Rand Paul, Republican nominee for Senate in Kentucky and all-around tea party uber-star, has a penchant for predicting the demise of the United States government and its replacement. And often, he’s used the failure of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Adolf Hitler’s fascist regime as an example to illustrate his point. It’s not that Paul thinks any particular politician alive today is Hitler — or even Hitler-like — but Paul’s reasonably sure that unless something changes soon, America’s financial desperation will put some sort of new Hitler-like regime just around the bend.
Earlier today, Paul’s Hitler-is-coming meme grabbed headlines when it made an appearance in GQ‘s fat new profile of Paul and his campaign in Kentucky (you might remember the GQ piece for the pre-release excerpt which led to the truly amazing Aqua Buddha mini-scandal.)
I emailed the Paul campaign to ask about Paul’s theory that an American Hitler was on the way — I have yet to hear back. It was the same story the last time we highlighted Paul’s Hitler warnings, in May. Back then, we only had one.
That’s no longer the case. Trusty TPM intern Jon Terbush and I spent the afternoon combing through old Paul public appearances to find other references to Hitler and his potential re-emergence on the American political scene. We found quite a few.
They always have things in there you don’t know about. I’ll give you a good example. With the No Child Left Behind legislation, in that legislation there’s a small line that says all 14-year-olds upon entering high school, his information will be given to military recruiters. My son just started high school… and we just happened to see this paper and if we had not seen that paper his information would have been to Army recruiters automatically…they shouldn’t be taking all 14-year-olds, I wrote down that this reminded me of when Napoleon comes back from Elba he’s already killed all the 16-, 17-, 18-, 19-year-olds… he has to recruit 14-year-olds. Same with Hitler.
Watch (comments start at 0:37):
What happened in Germany when the Weimar Republic printed up so much money and carried it around in wheelbarrows? There was a collapse and they actually voted in a Hitler. You could get something like that in our country if we’re not careful and vigilant.
Watch (comments start at 5:32):
And I’m not out here to be a financial planner and to tell you to take all your money and dump it in gold, but I would have a percentage in there, because if everything goes to hell in a hand basket, if we have complete catastrophe, if we have what happened in Weimar Republic where people were walking around with wheelbarrows full of cash, where the workers demanded being paid twice a day, because by noon they wanted to be paid, because by 5 p.m. it would be worth less.
Watch (comments start at 8:14):
The real danger is not a bankruptcy of the Federal Reserve. The danger is I think runaway inflation where the one becomes worthless. I fear more at times like the Weimer Republic in 1923 where the Germans carried their money around in wheel barrows, the workers were paid twice a day because between noon and 5 o’clock the money lost half its value. That’s the kind of situation I fear and the unrest and the civil disorder that comes with destroying the money. Whether or not people will give up their gold, I think people will give up their gold about as likely as they will be to give up the guns anymore.”
Watch (comments start at 6:15):
April 2010 — National Public Radio
The pictures in our history books, most people have seen them: money in wheelbarrows, people burning their money for fuel. And out of that came chaos and came Hitler.
Listen (comments start at 1:57)
Some will remember in 1923 the pictures of wheelbarrows full of money and the money became so worthless that they would burn it for fuel. The workers demanded to be paid twice because at noon it was worth – something was worth half as much by 5 o’clock. That can happen in a civilized country. In Germany it led to Hitler. Hitler was basically elected in his first election. But he was elected because there was chaos. And you’ve got a strong leader who said, give me your liberty and I’ll give your security. Many of you remember the Franklin quote: He said, you give us your liberty for security and you’ll have neither. That is the danger.
Watch (comments start at about 4:00):
The TPM Poll Average shows Paul leading Democrat Jack Conway 47.2-41.5.