Fascists, Fascists everywhere...
March 6, 2004

RANT #234: Society & Politics
Wyrmridden
 
Summary: Why is everyone <author's name here> hates the next Hitler?
 
Full Text:

 
First, believe it or not, this is not specifically targeting the last ranter.  That was just the last straw.

I've begun to wonder, recently, why any political figure is, if you listen to enough people long enough, consistently referred to as "The next Hitler" or "der Fuhrer" or other needless slurs of that sort by someone.  Aside from the fact that it's gross hyperbole and amazingly cliche by this point, people actually use tactics like this consistently as parts of the "proofs" they offer for their political views.

Lets look at this.  There are few people nowadays (outside Fascist who I will disregard for the rest of this rant) who would object to the statement that Hitler was one of the most evil, insane people on record.  Is it really possible that there are that many people running around out there waiting to be an heir to his megalomania?  Maybe they should just form a union and conquer the world together?  Heck, they can carry out his "solutions" to their ultimate ends, kill everyone that isn't the new, supersized Hitler.  Women aren't shielded from comparisions like this...  the human race could even keep propagating after all "non-Hitlers" were eradicated.

Ok, why do I care that we're so eager to identify everyone we disagree with with the deceased genocide?  We've become obsessed with him.  It goes way beyond remembering mistakes so that we don't repeat them...  The only other dead guy who gets as much press as Hitler is Elvis.

More troubling is the way these comparisons are used.  We're expected to believe that because someone draws a parallel (which may or may not have varying degrees of validity) between Politician X and Hitler, they must be spurned or we will inevitable travel the same road as did the Weimar Republic and kill whatever groups the speaker is defending (or more often currying favor with).  This can be done for anything from at least feasible topics like the governments position on homosexuals to economic policy to the ways federal highway money is used.  It's a cheap tactic used to scare people into agreeing with you, it glosses over any/all opposition, and to those who are seriously listening it degrades whatever actual points the speaker may have AND IT'S EXACTLY THE TACTIC HITLER WAS FAMOUS FOR!

Hitler was able to gain office because Germans at the time were angry, betrayed, scared and above all searching for someone to tell them why.  He told them that it was the fault of the Communists, so the killed Communists.  He blamed the Jews, the Gypsies, gays, foreigners, Catholics, and eventually anyone who pissed hm of and they listened because they were scatred to death that if they didn't things would keep getting worse.  By the time it was obvious how insane he was it was too late.

Now I'm NOT trying to draw a Hitler parallel here, but if we keep doing things this way, to the point where we don't even see how ridiculous it is we'll face something a lot more lasting than one murderous dictator.  Nazi Germany committed atrocities but it was eventually stopped.  THis is becoming normal in political discussions; it's almost espected when liberals talk about Bush by this point.  A whole political system and a populace that views politics through this sort of polarization just can't be allowed to grow.  As long as we can just discount "the other guy" as some sort of Hitler wanna-be there is no reason to listen to what he's saying.  The average person pays little enough attention to political issues as it is.  Informed persons should know better than to sway the less informed with cheap rhetoric that they'd laugh at if any respectable public person or organization was stupid/tactless enough to use. If you think the other guy is wrong, just give me your reasons.  Make'm sound nice and pretty if you want to.  I admire good writing and speaking-not that any of you reading this care about my tastes.  Don't frighten me with doomsday predictions.  He's dead, thankfully; we've seen the harm that people like that can do so let's no let it become the norm.
 


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