I’ve mentioned Godwin’s law before. It refers to the belief that the mention of Adolf Hitler in an online argument automatically ends it in the opponent’s favor. This is predicated on the idea that Hitler is a singularly evil individual whose atrocities were so enormous that no one could possibly compare to him.
In reality, Mike Godwin has pointed out that Hitler and Nazi comparisons are sometimes part of the overall discussion of history. However, Adolf Hitler is the most famous evil leader among Americans. Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin oversaw more executions than Hitler. However, if you want an easily known symbol of evil, Hitler is the guy.
The ridiculousness comes in when people trot out dumb conclusions like “Hitler was a vegetarian” or “Hitler banned guns, too” and extrapolate one argument to predict genocide. Greg Gutfled used to end monologues on Red Eye with “and if you disagree with me, you’re worse than Hitler” to mock people who refused the possibility of debate on an issue.
One thing I am interested in was the way that Adolf Hitler came to power. He was wildly popular among citizens of the country, being an anti-Marxist socialist. He argued for national pride at a time when the rest of the world was punishing Germany for World War I. The government before Hitler’s election was ruling by mandate because they could not form enough of a coalition to do anything. Hitler was essentially appointed because of his popularity.
Now, Hitler didn’t spring fully-formed in Germany and start killing Jews. He started as a popular media figure, one of the first to be filmed (this is referenced in the movie Contact) and to use air travel for campaigning. Even after he won, and disbanded the government, many world leaders either feared or accepted Hitler’s regime.
Even though it may be a distinction without a difference, I think about the public’s reaction to Hitler in the 1930’s instead of Hitler’s actions. If I write about this in relation to Donald Trump, I mostly want to reference the danger in voting for someone who promises unilateral action as a way to return a country to glory. There may be better examples, but few quite as well known.
Unfortunately, these discussions are ultimately pointless. The idiots on the left are proving Godwin’s law every day with their arguments that Donald Trump will immediately round up all Mexicans and put them in concentration camps. They blatantly claim Donald Trump is Adolf Hitler. Sociological similarities aside, you can’t fight that level of stupid.