On the Sunday morning talk shows, especially NBC's Meet the Press, there was a great deal of talk about the ongoing protests at health care town hall events. One of the issues repeatedly raised was the display of signs with images of President Obama as Hitler or comparing him to Hitler. To my surprise, the representatives of the political right who were generally sympathetic to the protesters largely failed to speak out and set the record straight on this issue.
One would hope that Dick Armey of FreedomWorks would know that grassroots protesters from groups his organization is allied with are not being sent out with these posters and that in many cases they are being advised not to pursue that particular line of rhetoric, but he failed to speak out to set the record straight and advocates of the health care plan keep using it to demonize protesters and attempt to discredit them as extremists.
The truth is quite a bit different. Grassroots conservatives may make up the bulk of the protest movement against Obamacare, but they are not alone. Some leftists who feel that proposed reforms are too moderate are also protesting. Many of them are followers of former Democratic presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche whose philosophy is a kind of neo-Marxism and includes a conspiratorial belief that President Obama is a eugenicist and support for fully socialized health care.
Although MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and other pundits repeatedly try to pin these Hitler posters on the grassroots protesters from the right, the truth is that they originate with and are being displayed by activists in the LaRouche movement and you can find the source image (PDF) they are using on the LaRouche website. In fact, if you look closely at the posters, they clearly display the LaRouche logo and web address at the bottom.
The objectives and concerns of the far-left LaRouche protesters and the larger body of conservative protesters are very different, and that difference ought to be obvious to politicians and media talkers. Their attempts to discredit the more mainstream protesters by associating them with the LaRouche crazies are transparently deceptive and only serve to alienate more citizens and further anger protesters who feel that the government and its media lap-dogs have declared war on the people.