FROM: Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda
TO: Steve Bannon, White House senior adviser
Dear Herr Bannon,
We speak the same language, you and I.
Yes, I speak or spoke German. And your first and maybe only language is English.
But where it really matters we’re the same. We believe in oppression and intolerance and hatred. We don’t believe in a free press or fair play for religious minorities or freedom of religion.
You seem to have studied my techniques and know that I once said this: “A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”
That formula is working for your president so maybe you have read my work. I know he hasn’t read my work because it’s clear from his speaking skills he has likely never read a book. Or much of anything.
Anyhow, I suppose you’re surprised to be hearing from me, Herr Bannon.
You probably think I committed suicide in the Fuhrer’s bunker in 1945. Well, that’s what those lying enemies of the people in the media then and now would have you believe.
I escaped and although I’ll turn 120 later this year I’m still quite spry and eager to help you establish a Fourth Reich in the country formerly known as the United States of America.
We share so much, you and I. The importance of lying big, or as your charming, dynamic leader puts it so eloquently – bigly! – is among the traits we both share.
I’m writing now to offer my services to aid you in your quest to establish a re-birth of fascism in your country and, indeed, around the world.
I’ve been avidly following exciting developments from your brilliant colleagues such as that Conway woman and Spicer and DeVos and all the others.
But watching that young Stephen Miller on the television in my hideout in a still undisclosed location really sent a shiver up my somewhat shriveled spine.
Herr Miller looks as if he could be my great-grandson. Looking at him now I see the face I used to see in the mirror in the 1920s when I shaved. Uncanny. And he seems to believe as I believed then and still believe now.
Power goes to those ruthless enough to grab it and hold on it to at all costs. There was no room for namby-pamby sentimentality in the Third Reich, let me tell you.
I see those same strong characteristics in your Fuhrer.
Anyhow, sir, I want to help. In any way I can. I was also known as Reich’s minister of enlightenment as well as propaganda.
I’m sure you’ve seen Leni Riefenstahl’s brilliant films “Triumph of the Will” and “Olympia.” Sadly, frau Riefenstahl is no longer with us but we have other filmmakers and propaganda masters who can help you frame your message to the world.
You sure as hell don’t need the New York Times. Or its snooty readers.
Here’s something else I said: “There was no point in converting the intellectuals. … Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellectuals.”
Remember, also, what I said about reaching what you now call your base.
“The rank and file,” I said long ago, “are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple.”
Your slogan Make America Great Again is an excellent example. Kudos on that.
So, Herr, Bannon, please consider me for a propaganda position in the Reichstag, er, I mean White House. Maybe I’m not the man I was in the 1930s but I can still help. I wrote the book on propaganda, as you likely know.
In closing, sir, let just say how much I admire your work and hope to live long enough to see your dreams become reality.
Remember another one of my favorite quotes: “We shall reach our goal, when we have the power to laugh as we destroy, as we smash whatever was sacred to us as tradition, as education, and as human affection.”
I see you and your boss also sneer at education and human affection. We’d get along swimmingly. All of us. I’d love to work with you and your colleagues.
Your admirer, Joseph Goebbels