Dear fellow right-wingers,
I’m seeing pictures of you all at the Tea Parties and whatnot, and mostly it’s all good, but there are still way too many Nazi symbols for my taste. I understand your point is that our Obamafied, left-turning country is on the slippery slope to a fascist state, but that is exactly my problem: your point is wrong. Therefore, you need to stop making it.
I know it’s been fashionable for some time among righties to point out that Nazi Germany was socialist. Nazi=National Socialist, and all that. Hitler didn’t let folks own handguns. That is very important to know. However, something isn’t wrong simply because Hitler did it. Obviously, murdering Jews is wrong, but it would be wrong even if Hitler didn’t do it. Hitler was also a vegetarian, and being a vegetarian isn’t wrong. You see the difference? You see what I’m getting at? We don’t need to bring up Hitler every time something is wrong.
I don’t know if any of the recent swastika-wielding has been inspired by Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism, but if so, you did not read Goldberg’s book very carefully. The main point of Liberal Fascism is that fascism is a progressive ideology, not that progressives are Nazis in embryo. The cover art–a smiley face with a Hitler mustache–is a flip way of saying that contemporary progressivism is “nice” fascism, not the genocidal totalitarianism of the Third Reich. Obviously, that is cold comfort to folks living on the same political continuum with Mussolini, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an important disclaimer. (Also, it is worth noting that progressivism has roots in the Republican party and the penultimate chapter of Goldberg’s book is “We’re All Fascists Now.”) Nazis were racists and murderers, and American progressives are not. That shouldn’t be so hard to remember or acknowledge. The easiest way to acknowledge it is to stop calling the progressives Nazis. (Remember, all you have to do is nothing.)
The United States may be changing significantly under this administration, but it’s not on the fast track to all-out fascism, much less Nazism with its attendant evils that have nothing to do with progressivism per se. The United States is on a train bound for Western Europe, which should be frightening enough in itself without raising the specter of Hitler. Something can be bad without being Hitler. And when something is so obviously not Hitler, calling it Hitler makes you look paranoid and over-the-top and like someone not to be taken seriously. I would like the conservative cause to be taken seriously, but I see how hard it must be to do that when conservatives suggest that our president is just a hop, skip and a jump away from rounding people up into concentration camps.
Anyway, there are two critical aspects of Nazism that are missing from today’s American left, namely, nationalism and militarism. The socialism and corporatism and the totalitarian temperament may all be there, but lack of nationalism and militarism constitutes a Hitler FAIL. It’s time that you just accepted that and move on.
Believe me, I’m not one of those namby-pamby moderates who think we can all just get along. There is so much for a conservative to dislike about Pres. Obama’s policies that one hardly knows where to begin–but here’s where NOT to begin: the Nazis. Let’s talk about sound economic principles and individual liberty without invoking Hitler or any other Nazi. Can we do that? Yes, we can.
X’s & O’s,
Madhousewife is the change in the Obama administration that you’ve been waiting for.