Rob Reiner compares the Tea Party to the Nazis, and brings up the possibility of them having a charismatic leader. He says:
“My fear is that the tea party gets a charismatic leader… Because all they’re selling is fear and anger. And that’s all Hitler sold. ‘I’m angry and I’m frightened and you should hate that guy over there.’ And that’s what they’re doing.”
Our Nazi-comparison-based political discourse and the importance of charisma are two of my favorite topics. So, with that in mind, I have to say first of all that Reiner is very wrong to make this comparison. The Tea Party is many things, all of which I believe to be wrong, but I really don’t think they want to commit genocide. The Nazi comparisons are uncalled for and foolish, in my opinion.
Now, as to the possibility of the Tea Party getting a charismatic leader: they already have at least one, possibly two. For a long time, I’ve thought that Sarah Palin is charismatic. And, more recently, it seems like Glenn Beck has emerged as their leader; and if you can think of some reason for that other than charisma, you’ve got me beat.