America Needs to Remember Godwin’s Law

In Chattering classes/punditry, politics, stupidity on August 24, 2009 by Editor Z

The logic that springs from Hitler comparisons.

Kathleen Parker writes about the use of Hitler comparisons and Nazi references at recent town hall meetings.

Hear, hear. Invocations of Hitler usually mean two things: one, a poverty of imagination, and two, a paucity of good arguments. It is nearly axiomatic that any protest against government action will feature Hitler in some form. Left and right are equally guilty. Trivializing such evil is an insult to the memory of millions who suffered and died by his order, as well as to the intelligence of all sentient beings.

It may no longer be possible in this country to have a serious debate about anything. Inevitably, substance devolves into silliness. Even the most dignified of statesmen become caricatures when juxtaposed with the ridiculous.

Whether it be the Jacobins on the left comparing Bush/Cheney to Hitler or the loony tunes on the right comparing Obama’s health care reform efforts and big spending to Hitler and the Nazis (as if health care and spending were what defined Hitler and the Nazis policies as ghastly and atrocious)I have yet to hear of any argument or dispute in which a Hitler comparison provided a victory to anyone. Rather if serves only to silence the opposition, that increases tension, moments of of tense awkward silence, and usually signals the end of any sound arguments.



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