Can anyone imagine it in modern-day, cynical, politically-correct Europe? An angry little racist shouts lots of things at large crowds and within the space of a year or so he literally has millions of people behind him and has conquered most of Western Europe?
I honestly can’t. The nearest thing we have is the British National Party, and when they start shouting that we should deport black people because they’re obviously illegal african immigrants despite the fact their families have been in Britain for generations, and things of that nature; we immediately turn them into a joke! We instantaneously come to the conclusion that these people are crazy racist bastards and use the tried-and-tested British weapon: humour, to render them utterly unelectable. I imagine the same happens in mainland Europe (with the possible exception of Germany who had to surrender their sense of humour in 1945).
America is a much more rhetoric-driven country. If someone sounds good, their inspire others far more easily than in Europe. Take Glenn Beck for example; I think Glenn is quite a clever bloke. Not, and I must make this very clear, because of what he says; but because I don’t genuinely believe that even he believes half the things he says. He just uses his oratory skills to get millions of people to watch or talk about him.
Barack Obama only had to come up with a few choice slogans, all of which had been used by previous politicians, and you couldn’t move for picket signs and bumper stickers from people pledging their support for him. But even in America there are so many people with enough time on their hands to rally people against things; I don’t think a Hitler figure could ever come to power.
David Cameron (current UK prime minister) came up with his “revolutionary scheme” called Big Government. This is a program about the government helping various social organizations. He must have spends millions on the campaign, but Brits and other Europeans are so innately sceptical and distrustful of anything new, even if it’s helpful, that it amounted to approximately bugger all.
So my question again: if someone like Hitler, who in the beginning was only armed with a snappy haircut and a bag full of promises, started shouting furiously and telling people we should kill people; how many people do you think would go along with it?