Editorial: Thank you for explaining to me how the German people could all follow the Nazis

Screen shot of yesterday’s post. The gaslighting by elected officials works!

Eric Yollick, Editor-in-Chief, The Golden Hammer

In the tenth grade in high school, I took a required 2-week course on “The Holocaust.” We studied how the Nazis rose to power in Germany under Adolf Hitler’s leadership, how they won elections, and how they ultimately transformed the nation into a fascist dictatorship where they imposed a genocide upon Jews and Poles as well as many other ethnic “minorities.”

The question we discussed in class most frequently was “How did the German people let the Nazis get away with what they did? Why did they go along?” Our assumption, which I continue to this day to believe, was that the German people were basically good people, but they stood by and cooperated with the horrors of what happened.

I’ve never understood that phenomenon. How could large groups of people allow small groups of “leaders” commit atrocities?

Now, I’ve come to an understanding, more than 40 years later, thanks to what I’ve observed in my own community during the past two years.

On March 27, 2020, out of fear and panic, our County Judge in Montgomery County, former State Representative Mark Keough, ordered churches to shut down, businesses to shut down, a countywide curfew, and even gun ranges to close, because he feared a pandemic, based upon terribly erroneous reports which had no statistical or epidemiological basis whatsoever. Unemployment in Montgomery County skyrocketed to 25%, families couldn’t meet their financial obligations, churches had to shut down right before Easter, and suicides spiked. The mandated shutdowns created far more havoc than the pandemic.

The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, followed suit four days later, but Keough’s order had already decimated families, businesses, churches, and the economy.

Now, we’re in the political season less than two years later. A lot of the words we observe throughout the community, especially on social media, have political motivation. Nevertheless, they are words upon which many people rely for information.

This morning, The Golden Hammer published an article about how Keough and two County Commissioners are lying to the public that they kept Montgomery County “open during the pandemic” when the opposite is the truth. This newspaper even published the written order shutting businesses, churches, gun ranges, and other establishments down.

And then it happened! A person came out and openly said, “If I remember correctly, the Judge didn’t shut anything down, he fought the Governor to stop the shutdowns.”

In other words, all of the gaslighting by Keough and his allies during the political season works! People are willing to parrot Keough’s false words, regardless of whether they believe them or not.

In this instance, it turns out that the person who uttered those words has admitted that she does not believe Keough’s words. Nevertheless, she is willing to utter them, because she disagrees with the critical political tone of this newspaper.

That’s where I had the “aha!” moment. People are willing to join in what they know are falsehoods, merely because they seek membership in the team or tribe. That’s clearly what happened in pre-World War Two Nazi Germany.

Tribalism trumps truth! Aha!

Is it mass psychosis or is it a reflection upon normal human behavior? Whatever it is, gaslighting works well for politicians.



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