I am the gentleman pictured with the "Hope/Change/Obey" sign in this image taken at the Denver Tea Party - and want to take a moment to address the use of the swastika in the image. The Swastika was the symbol of a political party/movement in Germany, that of the Nationalist-Socialist movement... The use of the symbol merely identifies the political movement of the individual associated with "Hope" for Germany in the 1930s. Similarly, the Hammer and Sickle represented a political party/movement in Russia. Obama-ites use their symbol for political purposes - and history will judge the future use of that symbol.
To compare Obama (or Bush, for that matter) to Hitler or Lenin is not to directly relate to their historical outcome (i.e. mass genocide), rather to the threat of such similarities in policy. When our political leaders push for totalitarianism, history shows the consequences. I am not blaming Bush or Obama for genocide - rather warning that all cases of Social Collectivism and Totalitarianism have led to historically grim results. We need to stay aware of historical trends... which is precisely in line with the theme of the Tea Party - that large government, intrusive government, and government aimed at targeting political dissidents is dangerous.
I shared these same concerns with anyone questioning my sign - though those photographing from a distance were free and likely to draw their own preconceived notions about the intent of such propaganda at a rally.
Ultimately, as is reported by the Peoples Press Collective, the use of the Swastika is not appropriate, however common themes of Hammer and Sickle were widely used and not demonized - though more people were murdered under the symbol of the Soviet Union than the symbol of Nazi Germany.
So I pose this question - Are we intelligent enough to understand symbols? Are we intelligent enough to discuss trends, threats, and historical parallels?
I understand that perception is king when mob rules - however, to identify negativity with a swastika and not with the hammer/sickle is asinine. And to think that policies for continued power, including the creation of civilian security forces, are anything less than comparable to the same tactics used by political tragedies of the past is outright wrong.
I am not insisting that the outcomes are going to be equal - but the opportunity surely is!