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.Email This Post To A Friend
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