If everybody is Hitler, then nobody is Hitler

I’m pretty careful with my Hitler analogies. I tend to reserve them for people who, through their acts, have proven that they are willing to do precisely what he did (Pol Pot, for example), or for people who, through their rhetoric, indicate a willingness to act precisely as he did (I’m thinking of Ahmadinejad).  Nowadays, though, the Hitler title is thrown around with impunity.

Just in the last hour, I found a Bush=Hitler story and a story about an independent advertiser who used Hitler in an ad trying to get black voters to switch their allegiance away from the Democrats.  (Although I haven’t seen the ad, it apparently was making some tangled reference to Democrats, African-Americans, Hitler and Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics.)

Hitler pops up constantly nowadays, not in connection with WWII, but in connection with name calling between parties.  Eventually, calling someone Hitler is going to be as meaningless as saying he has cooties.  This is terrible, for two reasons:  First, because it dilutes beyond historical acceptibility the real horror that was Hitler.  And second, because it makes rational political debate impossible when each side routinely affixes to its opponent the worst (although debased) appellation it can think of.

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  1. erp says

    Since Hitler and Nazis have been defunct now for 60+ years, most people have no idea what those words really mean. They only know what they’ve been taught, i.e., these words represent the very worst thing that can be thought — the most vile thing the mind of man can conjure up.

    Thusly, are the media/moonbats allowed to dismiss the atrocities committed by their colleagues/clients, fundamental Islam and poverty pimps, by merely damning those who would condemn these threats to civilization, as a Hitler or a Nazi.

  2. says

    But the sentiments and social elements that Hitler used to rise to power are always there. As we can see with militant Islam, they just need to be fanned into flame by skilled demagogues.

  3. says

    The Hitler/Owens analogy is improper in its own. After the first day of the 1936 Olympics, Hitler personally congratulated the Gold medal winners. However, that evening, he was approached by the Olympmic committee and informed that it was not his place to do so, so he stopped, and offered no other personal congratulations. He did not snub Jesse Owens. Owens’ personal account of his experience with Hitler was as he was passing by in a parade, where Owens said something to the effect of “he waved at me, and I waved back at him.”

    That’s the random trivia for today.

  4. says

    Much of the use to which I find Hitler has to do with his grab bag of political tricks and methods for acquiring power. The grab bag of tricks is not just selective to Hitler, and it does not necessarily mean that anyone who uses it will do the same things that Hitler did and acquire the same amount of power. For one thing, Hitler’s personal charisma and magnetism was his own, does this mean anyone with his level of personal charisma is a Hitler? Not quite, while the potential is there, if I say that someone has the personal charisma of Hitler, I mean it in very specific ways. I do not confuse epistemology and metaphysics with ethical judgements. Precise and accurate understanding of philosophy has allowed me to avoid this kind of muddy thinking.

    However, when the Left says you have something of Hitler, it is not a compliment nor is it a warning that you should treat your power responsibly so as to avoid being a Hitler. No, what the Left means when they say you are similar to or have something of Hitler’s, they mean you will become Hitler, so stop doing what you are doing and give up what you have.

    Anyone related to the Original Sin called Hitler is a sinner, and the Left certainly hates the sinner along with the sin.

    WHen a person, like me, is able to learn from Hitler and study him with historical objectivity for use in current events subjectivity, that is true understanding. The Left, however, has demonstrated beyond reproach that they are simply incapable of seeing the good or even the potential for good with anything even related to Hitler. This is a mental and moral and ethical and intellectual inflexibility. As with the body, the mind is prone to injury and false starts if it is inflexible and has not been stretched lately. The chances for injury are much higher then.

    It is quite similar to Christianity’s fear of the Occult and Satan Worshiping and etc. Catholics once said Dungeons and Dragons was an “occult game” that would turn one against the Lord, because it is “witchery”. GIve me a break. The analogy with Hitler is apt, because Nazism had a lot to do with the occult. So when the Left says that you are like Hitler, it is the same as when Catholics say you are an occult witch. It means you are a sinner, and if you don’t do things their way, you are going to be punished.

    Not very…. enlightened, shall we say. Very parochial, not cosmopolite.


  1. I think it is important for people to use a context when making such analogies. It is clear that many on the left have no idea and no regard for history when drawing parallels between President Bush and Hitler.

    I haven’t seen the ad by the independent advertiser but I assume this is along the same careless lines.

    In fact I challenge those people to provide an example; “Bush invaded Iraq” does not apply because the intent is to spread freedom as opposed to committing genocide.

    I recently drew an analogy between Hitler’s and Saddam Hussein’s intentions by pointing out that Hussein had “relocated” ethnic Kurds to their eventual demise in Iraqi mass graves. This is similar to how Hitler and the Reich deported Jews to East for annihilation; albeit on a much smaller scale.

    But you are correct; from Dick Durbin’s Gulag analogy to the recent e-mail I received calling me part of the Reich-wing, the left is inventing a false analogy because they need something, anything, to distract from the holes in their argument. I call it the manufacture of false outrage.

    This phenomenon also plays into the hands of the racists and the Holocaust deniers. They couldn’t be happier to see the left (for the most part) diminish what they don’t want people to understand as truth. This is a plan for some, ignorance for others

    In both cases it serves to obscure history and remove an important lesson that should be indelibly etched to memory for those who are too young and those who have forgotten that evil is real.

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