Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933. The Nazis were defeated by the Allied powers in 1945. During that twelve-year period, Hitler slaughtered approximately eleven million people, mostly Jews, as part of his “Final Solution”.
Consider the numbers. How can one corrupt, narcissistic dictator affect the systematic annihilation of over eleven million people, with very little resistance on the part of those being murdered? According to Andy Andrews, by lying to them.
In his book, How Do You Kill 11 Million People?, Andrews offers a quote from Hitler to his inner circle of Nazi leaders. “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
The truth of Hitler’s statement applies not only to mid-twentieth-century Germany. It holds true for any government in any part of the world at any time in history. It is true for the United States of America in the early part of the twenty-first century. If a political leader tells a lie long enough, the people will begin to believe it. That is why, argues Andrews, we as a society must expect, and even demand, truthfulness from our elected leaders.
Have you ever heard a politician speak in favor of a complicated tax code that ordinary citizens would find difficult to understand? Then why do we have a complicated tax code that ordinary citizens find difficult to understand?
Meet the 545 men and women who enact every law, propose every budget, and set every policy enforced on the citizens of the United States of America: one president, nine Supreme Court Justices, one hundred senators, and 435 members of the House of Representatives.
By the way, have you ever noticed that if any one of us lies to them, it is a felony? But if any one of them lies to us, it is considered politics.
Andrews wonders out loud if 311 million Americans allowing 545 politicians to systematically strip away our Freedom is similar to eleven million people allowing the Nazis to systematically annihilate them in the German concentration camps. I believe there is a warning in there for us.
… did you know that during the past quarter century, no presidential election has been won by more than ten million ballots cast? Yet every federal election during the same time period had at least one hundred million people of voting age who did not bother to vote!
It is up to US – “we the people” – to elect those to public office who will not lie to us in order to further their own agendas.
It is up to US – “we the people” – to demand truthfulness from our elected officials, and show them the door if they do not comply.
- Hitler 1928, by Presse Illustrationen Hoffmann (Wikipedia), Public Domain.
- Andrews, Andy. How Do You Kill 11 Million People?. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2011.
- Rosenberg, Jennifer. About.com, “Holocaust Facts – 33 Facts You Should Know About the Holocaust.” Last modified August 17, 2012. Accessed August 17, 2012. http://history1900s.about.com/od/holocaust/a/holocaustfacts.htm.