(Joseph Goebbels giving his preamble to Adolph Hitler’s speech at the Berlin Sportpalast, 10 Feb 1933)
I don’t often sit and watch presidential speeches live, but I did when President Biden announced his new vaccine mandates to the nation. I had a feeling this speech might be different.
Up until that day, the president had always stood against vaccine mandates, and just last year he even went so far as to publicly say that he would personally get a COVID vaccine “only if it was completely transparent…only if we knew all of what went into it“.
These are judgments an individual makes. You don’t conclude something is completely transparent because a politician or a bureaucrat tells you it is. You draw that conclusion yourself after watching the process of information being released, and observing that it is being done with complete transparency (which requires a process devoid of censorship and political coverup).
Perhaps I am the only one, but “completely transparent” is not how I would characterize the current COVID vaccine program. And yet here was the president, on live television, listing off his vaccine mandates. To be sure, the speech left me troubled in spirit.
Gone was the familiar “God Bless America” that ends every presidential address to the nation.
In its place was not a prayer, or a request, but a command: “Get Vaccinated.”
While this is concerning in its own right, even more chilling was the moment when the president paused to threaten 80 million Americans:
“…my patience is now at an end.”
– Adolph Hitler, at the Berlin Sportpalast, Sept 26, 1938
For historical context, two days after Hitler gave this speech all Jewish nurses were terminated from employment at hospitals throughout Germany.
“It happened. Therefore it can happen again. And it can happen everywhere.”
– Primo Levi, Holocaust Survivor (Holocaust Museum Guidebook)