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Monday, January 19, 2004

NO MORE HITLER PLEASE The comparison Bush=Hitler is trotted out by the anti-war left at an incredible frequency and to an extent that anybody who actually has any idea about the things Hitler did can only find morally perverse and genuinely disgusting (for a take-down, see this piece). Reason's Cathy Young takes this tendency to task, and being a writer of balance she brings up some quite repellent examples of the right's promiscuous use of the fuehrer-manouvre:

Meanwhile, on the pro-Bush right, there's a gem of a column published on Jan. 5 by the New York Post. The author, retired Army officer and writer Ralph Peters, manages to compare Democratic frontrunner Howard Dean to Hitler, Goebbels, Lenin, Trotsky, and Brezhnev. (It's a wonder that Mao and Saddam Hussein didn't make the cut.) And how does Dean warrant this comparison? He and his followers try to "restrict the free speech of others" by attacking their critics on the Internet. (That's right up there with being sent to a concentration camp.)

(. . .)

Talk-show host Laura Schlessinger said that the neglect of children in day care centers is "like something out of Nazi Germany."

Oh, come off it. That is just too ridiculous. A good non-American example:

A Brazilian judge said last week that the US requirement that visitors from some foreign countries be fingerprinted and photographed is worthy of "the worst horrors committed by the Nazis."

You know what, if that is the kind of thing the Nazis did and for which they are forever imprinted in our collective memory as the purest embodiment of worldly evil, I think we owe Adolf and co an apology. I missed that in my history studies, but I had a vague feeling there may have been something slightly worse the Nazis were associated with than taking fingerprints of visitors from states whose security screening standards were lower than their own. I can only with agree with Young that the Hitler comparison should be dropped unless we are actually dealing with a politician or a regime engaged in comparable crimes.

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