I can’t even believe we are still having this conversation, Glenn Beck.

So Glenn Beck recently, yet again, has been making tons of Nazi comparisons:

  • he compared victims of the Norway shooting rampage to the Hitler Youth – saying that attending a camp to learn about democratic politics is the same thing;
  • he likened the early days of the Third Reich to the way that the Obama Administration is handling the debt crisis;
  • and when his co-host suggested that “the point here is not to say gas chambers in Kansas,”Beck yelled back, “Don’t start. If we’re living in a society where we can’t say X in the same paragraph as Y and not be told we are comparing it … if we are living in that society, we are doomed. We are going to be living in a society of gas chambers—if you can’t have a logical conversation.”

Now, this kind of conversation always ticks me off, but this week especially it’s pertinent: I am in Berlin, Germany for a week on vacation. Berlin has loads of museums with lots of information about the Third Reich and the Nazis, and I can confidently tell you that Obama and the victims of the shootings in Norway and political correctness does not equal Nazism. Here are some thing the Nazis DID do:

  • Systematically killed 6 million Jews and millions of gay people, handicapped people, “gypsies”, and other minorities in concentration camps, documented it officially and were proud of these accomplishments
  • executed any and every person who tried to form a political opposition against him
  • quickly established a national dictatorship and system that eliminated any chance for opposition
  • publicly shamed and humiliated those who associated with Jews
  • killed medical patients they felt did not deserve treatment
  • among dozens of other TERRIBLE things.

Remind me again how this is the same thing? This is not a “logical conversation”, Beck. This is the opposite of that. To simply compare any opponents you have to Nazis with some stretch of a comparison, twisting the facts on both ends, does not an argument make. This is a prime example of the harm that so many conservative radio and TV hosts are doing – forcing the national conversation to revolve around liberals on the offense against terrible comparisons. For example, take Michael Savage‘s comparison of Obama to Pol Pot — First of all, Pol Pot studied at EFR, not the Sorbonne. Pol Pot was not a nice man. He was a revolutionary leader that oversaw one of the most dangerous regimes in history. Obama’s young following does not equal the Khmer Rouge, it means a new generation putting faith in a country’s political leader, and electing him through the system for the limited term of four years in a position with limited power. But when you twist the facts and make outrageous analogies, you scare people – and fear is, sadly, one of life’s greatest motivators.

If you want to have a conversation, great. Let’s have it. But this is not a logical conversation. This is a fear-mongering session that harms our political system and conversation. I’m not surprised we can’t sit down and have a national discussion about our debt and the debt ceiling and come to a reasonable solution. How could we when some of the biggest media figures on one side are screaming nonsense?

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About beckawall

AU Alumni, feminist, master of peanut butter brownies. Lover of Teddy Roosevelt, politics, analyzing popular culture, and general nerdery.

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