The American Quislings?
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, “Quisling”, no, this is not an article on some rare flora or fauna (or whatever else you may think a Quisling is). Read on, and take the term to heart – we are sure to see plenty more pseudo-Quislings as election time draws nearer…
A “Quisling” came about in the Second World War, and draws its name from a Norwegian politician, named Vidkun Quisling. Even before the Germans considered invading Norway, Quisling traveled to Berlin and sought to convince Hitler how valuable a country like Norway would be under the German swastika. Vidkun lost his name to the term, invented by the British press, after it learned of Mr. Quisling’s actions when Norway faced an imminent German Nazi invasion. Perhaps the closest American parallel that I can offer, would be a cross among: a band-wagon rider, crossed with Benedict Arnold, crossed with Nero. You might be thinking, surely no one’s that disgusting a character – but Mr. Quisling fit the bill. Facing a German invasion, Quisling, who had already been a member of a fascist party in Norway, and received support from Germany, simultaneously declared himself leader of the country, and ordered Norwegians to throw down their weapons and not attack the now “friendly” occupiers, the Nazis.
For a position of power in the new occupied government, Quisling sold his soul, and attempted to sell his country’s as well. His collaboration with evil, his disregard for the safety and well-being of others, especially his own countrymen, has made him infamous in Europe – he is the European equivalent of our own aforementioned, Benedict Arnold. So, how have I arrived at a column about a new American version of the infamous Quisling? I have simply taken a look at the past three plus years of American government and “leadership” – that is how. And while the crisis of leadership we now have in America is of the voters‘ (and non-voters’) creation, whereas Quisling’s own actions lead him to a short stint in charge, I see more than a few parallels in the behaviors and attitudes of our leaders and the Norwegian.
- A sense of entitlement: “We belong here.” Democrats read far too much into their capturing of Congress in the first two years of Obama’s term, and they gave Americans, Obamacare (but yet no budgets). What they saw as some sort of mandate, we now see was voter weariness at republican swagger and spending. Voters may have thought, “well, the republicans are spending like democrats – wonder if the democrats are really any worse?” And of course, we see that they are much, much worse. The Senate continues to languish, with no budgets in three plus years, and the stonewalled House, seeking documents from a law-breaking attorney-general, who seeks to cover his own tracks on an illegal and botched operation in the southwest, passes legislation that is constantly tabled in said Senate.
And do not forget Obama’s infamous quips: “We won.” and “You would think they’d be saying ‘thank you!’“
- Belief that their way is the best or only way: Of course, the American people needed Obamacare, right? Through various tricks and legislative maneuvers (including near-bribes for supportive votes in Congress), the democrats went against the prevailing public opinion that Americans did not want the healthcare over haul. All that work to shove the faulty, expensive, and ultimately destructive measure down the gullets of Americans, and now the bill itself looks sick, and could be buried in the next session of Congress, under Congressional authority to regulate taxes…
- Using their position for themselves, rather than for their countrymen: Numerous very expensive vacations, bringing large entourages of yes-men and security ring a bell? So many holes of golf in only three years of a presidency. While we are in the most serious economic miasma since the Great Depression of the 1930s and 1940s, and the president finds all this time to play golf and sight see? How about bridges to nowhere and Big Digs? Earmarks and pork barrel projects for everybody – what better way to ensure your re-election, than to give the voters a few crumbs every couple of years?
How about various congressmen and women, allegedly using their inside knowledge of upcoming votes on legislation to enrich themselves from stock trades, or using their power to gain entry into “closed” (nearly impossible to join) IPOs? There are numerous other examples of the American people struggling to make their ways and pay their bills while fat cats in D.C. fill their pockets – and yet much of the vitriol those same folks in the government spew is against the so-called rich…
There is no imminent invasion, there is no impending army on the American doorstep – but make no mistake, we are on the edge of a precipice. Changes are necessary, or the dire possibilities will become events that cannot be avoided. Whether it is a fundamental change in America – a moral and cultural shift toward the selfish – or “just” economic ruin, the current state of politics and leadership in America is an unhealthy, untenable one. Are the politicians willfully selling the country out? Maybe, I think that there are far more that are merely ignorant of the results of their actions, and (thankfully) do not fit the tightest definition of a Quisling.
There are many examples of power-hungry politicians, and those who would do anything to get their required face-time on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox, but to me, it seems like there are so many more these days. I cannot remember anything resembling this media circus when I was growing up – perhaps it’s just the increase in outlets that has allowed so many more politicians to interview? Perhaps it is the symbiotic relationship between the networks and politicians, knowing that one line or one claim, could instantly create a personality that might be repeatedly asked to return?
Regardless, this notion that everyone is in it for themselves, is wearing very thin. The idea that, “this is America, and you can become anything”, used to come with the understanding that you did not walk on people or act like a cut throat to do it. Whatever happened to that notion?
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