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Wecken Sie Auf!

Prof. John Lukacs observed in his recently published book Democracy and Populism that a common theme of nationalists (as opposed to patriots) and their sort is the constant call to a people to Awake!  In other words, to fail to agree with their diagnosis and their policy prescriptions is to be virtually unconscious, asleep, unaware of the world around you.  No one who is paying attention can seriously believe differently from the one who is trying to wake you from your dreamworld.  Achtung

This came back to me as I was reading over Santorum’s “Blathering,” I mean, “Gathering Storm” speech, in which the call to “wake up” or a remark about someone or other “sleepwalking” in the midst of great danger was repeated several times.  There is one sense in which this sort of sleep/wakefulness rhetoric is commonplace enough, but in the context of Santorum’s “the Iranians–with their mighty Venezuelan friends!–are coming to conquer the world” argument it takes on a rather more obnoxious quality.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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