As I listened to the President’s State of the Union speech in the car last night, I found myself getting repeatedly stuck on words and phrases, followed closely by, “Did he really just say that?”

My favorite example: “Hitlerism” (emphasis mine).

    “Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, built armies and arsenals, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world. In each case, their ambitions of cruelty and murder had no limit. In each case, the ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism, and communism were defeated by the will of free peoples, by the strength of great alliances, and by the might of the United States of America.”

Ordinarily, I’d chalk this up to Bush’s typical manhandling of the English language, but this was the State of the Union, and it was clear that he was reading it word-for-word. But I had never heard of “Hitlerism” before. Rather than use a word like “fascism” that presumably many Americans wouldn’t understand, Bush (Bush’s speechwriters, at least) used a word that more people would comprehend.

Also, am I the only one who thinks the first sentence pretty much sums up the Bush administration?

To my surprise, Hitlerism is a word. Well, so is warmonger.

  1. Adolph Hitler was a god of the Greater Germanic GOD of all german and like peoples. While else would there have been/ be the National Reich Church. Seil Heil.

  2. I laughed about “Hitlerism” too, figured that must be a “Bushism” but just learned that hitlerism was a word coined by Joseph Goebbels(minister of propaganda)and used regularly by him in speaches, now who would know this unless they studied the Third Reich
    Saddam Hussain is a big Stalin nut
    what does Carl Rove read?

  3. 1. “Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all
    it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy,
    and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along,
    whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a
    parliament, or a communist dictatorship …Voice or no voice,
    the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
    That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being
    attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism
    and exposing the country to danger.”
    –Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials
    after World War II

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