No downtime for Hitler, or, Frankly speaking, can’t we leave adolph out of this?

I have a serious request, and I really do believe that I’m speaking for lots of people. Can we all just quit using Hitler comparisons, Hitler’s name and Hitlerian analogies when we are talking about people we don’t like, unless, of course, those people are responsible for the deaths of 7,000,000 people and want to eradicate all but the bluest of eyes?

I’ll give concentration camp survivors and Elvis Costello a free pass on this issue, but bloggers and pundits of all stripes, please can we give it a rest.

What prompted this request was Terry Frank’s piece about Bob Corker’s supposed change of heart on the abortion issue. She follows up her claim that Corker is lying about his ‘pro-abortion’ past with the following paragraph:

Yeah, well, Hitler talked to an assembly in Belgium and told them he was only there in peace. They believed him too, until he rolled the tanks off the ship.

Good grief. Yeah, I know that Ms. Frank is not saying that Corker is Hitleresque..not directly at least, but the Hitler comparison is more than a little over-heated.

Not that I’m a big Corker guy (I’ll probably vote for Ford), but I believe that Corker’s ‘pro-abortion’ past is the fact that at one point in his life he didn’t think abortion was a state issue. His thinking has changed on this issue. I suspect that he is not the only person in the universe who has changed his philosophy on a crucial issue. Many of these revisionist types didn’t order the execution of Jews or the invasion of Poland.

I am using Ms. Frank’s post as an example of what is wrong with the Hitler comparisons, and believe me, I know that these comparisons are made by scribes and bloggers of all political stripes. I’m sick of it, and I think that many many others are as well.

If you are going to say someone is a liar, try to come up with a less inflammatory example…for instance: “Mission accomplished”, “the insurgency is in its death throes”, “I did not have sex with that woman”, “I never used steroids”, “peace is at hand”, “we never exchanged weapons for hostages”, “our interception of phone calls only included overseas calls”, and “i’ll still respect you in the morning”.

I will respect you in the morning if you quit using the Hitler analogies tonight.



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6 responses to “No downtime for Hitler, or, Frankly speaking, can’t we leave adolph out of this?

  1. John-

    I’m sick of Hitler comparisons too. And honestly, my intention wasn’t to compare Corker to Hitler. Corker can’t come close to Hitler’s power of persuasion anyway.

    I was trying to think of example of someone who said one thing and does another–in a convincing way.

    Hitler was the first example that came to mind because he’s such a universally known liar.

    Hopefully you understand the usage.

  2. John,
    GREAT post. As a Jew who lost a lot of family because of Hitler, it’s more than a little irritating to constantly hear people use “Hitler” so freely and carelessly.

  3. Agreed, John.
    I do not do it, and tend to tune out anyone who does.

  4. Vic

    Amen John.

    By the way, “the check’s in the mail”!

  5. I think we should always be mindful of Hitler and what he did. Not just what he did once he was in power, but what he did to get that power. It is wrong to define Hitler only in terms of what he did during WWII. It is how he came to power that is the most dangerous aspect of this evil.

    I think we should compare our leaders to a whole slew of historical figures so that we can get some perspective on what’s happening in our world today.

    We remind ourselves of Hilter in hopes of keeping him and is ilk in the past.

  6. Terry must not have heard of Godwin’s Law and the accompanying truism that an argument is finished when Hitler/Nazis are invoked.

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