Monday, June 28, 2004

A Severe Lack of Perspective

I am about to leave, and will save getting into this for another time if you like, but my recent visit to Houston's Holocaust Museum has reaffirmed my belief that those who carelessly compare George W. Bush to Adolph Hitler are clearly suffering from a rather dangerous lack of historical perspective. Here are three quick comparisons to argue with me about:

1) When the National Socialist Party came to power, one of its first acts was to outlaw the opposition party. Is it still legal to be a Democrat? The last time I checked, yes. Not only that, but it appears it's chic to be one.

2) Not only did the Nazi party outlaw opposition political parties, but it routinely jailed and executed political dissidents. If Bush was the new Hitler, Ted Kennedy, Michael Moore, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John Kerry would all be behind bars. (And please spare me the comparison of Gitmo detainees to political dissidents. The Nazis were arresting people who simply publicly "dissented and disagreed" as HRC does, not just people who planned violence against them.)

3) One famous practice of Hitler's Reich was the burn books that either critiqued the regime or that were deemed "inappropriate" for the German people. Say what you will about the FCC, but there are no book burnings. You can still read "Lolita" in America. "Angels in America" is still being performed. And the last time I was in Barnes and Noble, the "Current Events" table had no less than a dozen pointedly anti-Bush books and only two neutral or pro-Bush books (Jon Gibson's look at the media and Sean Hannity's "Let Freedom Ring"). In a country accused of turning into a Fascist regime, this would not exist.

Three simple examples of how Bush-bashers love using incendiary rhetoric that sounds good and excites the masses, but doesn't even live on the same planet as reality.

Look, there's a lot about Bush's policies that I don't like. But to call him the new Hitler is to reveal your own ignorance of history and to dismiss the real suffering of Holocaust survivors under the regime of an actual madman.

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