When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics. Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler's rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

Chip WoodAt first I couldn’t believe my eyes.

In fact, I had to look away and blink a couple of times before reading the email again. But it still said the same thing: “Benjamin Franklin said, ‘We have given you a democratic-republic … if you can keep it.”

On the 6th of June 1776, Boston’s Samuel Adams wrote to fellow Son of Liberty, James Warren, President of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts: “Tomorrow, a motion will be made, and a question I hope decided, the most important that was ever agitated in America.”

In a sharply critical assessment of President Obama's handling of the BP oil spill crisis, the influential British news weekly The Economist has dubbed the U.S. President "Vladimir Obama," concluding: "The collapse in BP's share price suggests that he has convinced the markets that he is an American version of Vladimir Putin, willing to harry firms into doing his bidding."

Ralph ReilandHow quickly the magic and arrogance has turned into mismanagement and excuses.

Cinching his party’s nomination on the night of June 3, 2008, a pumped up Barack Obama concluded his triumphal St. Paul, Minn., speech by declaring, “I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick.”

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