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April 7, 2008
No Place In the
U.S. Campaign for Adolf Hitler (Someone Tell Ann Coulter)
Conservatives, for whatever reason, never tire of invoking Adolf
Hitler’s namesake to make a hyperbolic statement about the politicians
(usually liberals) of whom they don’t approve.
Back in February, I wrote a
about Ann Coulter’s erroneous and offensive
assertion that Republican
presidential nominee Sen. John McCain is essentially
worse than Hitler. (According to Coulter, “Hitler had a coherent tax
policy”). She also, in the same speech, invoked Joseph Stalin,
apologizing to his descendants for the thought that he might be compared
to Sen. Hillary Clinton. For someone seemingly adamant about the virtues
of America, Coulter sure is quick to liken our politicians to those in
totalitarian dictatorships who care nothing for the liberty and freedom
she so passionately defends.
course, Coulter’s above comments were said in jest, or at least under
the guise of jest. But the joke of linking comparatively benign leaders
and potential leaders to one of the most heinous human beings to ever
exist is tired and not at all funny. And when such assertions are made
in all seriousness, it is even more disturbing.
Recently, Coulter made the same comparison again, this time
rather vehemently comparing prospective Democratic nominee Sen. Barack
Obama to the ruthless German dictator in her April 2 column. In her
column, she writes of Obama’s 1995 book Dreams of My Father: “Has
anybody read this book? Inasmuch as the book reveals Obama to be a
flabbergasting lunatic, I gather the answer is no. Obama is about to be
our next president: You might want to take a peek. If only people had
read Mein Kampf. Mein Kampf, of course, being My
Struggle, Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto.
Coulter then failed to realize just how ludicrous this statement was,
and went on to say of Obama on Fox News’
Hannity and Colmes
Thursday: “He's a dimestore
and agreed with
AlanColmes when he prompted, “Oh, [Obama]’s a two-bit Hitler?” So,
in Coulter’s opinion, Obama only wishes he could be the next
Hitler. Why the proverbial warnings then, Ann, if Obama could only hope
to be as powerful a dictator as Hitler was? Also, her language both in
February and now seems to glorify the man by saying that American
politicians look up to him.
Of course, she is operating under the assumption that her audience will
recognize Hitler as the lowest of the low, with only the politicians of
whom she disapproves below him. However, when the majority of sane
Americans would surely elect Obama over Hitler, her already hyperbolic
metaphor falls apart. It’s as if she hopes to make her Hitler/Obama
metaphor as ridiculous and overblown as possible, just so she can get
away with it.
Therein is precisely how Ann Coulter and others like her
There have been other, similar comparisons in the last couple months.
Also in February, Fox News Radio’s Tom Sullivan showed a side-by-side
comparison of a speech by Hitler and one by Obama.
And it’s not just obnoxious political pundits who bring up
Hitler to prove a point. Groups ranging from animal rights activists to
junior high students disgruntled with their math teachers have used the
Holocaust and Hitler to illustrate the monstrosity of one thing or
another. Even liberals are not above using
name when talking about our current
The Hitler metaphor, along with being so overused as to become virtually
ineffective, is also offensive. It’s offensive to the legacy of
Holocaust victims and survivors. It’s offensive to those living in the
world right now who suffer injustices at the hands of leaders who are
more aptly compared to Hitler. It’s offensive to Americans who find
America to be a place of liberty and freedom, regardless of which party
is in office and not a place where dictators could thrive.
agree with my fellow columnist Jamie Weinstein,
who in his latest
says that there is evil in this world comparable to the
evil Hitler possessed, and we should not become complacent in thinking
otherwise. But Sen.
Obama, Sen. Clinton and Sen.
McCain, while flawed human beings, are not representative of that evil,
and to suggest otherwise is simply ridiculous.
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