Comparing modern-day America, in any sense, to Nazi Germany and/or the Holocaust is, at best, idiotic, and at worst incredibly insulting. It’s a dangerous use of hyperbole that has no place in serious conversations about American politics or culture today.
Dr. Ben Carson has nevertheless applied the analogy several times, and shrugs off the backlash with a shrug and a comment about how political correctness is ruining this country. Words have no meaning to Carson.
Carson compared gun control advocates to Nazis, saying seriously that the Jews could have overpowered the Nazis if only they had guns. This is preposterous, a gross rewriting of history, and also insane. Of the IRS, Carson said we “live in a Gestapo age.” Does he understand what it means to live in a Gestapo age? He even compared political correctness to Nazi Germany, saying “we now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they believe.” If that’s true, then we have some very brave Americans fighting their fears everyday. Do you know how many people still call Obama a Muslim who faked his birth certificate? It’s an embarrassingly high number. What brave souls, to come out and say what they mean despite living in a society comparable to the Third Reich.
Then there’s former governor Mike Huckabee, who said the Iran deal earlier this year would march Israel’s Jewish population right back into the concentration camps. He doubled down when people objected to the imagery by posting a picture on twitter. Is this supposed to get the coveted “Jewish” vote? Huckabee, Jews don’t like you. It’s hard to say why, exactly, but if I had to guess, it’s probably that you want to make America into a fundamentalist Christian country.
The left side of the aisle can be just as bad. A couple months ago, humor site Cracked found 5 ways Donald Trump was basically Hitler. Trump’s actions have shown him to be an awful human, but the Hitler comparison was a little much at the time. Also, I was not ready to give Trump’s campaign much credence. Remember when we didn’t have to take him seriously? Before all these people agreed with Trump’s racist and xenophobic remarks and we found ourselves in a country of hateful fear-mongerers who think “black privilege” is a thing? Simpler times.
Then, this past week, Trump suggested Muslims should have to register on a national database or a “special form of identification that noted their religion.” While I do genuinely dislike comparisons to Nazi Germany, this particular quote practically out and out demands it. Keeping a database and insisting on special IDs for a specific demographic of people is not just reminiscent of the Nuremberg Laws, it is the 21st century version of the Nuremberg Laws. Other news outlets have made the easy comparison. Other politicians and presidential candidates have not. I wouldn’t slam somebody for not making a Nazi Germany comparison — I’m just wondering why, now, we’re suddenly showing restraint.
Anyone else notice that Ben Carson compares everything to Nazis except registering members of a specific religion? #GOP
— Dan Billings (@dan_billings) November 21, 2015
Trump has been derided by other candidates for his remarks. Both Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls found the comments in poor taste, except, that is, for Carson.
Carson didn’t have the same trouble with Trump’s comments. In fact, he went further, comparing Syrian refugees and Muslims to rabid dogs, and calling to monitor Mosques in the case of anti-American activities (whatever that means). For a party with candidates that compare everything Obama does to slavery or Jewish genocide and early-to-mid-twentieth century fascism, the Hitler comparisons are surprisingly lacking.
If Ben Carson went back in time and killed #BabyHitler, he wouldn't be able to make all those Nazi comparisons.
— Sky Palma (@DeadStateTweets) November 12, 2015
My question is for Carson, Huckabee, and fellow GOP presidential candidates: You’ve made comparisons to Nazi Germany before, employing twisted logic, poor taste, and revisionist history. Where is the comparison now? Is it less fun when it’s this easy? Or are we forever putting away the Nazi Germany line? Did you finally learn what Nazi Germany is and realize “oh, no, America is not anything like Nazi Germany, my b”?
If this signals a change in the dangerously hyperbolic and jingoistic rhetoric we have in Washington today, I welcome it. Unfortunately, there’s just no way that’s the case. Trump is already pulling the “that wasn’t me who said it” line, but he also hasn’t argued against the idea either. LOL Trump is a scum person.
Let’s hope compassion and reason prevail, and America does the right thing, both for the refugees and for the ridiculous rhetoric.
Featured image via The Gospel Herald