Godwin’s law states: “If an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler.” As an avid user of social media, I can attest to this. But it leaves out an important fact – everyone who is not me is Hitler.
OK, that’s not completely accurate. There are some other people who also aren’t Hitler. But they might as well be. At least that’s the attitude that permeates the progressive left in 2017.
On the other hand, Hitler-izing their political opponents is nothing new for the left.
Long before White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made an inartful (but technically accurate) analogy between Bashar al-Assad and Hitler on Wednesday, people have been using Hitler’s name to illustrate just how awful someone is.
But only one side of the political aisle has been painting those who stray from their thought plantation as equal to, or even worse than, history’s greatest monster.
Even before the election of Donald Trump, Democrats and the media (sorry for being redundant) were quick to play the “Hitler card,” not only against Trump but against anyone who dared disagree with them.
Liberal icon, former vice-president and Democratic Party presidential nominee Hubert Humphrey said of Richard Nixon, “If the British had not fought in 1940, Hitler would have been in London, and if Democrats do not fight in 1968, Nixon will be in the White House.”
Four years earlier, former California Gov. Pat Brown, father of current California Gov. Jerry Brown, said Barry “Goldwater's acceptance speech had the stench of fascism. All we needed to hear was Heil Hitler.”
These are but two examples of the many compiled by writer Daniel Greenfield, so you begin to see how everyone who isn’t a rabid progressive is Hitler.
It’s unhinged, of course, neither of these men were like Hitler. Nor were any of the other Republicans routinely compared to the Nazi leader.
Putting aside the policy intersections between progressive Democrats and the “National Socialist German Worker’s Party,” (ever notice how Democrats never use their full name or mention their domestic policies? Weird, right?) calling someone else Hitler is always wrong. It highlights just how weak your argument is. Maybe that’s why Democrats use it so often. It’s either that or they simply want to distract from the aforementioned policy similarities.
Whatever the reason, Hitler analogies are outrageous…but only, it seems, when someone on the right makes them. When a progressive makes them it’s par for the course.
On inauguration day, Chris Matthews said President Trump’s speech was “Hitlerian.” There was no real blowback for that. Nor was there any outrage from his current pearl-clutching colleagues when Matthews casually said pretty much the same thing Spicer said less than four years ago. “We didn't use them (chemical weapons) in World War II. Hitler didn't use them. We don't use chemical weapons, that's no deal,” he said in 2013. Is he a holocaust denier? Were there calls for his firing or an apology? Any punishment, or even a call for it?
An argument could be made that simply being on MSNBC is punishment enough, and when you add in being Chris Matthews you’re approaching cruel and unusual; but nothing beyond that. He’s hammering checks from NBC News and passing judgment on others to this day.
When a non-progressive compares the actions of an unequivocal monster like Assad to Hitler, all hell breaks loose.
All three network nightly newscasts led their shows with Spicer’s gaffe. And that’s what it was – a gaffe. He forgot the words “on the battlefield,” since even Hitler did not use chemical weapons on the battlefield in World War II. He obviously used them in the concentration camps to exterminate 6 million Jews and 5 million others the Nazis deemed undesirable.
If Spicer had mentioned that, which he sort of did when asked to clarify, he would have been accurate. He still would have caught hell for making the analogy because you shouldn’t make Hitler analogies and he’s not a leftist progressive.
To give just one example of how crazy the media went in manufacturing this “outrage,” the Washington Post had an “analysis” piece by Amber Phillips stating, “If you're tempted to mention Adolf Hitler — if you're tempted to even think his name when a microphone is in your face — don't.”
It’s solid advice. Her employer should take it.
Maybe Phillips doesn’t read her own paper, but here are a few of the gems that have run in the Post in just the past few months:
After President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress where he announced the government would finally compile statistics on crimes committed by illegal aliens, the Post ran, “Adolf Hitler also published a list of crimes committed by groups he didn’t like.”
On Election Day, the Post ran an analysis of how Trump isn’t quite Hitler, but “These comparative gestures, particularly to Hitler, serve to obscure more than they reveal. But they go to show the depth of concern about Trump’s candidacy and rhetoric, which taps into a larger far-right, populist turn that also seems to be taking place…”
Just three weeks after the election, the Post ran a piece entitled, “Trump/Hitler comparisons are overstated. How did Hitler actually consolidate power?” They’re “overstated?”
The piece then goes through a different way Trump could become Hitler. It concludes, “So is the comparison useful? I believe it can be, as long as people are willing to keep their minds open, but also their eyes and ears. Pointing to parallels in Trump’s past is not a convincing argument, as the new president’s policy priorities could be entirely different next year. But using the analogy of Hitler and Trump to chart what must not happen next can be useful.”
So Hitler analogies, according to the Post, “can be useful.”
But fear not, one Post piece did take issue with all the Trump-is-Hitler comparisons. “Don’t compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. It belittles Hitler,” the headline declared. It addresses the all-important questions, “Is Trump a megalomaniacal demagogue? Yes. Is he a sociopath? Undoubtedly. Is he dangerous? Maybe.”
These are just a few of the Trump-is-Hitler stories written in just one newspaper. A paper that, once again, ran a piece chastising Sean Spicer for making a gaffe-laden Hitler comparison this week. Every mainstream media outlet expressed the same outrage, and most have indulged similar hypocrisy in their pages and on their airwaves.
No one is Hitler except Hitler, and he’s dead. Since Democrats get so upset over analogies using his name, perhaps they should stop making them. And maybe we can get back to saving outrage for the truly outrageous. If you don’t agree, you’re probably Hitler.