Why compare anything to Hitler?

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Writing for the Humanities
English 2100 P
October 9, 2018
Why compare anything to Hitler?
Hitler, to many people, may be seen as a person who has done so many horrible things to many people in the past yet in the present some people choose to compare him or the Nazi to events or people. To many, this analogy is unethical and might take away from the history itself but to others, it is used as a way to give a visualization to what might happen. Making these analogies is unethical because it is slowly being used to compare different things when the history is far more horrifying. Instead of having a conversation about why it is wrong to use that analogy or why people should talk about what Hitler did in the past, but it will direct the conversation in a different path.
Using Hitler or the Nazi as a way to compare someone or an event can potentially do some harm. In Godwin’s article, he discusses that “even if it is terrible to separate children from their parents (and sometimes lose track of them, or make it impossible for their parents contact them, or even deprive them of the comfort of human touch), it’s not as awful as what the Nazis did. Or as bad as the slave trade. Or as bad as what the expansion of the United States westward did to Native Americans.” The minute that someone compares something to Hitler or the Nazi it takes away the historical factor of the analogy by trying to exaggerate the conversation. The concept of what happened historically is slowly diminishing its historical value when someone decides to use Hitler or the Nazi as an analogy for something that does not even relate or compare to the millions dead or the horrible things the Nazi did to children and innocent people.
Online and in the media people have used Hitler or Nazi analogies to emphasize an idea, event or even to refer to people. By having people use the analogies to signify a person’s actions or how bad an event was it diminishes Hitler and the history just a little bit. Throughout Donald Trump’s time in the office, many people have used his words and compare them to Hitler. Trump in his time so far has not done anything like what Hitler did in the 1930’s so why compare him to Hitler? According to Taschka, having “False equivalencies not only risk trivializing Hitler and the horrors he unleashed. They also prevent people from engaging with the actual issues at hand – ones that urgently require our attention: immigration reform, rampant xenophobia, social and economic restructuring in a globalized world, and a loss of faith in government’s ability to solve pressing problems.” So not only is it unethical to use the analogy but it does not even spark the right conversation and drives away from the important conversations people should be having.
People nowadays use these analogies too loosely and so much so that the concept of the analogy is belittled from the true history behind it. Having these analogies being shown to the public and used in ways that do not benefit or help the analogy is exactly the reason why using the Hitler analogy is unethical and should not be used. When big organizations like the NRA making ad campaigns that use the Hitler analogy, such as the one described in Taschka’s article, use it to emphasize how the analogy is affecting how even children are perceiving the president. In the advertisement Dana Loesch says,“ They use schools to teach children that their President is Hitler!” In other words, the analogies are being used for things that people think are evil but is clearly missing the fact that Hitler was someone that was capable of doing things that many people, who are considered evil, have done.
The use of these analogies at the moment are being belittled by the constant comparison to people who have not done the same as Hitler or the Nazi. The continued use of the analogies will diminish the historical aspect of what the word means and will further be forgotten if used to depict places or people as anything related to the Holocaust. In countless of times people have used these analogies and instead of having a conversation of why the analogy is made people will move away from the conversation and settle on other things. The events that happened in the 1930’s should not be something that is taken lightly and it should not be an event used to compare anything else because the concept will soon be lost.
Works Cited
Godwin, Mike. “Do We Need to Update Godwin’s Law about the Probability of Comparison to
Nazis?” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2018. Web. 16 Oct. 2018.
Taschka, Sylvia. “Trump-Hitler Comparisons Too Easy and Ignore the Murderous History.” The
Conversation. N.p., 19 Sept. 2018. Web. 16 Oct. 2018.