While perusing Yahoo News the other day, I stumbled across an article: Iowa Billboard linking Obama, Hitler removed. The Iowa Tea Party group had put up a sign that likened Obama, Adolf Hitler and Vladmir Lenin as “radical leaders [that] prey on the fearful and naïve”. After reading the article, I was surprised, shocked even. The billboard was a perfect example of propaganda. And I will admit that I was surprised to see something like it, here in the United States, in 2010. As I’m sure most Americans will agree, the billboard was ridiculous. Comparing Obama to Hitler and Lenin? How is Hitler, founder of the Nazi party and the man responsible for the Holocaust and its 17 million deaths comparable to our president, Barack Obama? I was horrified by this notion. Mr. Obama IS our president and we may disagree with or dislike him, but advertising that Obama will be the next Hitler or Lenin is ridiculous. In my opinion, and I hope most will agree, saying Obama is comparable to Hitler, is an outrageous lie. I’m sure the Iowa tea party group knew this, but they did not create their advertisement to publish the truth. They put up their sign to inspire hate.
This Iowa billboard exemplifies extreme propaganda, and that is what makes it different from other political advertisements. This sign did not show true statistics or facts, nor was it put up simply to dissuade people from supporting Obama. It publicized a false analogy between our president and the evil Hitler, and its intent was to shock Americans and encourage them to fear President Obama. What’s ironic is that the headline of the billboard (“Radical leaders prey on the fearful and the naïve”) is more applicable to the Iowa Tea Party group, than it is to Obama. They put up an obviously radical, shocking advertisement with the intent of frightening Americans into hating Obama. The billboard paints Obama as the enemy, and puts him in the same boat as Hitler, a man generally feared for all his evil work. The idea of someone similar to Hitler running our country conjures up terror and the Tea Party wanted to convince people that this is the case; we should all hate Obama, he’s going to be the next Hitler.
In any case, I was shocked that this propaganda had been released, as I found it so utterly ridiculous. But, did all Americans feel this way? Would this extreme and untrue billboard actually convince anyone? Can we all see through its falseness? I certainly hope so and I have faith that we Americans can see its absurdity.