Obama isn’t Hitler- Get over It

19 Nov

I’m not saying that Uncle Sam is at the corner offering cleveland steamers to China for 20 billion dollars or anything. A coworker and I got into a heated argument after I read a Richard Cohen article where he essentially states that Sarah Palin is the new Joe McCarthy.  After a brief discussion about the history of American demagoguery, we quickly started to argue about how in town hall meetings people keep invoking Nazism and Hitler.

Barney Frank’s condescension towards a clearly misinformed and possibly mental ill women aside, this display is not unique. There is a culture of people in America who compare pretty much everything to Hitler and Nazism. It’s not just crazy reactionaries against President Obama’s health care policy.

If you made it through that 8 minute clip from noted liberal news anchor Keith Olbermann you will have seen President Bush compared to Nazi’s and Stalinist. The only difference between Olbermann and the crazy lady from Massachusetts is that Olbermann is well glib and well spoken. But both you misuse one of the most provocative and misunderstood words in American speech, Nazism, for cheap effect.

Nothing that President Bush did, nor what President Obama is proposing, could even reasonably considered to relatable to the atrocities that the Nazi regime perpetrated against the Germany people, the Jewish people and  humanity in general. Every time the Olbermanns, and crazy ladies of the world call something Nazism, or a policy Hitlarian, it diminishes the force and effect of that word and more importantly clouds the historical realities, which are so important in ensuring that such philosophies don’t gain traction in this country.

Fun with History, Rant #1 – Nazi’s

Honestly, as a history major who wrote his senior thesis on the socio-nationalistic appeal of National Socialism in Germany the ironies of the current usage of Nazism are border line hysterical (in a very very nerdy way). Follow the logic train. Nazi’s were violently anti-Communist -> Modern American Anti-Socialism is rooted in Cold War anti-Communism -> Protestors call Obama both a socialist and a Nazi at the same time -> but Nazi’s hated Communists, so how could the President be both a socialist and a Nazi -> because people are stupid.

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