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Overton: Leave Hitler out of it

BY JON OVERTON | FEBRUARY 21, 2014 5:00 AM

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The closest thing we have to evil incarnate is probably best represented in Adolf Hitler, so when someone is compared to this guy, this person in question must be pretty awful.

Or the president of the United States.

Or the entire political left.

Venture capitalist Tom Perkins got plenty of flack for his letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal in which he said liberal attitudes toward the top 1 percent are comparable to the Germans’ feelings about Jews in the 1930s.

“This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking,” Perkins warned. “Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?”

Perkins apologized later, but then the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board defended him, saying that “The liberals aren’t encouraging violence, but they are promoting personal vilification and the abuse of government power to punish political opponents.”

That last point refers largely to when the Internal Revenue Service scrutinized the tax-exempt status of political nonprofits, using the search terms “conservative” and “tea party,” though internal documents show that the IRS did the same thing with such keywords as “progressive” and “occupy.”

Even President Obama’s second cousin (once removed), Milton Wolf, a primary candidate for a Republican U.S. Senate seat in Kansas, joined the let’s-compare-liberals-to-Nazis funfest.

“Other than killing Jews, what domestic policy of the Nazis do today’s American liberals oppose?” Wolf said in a tweet.

If I wanted, I could equate many conservatives with Nazis just as they whimsically do to liberals.
Ted Nugent recently called Obama “a communist-raised, communist-educated, communist-nurtured, subhuman mongrel” at a gun expo in Las Vegas.

Does the phrase “subhuman mongrel” sound dehumanizing? Perhaps similar to what the Nazis would have said about Jews? Because that is precisely what it is, Politifact reported.

At a town-hall meeting, a woman told Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., that Obama “should be executed as an enemy combatant.” Instead of condemning her comments, Bridenstine just let them go and continued blasting the president. Of course, he’s not responsible for what other people say, but he’s responsible for how he reacts. Bridenstine failed to stand up for the very democratic system that he belongs to.

I could compare him to a Nazi sympathizer. Political violence and intimidation was major components to ensuring the success of Nazis in 1930s Germany.

Last year, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, made unflattering comments to Newsmax about people who illegally came to the United States as children.

I could say the Nazis relied on similar unfounded stereotypes about supposed malicious, scheming Jews to justify their discriminatory laws and genocidal schemes.

I could make several connections between conservatives and Nazi Germany.

But I’m not going there.

To do so would insult those millions who were systematically slaughtered in concentration camps, who were incinerated, gassed, and starved to death in perhaps the most horrific chapter of human history.

Now politicians, journalists, and others have used this dark period to score political points.

Now politicians, journalists, and others have used this dark period to score political points.

This is just fundamentally sad. Not vile, not contemptible, not evil. Just sad.

We can disagree on politics, but in the name of compassion, of decency, of humanity — leave Hitler out of it.


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