Lousiana blogger Michael Connelly has compared the Obama administrations efforts to pass health care reform to Nazi efforts to quell dissent, as well as compared the SEIU labor union to Nazi brownshirts.
The concept is not new. It was successfully practiced by the Nazi Party in Germany and the Communist revolutionists in Russia, China, and Cuba. The idea is to demonize the opposition and to shut them down by establishing complete control over the news media, and any other methods of free communication of thought. Of course, the vast majority of Americans believe that this type of control can never happen in our country. Unfortunately, it is already happening and there are efforts in the works to make it happen faster.
While Americans of every political persuasion try to voice their concerns at town hall meetings, members of Congress run for cover by cancelling events or limiting entry only to those who will agree with their positions. The President himself conducts town hall meetings that are so carefully orchestrated that questions and answers are prepared beforehand. The voices of dissent at many of these meetings are locked out and even assaulted by a squad of carefully selected goons from the SEIU, a so-called labor union that is becoming more and more like the brown shirts of Nazi Party every day.
When Hitler or any of his Nazi Party cohorts were speaking at public functions the platform they used was surrounded by brown shirts to “protect them”. Their actual job was to station themselves both outside and inside of the place where the function was being held. They denied entry to those that might not be true believers and if anyone did make it inside they were quickly and violently removed if they failed to follow the party line. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Source: Connelly Blog
I find myself categorizing various people who invoke The Analogy That Cannot Be Topped into two camps. You have the people that don’t think through the analogy at all; they are simply throwing it out there to create maximum immediate impact. Then you have the folks that clearly have thought it through; they are not making the comparison glibly and they tend to back up their analogy with descriptive examples to prove their case. It’s the latter category that is the most disturbing because nine times out of ten their history is selectively chosen and their description of modern events is myopic at best.
Mr. Connelly falls into the latter category. According to Huffman’s Hitler Hypothesis, anything can be reduced to an analogy with Hitler or the Nazis. You are not necessarily going to win your argument simply because you’ve found what you believe to be a parallel between your subject matter and the Nazis. And you are likely to turn off a significant portion of your audience who react negatively every single time the Nazi analogy is invoked, regardless of how strong your “case” may be.
It is rational and prudent as an American to be concerned over any efforts at quelling dissent and free discourse. The most shameful and obvious recent example is the suppression of dissenting voices and facts in the lead up to the Iraq war. George Bush also notoriously stage managed his town hall appearances to ensure only positive voices were heard. At the time there was a drumbeat among the left that this was a wholesale mimicry of Nazi Germany.
Well it wasn’t. And it was insane to say so. The suppression of alternate voices was shameful and awful, but it wasn’t a return to Nazi Germany.
After many of the town hall meetings between congressmen and congresswomen and their constituents devolved into one-way screaming matches, many in congress pulled back and began to take steps to limit but not eliminate opposing voices.
I personally find this a weak-assed tactic. I think that congresspeople should regularly hold town hall meetings and if their constituents want to yell at them, so be it. But if a congressman decides to structure to the forum to ensure other voices also get heard I’m not going to assume it is the second coming of Hitler.
Every single thing can be reduced to an analogy about Hitler. EVERY SINGLE THING. But does that mean it’s appropriate to do so? There is, well, baggage associated with Hitler. Do you really want to have that baggage as part of your case? Because it’s quite unavoidable.
If you are planning on making an argument that will invoke a Hitler analogy, please ask yourself first: “What makes my argument so correct compared to the people who compare abortion to the Holocaust, or the people who think their planning commission is the Gestapo, or their school board is a modern day Nazi movement, or the hordes of people who thought Eisenhower, then Kennedy, then Johnson, then Nixon, then Ford, then Carter, then Reagan (especially Reagan), then Bush, then Clinton, and then the second Bush were clearly establishing a Nazi state? If they were wrong, what make you so sure you’re correct?
Time to bone up on my primer.
Audience Reach 4
Direct vs. Indirect 9
Total Score: 7