OBAMA, BIDEN…”are the enemy,” according to country music legend Hank Williams, Jr. Aside from the musician’s thoughts being discombobulated and all over the map, he makes some pretty stark remarks about the president, comparing him to Hitler. He made the comparison when he criticized Obama’s golf game with John Boehner. The game, he said, was like “Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
What is it about this obsession with radicals on both sides of the political spectrum comparing American politicians to Adolf Hitler? We saw this phenomenon during the 2000s when Bush and Company ran the country, driving this country into a wall of neo-conservative ideology that would inevitably crumble any remaining goodwill Americans had in the Middle East. We saw a myriad of posters of radical, left-wing protesters of the Afghanistan and, later, the Iraq wars, proudly boasting their drawings of Bush with the signature Hitler mustache.
Now, we are seeing discontent right-wing TEA Party activists who are also all too ready to compare yet another leader to a 20th century tyrant who ordered the massacre of millions of his own people.
Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party were an autocratic, authoritarian regime that came to power during the Great Depression. Germany, already dealing with brewing of anti-Semitism festering under the surface, were blinded by Hitler’s charismatic appeal and his magnetic ability to wow and energize his people. Taking advantage of the centuries-long hate and resentment of European Jews, Hitler’s racist ideology came at the perfect time in which Germans were looking for someone–anyone–to blame for its social and economic woes.
The Nazi Party machine manufactured years worth of propaganda and hate and brainwashed the German people into believing the only way to get rid of its problem is to get rid of Jews, as well as homosexuals and Gypsies. This campaign to further categorized Jews and other minorities as The Other culminated with the scores of Nazi death camps were millions of people were forced to perform back-breaking labor in horrendous natural elements. As a result, millions of Jews and others were killed during the World War II years during the Holocaust. Like the racist coward he was, Hitler decided to commit suicide rather than face justice and explain why he thought elimination of inferior races would lead to a perfect Germany.
Comparing American politicians to the likes of Hitler trivializes the pain, suffering, trauma and the strife many of the German people and the victims of the Holocaust. Likening Obama–or Bush–to Hitler reduces the impact of Nazi Germany’s racist operations and erases the victim’s pain and suffering caused by those who so heavily invested in the vile notion of an Aryan nation. Hundreds of thousands of families had their lives shatters, their families torn apart, have had their minds poisoned with traumatic and debilitating flashbacks and their bodies permanently disfigured because of the warped policies of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
The idea that ordinary Americans are experiencing strife comparable with that of Nazi Germany citizens and Holocaust victims is not only laughable, but downright disrespectful, oblivious and ignorant to history.