer is constrained by the state.
Don’t think New York state won’t use that power for it has done so before. When Mary Mallon, an asymptomatic and unquestionably dangerous typhoid carrier, refused to starve to death rather than work as a cook, New York City didn’t give her a stipend to keep her off the street. Instead, it “quarantined” her, keeping her a prisoner until the day she died.
It’s in this environment that Dennis Prager has written “I Now Better Understand the ‘Good German.’” The “Good German” is not the fanatic Nazi or the anti-Semite happy to see the Nazis appear. The good German is the person who simply acquiesced to the Nazis’ ever-increasing cruelty and madness. (Remember that Hitler never won more than 38% of the popular vote. He consolidated power because good Germans, afraid of his violence and not wanting to make waves, and perhaps in agreement with his saner political goals, acquiesced.)
These past few years have taught me not to so quickly judge the quiet German, Russian, etc. Of course, I still judge Germans who helped the Nazis and Germans who in any way hurt Jews. But the Germans who did nothing? Not so fast.
What has changed my thinking has been watching what is happening in America (and Canada and Australia and elsewhere, for that matter).
The ease with which tens of millions of Americans have accepted irrational, unconstitutional and unprecedented police state-type restrictions on their freedoms, including even the freedom to make a living, has been, to understate the case, sobering.
Just as sobering as the willingness to abandon liberty is the American people’s willingness to abandon free speech. Rather than fight back against cancel culture, good Americans fall silent or, when BLM threatens, good Americans raise their fists too.
Prager understands that many Americans have simply been brainwashed. Our media, our educational system, and our corporations (filled with people pumped out by our education system) hate America and Americans. We’re marinated in that hatred. We’ve been primed for decades. The lockdown was the spark. And instead of an explosion of freedom from that spark, we had an implosion of fear and self-loathing.
Please read Prager’s article. After you read it, you’ll know how we got here but, if you still value freedom, you’ll also be asking yourself how we back out of this existential dead end.
IMAGE: The image is a screenshot from a video showing German citizens forced to visit Buchenwald Concentration Camp after the war.