So many people including journalists, Democrats, and even GOPers like John Kasich who is also running for the nomination, have compared Donald Trump to Hitler (or simply called him a Fascist) that the internet is ringing with Godwin’s Law, as right-wing nutjobs decry the comparison as ludicrous.
Yet many more people just can’t bring themselves to reject their cognitive dissonance long enough to realize that, yes, this is actually happening. This uber-rich man-child is planning to register all Muslims and calling for mass deportations. Yes, the slimy malcontent really wants to build a wall to keep “undesirables” out. Yes, the litigious businessman actually said the Black Lives Matter protestor that was beaten at his rally probably deserved to get roughed up. This elitist really did mock a disabled reporter’s disability. He really is a racist. He really is a misogynist. He really is a Fascist.
This is really happening.
It has to be kinda hard to wrap your head around the real threat he is to America for many people, the Germans didn’t catch on either, as Hitler received 36 percent of the vote when he ran for President. That doesn’t mean that anyone with 36 percent of the vote can be called a Fascist, though.
Many of us have a near-allergy to comparisons using the Nazis — for a reason. It is the worst thing that most people are educated about in recent history, so, when they find something they really hate — be it abortion or be it the marriage equality — they often turn to the old standby of comparing that thing to Hitler or the Nazi movement in general. Especially if that conversation happens to be on the interwebs, Hence, Godwin’s Law:
As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.
That is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism [Fascism].
This law assumes that the thing compared is not, in fact, actually comparable to Hilter, or Nazism, which is Fascism. That means that Godwin’s law does not apply to anyone that actually is comparable to either of those things. Comparing a fascist to a fascist is still a fair comparison.
So, is comparing Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric to what actually occurred in Nazi Germany a fair comparison? The answer, if you know anything more about Fascism, the Nazi Party, or Hitler than you learned watching Schindler’s List or Inglorious Basterds, is a resounding YES. However, some people are still balking at calling a spade a spade, especially Fox News and conservative fundamentalist whackjobs, but also rational people.
This begs the conclusion that they don’t understand fascism, or they are burying their heads in the sand, so they don’t see the truth in the comparison.
Here is the perfect video with which to educate people, What Is Fascism?:
Feature image via Gage Skidmore, Flikr