I have a low tolerance for history abuse. That is when people misquote or misinterpret history especially when they think they know a lot. Yet I try to restrain myself from being too self-righteous because self-righteousness is usually the first step towards history abuse, and my love of history is pure and unblemished.
Still there are times when I can clearly and without reservation identify an act as history abuse, and one act I can identify as thus is the casual throwing around of Hitler references. There is nothing casual about Hitler. Depending on how you view him, he might be a man of an extraordinarily monstrously twisted mind, a man of exceptional evil, a force of horrible tragedy, or perhaps just a product of the absolute worst mankind has to offer.
BUT HE IS NOT CASUAL! And he cannot be causally referenced. And yet Hitler references are just always, always thrown around. It used to be only liberals would throw around Hitler references but now conservatives, centrists and the apolitical do as well. A casualization of the horror of Hitler is coming over the world, and that fact holds the potential to begin a forgetting of the greatest of evils mankind has been capable of, the Holocaust. But if I sound too serious, and I might, let me punch it up a little by saying that I usually just find people who throw around Hitler references more silly than anything else, and a good reply to that is one that has a bit of that silliness.
So thus, with no further ado, I present Mr. Jon Stewart's utterly perfect reply to the explosion of Hitler references in the world today:
A Relatively Closer Look at Hitler - The Daily Show
So remember kids, whenever you're thinking about saying someone's like Hitler, remember who's really like Hitler... Hitler.
6 months ago