Goebbels on Hitler as a Speaker

I ran across this while Googling for details to use in my “spoof” of McClennan’s statement, earlier today.

Here are the first three paragraphs:

There are two fundamentally different kinds of speakers: those who use reasoning, and those who speak from the heart. They reach two different sorts of people, those who understand through reason, and those who understand through the heart. Speakers who aim for the reason are generally found in parliaments, those who speak from the heart speak to the people.

The speaker who uses reason, if he is to be effective, must command a wide range of statistical and factual material. He must be a master of dialectic as the pianist is master of the keyboard. With ice cold logic, he develops his line of thinking and draws irrefutable conclusions. He is most effective with people who work primarily or exclusively with reason. Big and compelling successes are denied him. He does not understand how to fire up the masses for a great cause. He is limited to educational discourse. Since he is cold, he leaves his listeners cold. At best he persuades people, but never mobilizes them and sets them marching, regardless of their own ideas or the element of personal risk involved.

The speaker from the heart is different. He may have the skills of the master of reasoning. They are however only tools he uses as a true rhetorical virtuoso. He has abilities not found in the reasoning speaker. He combines clear diction with simple argumentation, and instinct tells him what to say and how to say it. Language is united with ideas. He knows the secret corners and aspects of the mass soul and knows how to reach and touch them. His speeches are masterpieces of declamation. He outlines people and conditions; he inscribes his theses on the tablet of the age; with deep and noble passion he explains the pillars of his world view. His voice reaches out from the depths of his blood into the depths of the souls of his listeners. He brings to expression the secrets of the human soul. He rouses the tired and lazy, fires up the indifferent and the doubting, turns cowards into men and weaklings into heroes.

Does this sound like the difference between right and left in this country?

What tactics do Michael Savage and the rest of the ‘wingers and wing nuts filling the AM airwaves use, but those straight out of Goebbel’s playbook? These folks don’t care about reason, logic… all they care about is provoking a reaction. Who are they most populat with? Folks who don’t work primarily with reason (to all appearances, judging by way too many of the emails I get at SavageStupidity.com and other sites). Who do progressives hold up as our models? Thinkers, reasoners, theorists…

I gotta wonder if Goebbels is right, if all our high faltin’ liberal thinking is just going to get us nowhere, if we oughta just rip up the playbook and get down and dirty, mix it up in the trenches, appeal to people’s primeaval passions and fundamental emotions.

Are any of us capable of that? It certainly makes my head hurt to try and think that way… I’m so intensively devoted to the academic model of proving your point by citing sources, facts, studies, statistics, etc. from credible and documented sources, etc. What would a speech formulated in that fashion look like? How would it differ from the typical politicians speech? Here’s a Kerry speech (and here’s a more recent one)… it doesn’t sound too bad to me… how would it change? How about an Edwards speech?

Thomas Leavitt