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The Big Lie--History Repeating Itself

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Mike Luckovich/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The avalanche of lies and misrepresentations flowing from the propaganda outlets of the Republican Party, while disturbing in content and quantity, is hardly a new phenomenon. Going back nearly seventy years, the Republicans were doing the same thing to the Democratic Party they are doing now: blaming the incumbents for the economic disaster precipitated by the last GOP administration. President Franklin Roosevelt described how they managed this spin during his time in office. Here are excerpts from an FDR  campaign speech (the "Fala" speech) in 1944:

The whole purpose of Republican oratory these days seems to be to switch labels. The object is to persuade the American people that the Democratic Party was responsible for the 1929 crash and the depression, and that the Republican Party was responsible for all social progress under the New Deal"...

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The opposition in this year has already imported into this campaign a very interesting thing, because it is foreign. They have imported the propaganda technique invented by the dictators abroad. Remember, a number of years ago, there was a book, Mein Kampf, written by Hitler himself. The technique was all set out in Hitler's book -- and it was copied by the aggressors of Italy and Japan. According to that technique, you should never use a small falsehood; always a big one, for its very fantastic nature would make it more credible -- if only you keep repeating it over and over and over again.

Well, let us take some simple illustrations that come to mind. For example, although I rubbed my eyes when I read it, we have been told that it was not a Republican depression, but a Democratic depression from which this Nation was saved in 1933 -- that this Administration this one today -- is responsible for all the suffering and misery that the history books and the American people have always thought had been brought about during the twelve ill-fated years when the Republican party was in power.

Change a few words, and 68 years, and it sounds all too familiar.

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Arlen is a writer/blogger living in Monterey, CA. His political blog is thebigpicturereport.com. He also writes a quotation quiz "What's Your QQ?" at quotationquotient.com.

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