Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Wife Likes Purdue, Is Just Like Hitler

Most of us can agree that nothing tarnishes a moustache style faster than being responsible for 17,000,000 deaths. But does that equate to effectively tarnishing the image of a person or people with which we disagree with by comparing them to a man who was responsible for 17,000,000 deaths? The thought makes me give my premise a second thought. Perhaps a minor disagreement with my wife regarding our respective alma mater's doesn't make her deserving of a Hitler comparison.

But how much disagreement do we need to have in order to merit a Hitler comparison? If I am a pacifist, is anyone who has lad a nation in war deserving of that comparison? Would Are James Madison, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, Bush, Bush and Obama "just like" Hitler?

The answer seems fairly obvious to me, and that answer is: No. Yet, I feel like I am a part of a dying breed, because comparing leaders, and the people who support certain contentious positions seems to have really taken off over the past decade. And before all of the Obama zombies out there get too excited, it isn't just conservatives that use this tact. Remember George W. Bush?

But that was different, right? Bush is much more like Hitler than Obama could ever be. He started not one war, but two, remember? Those wars are responsible for not only several thousand deaths within the ranks of the U.S. military, but also thousands of civilian deaths. Was not that war perpetrated under false pretenses?

Give me a break. Bush and Obama are more like each other than either is like Hitler. And the qualities that they do share with Hitler, they would appear to share with each other, and most other politicians. Belief that they are the only people that have the one, true and clear vision that will take this country to prosperity and equality? Check. Wildly out-sized Ego? Check. Willing to lie to the American people? Check.

While neither they, nor their supporters are likely to admit the above, they are true. And true of most politicians. One of the unwritten rules of Washington is that they will lie to the American public, but not each other. I would venture to guess that they don't even follow that rule very closely.

The Hitler comparison does, however, accomplish two things:

  1. It makes the people holding these signs, and professing the similarities look like fools.
  2. It drives a wedge between citizens that only helps to further the real agenda of both political parties.

But what is the real agenda of the parties? To gain and hold power, of course! Watch these people for any extended period of time, and it becomes obvious that the only thing that these people truly believe in is their own indispensability. Regardless of political philosophy, the people who run this country have shown, not with their words, but with their actions, that the populace exists only to provide them means to sustain their status and position. Perhaps someday, if they can consolidate enough power, they will bestow upon us the utopia that only they are fit to build.

In order to gain and hold power, the parties need to be able to break people down into homogeneous demographic groups. Crossover within these groups only makes it difficult to analyze the "coalition" needed to achieve victory. The focus is always placed upon what makes people different, rather than what makes them similar. Ask yourself: Why does it seem like the most utilized ideological arguments within the parties tend to boil things down to abortion? Could it be because it is an extremely emotional issue, with sides between which wedges are easily driven? But is it the issue that affects the most people?

Once they the two parties have people divided into two camps based upon this issue, they can begin to sort, and assert ideological control over them. The first step is to encourage demonization of the other side. What monster could ever support killing babies? What horrible person would ever deny a woman her choice? Could the answer be... Someone just like Hitler? This wedge has been used for a nearly a century to help "consolidate a base." It has been pushed to the point where each camp can hardly see how they could possibly have anything in common with the other. The politicians hardly need to stoke the fire anymore, we're exactly where they want us. We're so busy turning on each other that nobody has the tome to keep an eye on what they are doing. They thrive on misinformation and confusion.

I was watching a program last night where Peal Jam front-man Eddie Vedder (who has a liberal viewpoint) was asked how he felt about some of his fans having different ideologies than he and his band-mates. He responded by saying that he felt that it incumbent upon him to have strong convictions, and encouraged everyone to do their own research, and not wear blinders. And I think that it intimated something very powerful, but perhaps not exactly what he wished to convey. He has blinders of his own. He obviously feels that any logical person who does research would come to the same opinion as him. In a perfect world, that might be true. However, I am sure that he tends toward research that tends toward the conclusions in the direction of his internal compass. Unfortunately, we all do, and I will discuss this more in a later blog. The point is that while there are always vast areas of agreement, where everyone's moral compass will overlap, it is not part of the human condition to form societies of homogeneous opinion.

Does that mean that some people are "good" and some people are "bad?" Maybe. Are there people out there who the the capability to become as bad as Hitler was? Probably. Does that make people who disagree with you on points of policy "Just Like Hitler?" Probably not.

So until Obama starts to blame the country's economic woes on Jews, and starts professing that we need to invade Canada and Mexico so that our people can have "lebensraum," until our military kills every single person in Iraq on Bush's order, the only person that these comparisons will reflect on will be the people who make them. But at least they did get one thing right: It always seems to be same shit, different asshole.

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