Don’t Miss this Documentary

The other night I had the distinct pleasure of seeing the screening of a documentary before it hits the airwaves. Here were some of the descriptors used:

  • Hungry for greatness.

  • Politically inexperienced.

  • Prone to using comical facial expressions, such as pursing of the lips or thrusting out the chin.

  • Encourages physical intimidation.

  • Egotistical.

  • Calls himself a genius.

  • Repeats lies until they are believed.

  • Dumbs down his rhetoric.

  • Is anti-union.

  • Threatens violence.

  • Has corporate support.

  • Loves to throw rallies where he can be adored.

  • Get’s people’s support by exploiting broadcast media.

  • Is considered a God-like hero by many.

  • Claims to have very easy answers for complicated issues.

  • Polarizes his people.

  • Encourages intimidation by the police.

  • Takes advantage of the population’s feeling of fear.

  • Supporters appear almost hypnotized and unwilling to see facts.

  • Claims an ethnic group is the source of all problems.

  • Is very hostile toward intellectuals and the free press.

Who am I describing here? If you thought it was a current political leader, I wouldn’t blame you. It fits perfectly. But no. This documentary was entitled Rick Steves’ The Story of Fascism in Europe. The descriptions above were of Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco.

If that doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up, nothing will. There was also a discussion afterward. Some of the points Rick was trying to make were:

  • Fascism doesn’t suddenly appear. It’s incremental. It’s a slow chipping away of your rights, until one day you look up and you have none.

  • We should never take our freedom for granted.

  • Education is the key. Without critical thinking, we are lost.

  • Whenever someone criticizes an independent media and attempts to alter the rule of law, especially with regard to the constitution of a government, that person should be considered highly suspect.

To make things even more creepy, it turns out that the showing, which was at SIFF Cinema Egyptian here in Seattle, took place in the very venue in which Nazi rallies used to be held in Seattle. So I sat and watched a documentary about Fascism in a seat that had once been occupied by a Nazi.

Nazis also marched in our very streets. You can read more about Seattle’s love affair with Nazis here. I know it’s hard to believe, but if it could happen in this liberal enclave, it can happen anywhere.

Rick Steves’ The Story of Fascism in Europe is very eye opening. It will most likely be on your local PBS station in about a week. Here in Seattle, it premiers on KCTS9 on October 23rd at 7:00 pm. If you’re unable to catch it live, you can also see it on-line at Rick Steves’ website. I hope you’ll take the time. Knowledge is power.

Who is it

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