Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
This time, it seems to be progressives turn to invoke Hitler in a cause. As evidenced by the sign at the protests in Wisconsin. When cooler heads prevail, most of us seem to agree that calling someone Hitler is over the top. That is, unless you are actually Hitler or killed 6 million people like he did. Then you clearly have the resume to get a Hitler reference.
But for those people and issues that don’t achieve such levels of evil, why is Adolph Hitler, the go-to-guy to invoke for everything from healthcare legislation to now the threat of abolishing collective bargaining agreements? ‘Cause that’s what I think of when I think of Hitler…collective bargaining and healthcare.
In terms of public debate of a topic, Hitler seems to work this way: he’s the delicate piece of china in the house that couple buys. A fragile and socially delicate piece of history, an odd momento sitting around and be handled with care. And better kept behind a display case and out of reach. But one day it finds it’s been grabbed, drafted and re-purposed as weapon when the couple has a domestic dispute in the house. Or in this case, America.
The people fighting are angry. Shouting. Outraged. Emotion overwhelms common sense and reason and in the name of hurting the other side and making a point, like a child having a tantrum, you start looking for things to throw at your opponent.
You throw some words. “Radical.” “Evil.” They fall short or hit soft. They just don’t have the impact you are looking for.
And then you see it. The Hitler china plates. Boy, those look like they’d hurt.
You know they are not supposed to touch it. Not supposed to use it. But anger and revenge and emotion has twisted you to now think think that a heated political dispute is now a battle of Armegeddon with no reason not to go for broke. So you throw it. Hard.
That’s Hitler. Rarely having anything germane to do with the argument at hand. Just gets drawn in simple because it usefulness as a weapon.