I’ve watched and listened in thorough dismay as people have thrown around the Hitler comparison. It started in earnest with people comparing current President Barack Obama to the Nazi leader and mass murderer, and has continued recently with numerous statements calling Donald Trump the next Hitler. Fortunately, only for the sake of this discussion, the comparisons have been thrown around equally both in discussion about a current Democratic President, and now with the Republican front runner for president. So it’s happened on both sides of the political aisle. Let me be very clear about my position. Using this comparison is not besides being slanderous towards both, unintentionally diminishes the importance of remembering those murdered by Hitler’s Nazi Party.
It is believed that Adolph Hitler was responsible for the murder of close to 20 million innocent men, women and children. 6 million of these were Jewish victims of a Holocaust of devastating proportions. The majority were murdered during World War II, but it’s extremely important to note that Hitler’s anti-Semitic intentions were made very clear long before the war started. Yes Hitler looked to disarm the masses, but when people use this as a reason to draw a comparison to President Obama, all they are showing is a disingenuous use of a political platform. I am not making any political statement regarding the gun control discussion, merely stating how disgusting it has been to use this issue as a justification to compare our current president to Hitler. I hate the Iran deal. I also believe there is plenty of reason to question whether or not this president is a friend of Israel’s. However, unlike Hitler, there have been reasons to make the opposing argument, like a Chief of Staff with Israeli parents and funding for Iron Dome. Again, I am not making a case for President Obama being a friend of Israel’s or the Jewish people, but I am emphatically saying that he is not only not like Hitler, to say that he is like him is despicable.
Donald J. Trump is loud, abrasive, insulting, and maybe Marco Rubio is right that he is a con-artist. It’s also possible that he is a straight-shooting successful businessman who loves America and is primarily well intentioned. I’m not necessarily thrilled about the President Trump scenario. But I will tell you what I do know. Donald Trump has had too many positive interactions over the years with minorities to be classified as an outright bigot. He even has a daughter who converted to Judaism. And yet people compare him to the most disgusting, most proud, most murderous anti-Semite that ever lived? I think a strong case can be made to not vote for Trump merely on his faltering when asked about the David Duke endorsement, but I don’t think he did it because he supports the KKK, I think he did it because all he heard was the word endorsement and it’s hard for Trump not to like anyone who likes him. That in itself can be a dangerous thing, but it still doesn’t make you Hitler.
For those of you who have read this far, I am sure you are clear on the fact that I am not emphatically standing behind any one politician or viewpoint. I am merely stating something I wish I didn’t have to state. If you are looking for a Hitler comparison you need to go no further than the leaders of ISIS or Hamas, people who have preached death to the Jews and persecuted and murdered groups that do not tow the line with their way of life. It doesn’t have to be about murdering Jewish people to merit a Hitler comparison. The ISIS leader Baghdadi’s sanctioning and ordering the murder and persecution of Christians is already enough to do so. To compare Obama or Trump to Hitler is not only an insult to the Jewish people murdered by the Nazis, it’s a blatant insult and disregard for the treatment of the Yazidis by ISIS.
Now let me be clear about something. I am not saying I support Donald Trump. In fact I will accept what former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman said, that Trump’s language regarding Muslims reminded her of “the kind of rhetoric that allowed Hitler to move forward.” I take no offense to calling Trump a danger. That’s an opinion that may or may not prove valid. But there is a big difference between calling someone evil, or saying someone’s words creates a fertile ground for evil.
Hitler was a man. An evil man. He showed hatred to the Jewish people and other minorities from the very beginning. He spoke early in his career about annihilating the Jewish people. Sadly he came closer to achieving this than anyone in history. Millions of innocent men, women and children were murdered by this man. “Hitler” is not a word in the dictionary that means a politician with viewpoints, sometimes extreme, that represent an opposing and sometimes prejudicial viewpoint. Hitler was a man who murdered millions of people. Today we have people using that term to describe people of who there is no evidence they even murdered one. There are not 2 types of people in the world. Good and Hitler. There are many in between. These may be bad people who people sometimes call Hitler. But to be a “Hitler” is something that needs to be earned by perpetrating savage, brutal, heartless torture and murder. Not by saying things we don’t like or even saying things deemed hateful. Not even by merely being dangerous. If we minimize the significance of who Hitler was, we minimize the seriousness of what he did. That may create a simpler path to another mass murdering tyrant than anything else taking place today.
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