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The Danger of Hitler Comparisons
Depths of Pentecost ^ | August 4, 2018 | Philip Cottraux

Posted on 08/05/2018 12:38:09 PM PDT by pcottraux

The Danger of Hitler Comparisons

By Philip Cottraux

October 26, 1948. Facing possible defeat from Republican challenger Thomas Dewey, Harry Truman said in a campaign speech in Chicago: “A Republican victory on election day will bring a Fascistic threat to American freedom that is even more dangerous than the perils from communism and extreme right crackpots.” The New York Times headline the following morning screamed loudly: “PRESIDENT LIKENS DEWEY TO HITLER AS ‘FASCIST TOOL.’”

A new tradition was born. Every Republican presidential candidate since has been compared to Hitler. In the aftermath of World War II, this cynical attempt to tap into people’s fears proved effective. But amazingly, 70 years later, the accusation has only increased in intensity. Nazi Germany is becoming a distant memory yet the fears of Hitler’s return have reached a fever pitch in a generation that never experienced his monstrosities firsthand.

During the Bush years, Hitler comparisons were common but seemed exclusive to very radical leftist outsiders. What’s disturbing today is how persistent the “Trump is Hitler” narrative is across the spectrum of mainstream news and high-ranking Democrat politicians. It almost seems regarded as a given fact that the president is the Fuhrer and his supporters are the white supremacists ushering him into power.

This is not only dishonest in most cases; it’s also intellectually lazy. Nazi Germany is an easy standard of evil. Hitler looked cartoonish with his tiny mustache, mop of black hair, and deranged eyes. The uniforms, German accents, swastikas, and even skulls, made the Nazis look like perfectly distinct villains. But focusing on the cosmetics ignores the true evil of Germany’s horrific actions. Comparing political opponents to them is an insult to the real victims of their atrocities.

What’s even more puzzling is that while the Nazis were certainly evil, their body count is actually lower than other dictators of the twentieth century. The Holocaust killed far fewer than Stalin’s purges. Chairman Mao’s insidious mass exterminations efficiently wiped out over one hundred million. This doesn’t even take into account those killed in Castro’s Cuba, Pol Pot’s Cambodia or the silent victims of North Korean death camps. These monsters sometimes hailed as heroic figures by the same leftists who claim to revile Hitler.

On Twitter, atheists are usually the first to start comparing Christians to the Nazis. It’s happened to me more than a few times. I personally take it as a first sign that someone’s lost the debate. The strange comparison is made under a specific delusion that Hitler was a devout Christian and as a result, all Christians are inevitable Hitlers-in-disguise. This historical lie was popularized by the late Christopher Hitchens, who used selective pro-Christian quotes by Hitler (taken out of context, of course) and called out the Catholic Church’s failure to ex-communicate the Fuhrer as evidence that Christianity and Nazism go hand-in-hand.

Of course, there’s a lot to a very complicated issue that Hitchens had to leave out of the argument. To call Hitler a “devout Christian” is problematic when one examines how schizophrenic his views on religion were. It’s true that he professed Christianity at times, but it’s also true that he believed the Aryan race were the descendants of the Nordic gods. Hitler also wanted to eventually close down every church in Germany and replace every Bible with Mein Kampf. To try to tie the Catholic Church with Hitler’s actions is to ignore the many Catholics who are little-known victims of the Holocaust, including many priests. Not to mention the staunch opposition to the Nazis by German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who would ultimately be a martyr in a concentration camp himself.

Part of what’s responsible for the “my political opponents are Hitler” epidemic is the misconception that history repeats itself. Now I know this is commonly-held knowledge, and I’ve believed it myself for most of my life. However, it’s difficult to define exactly. How does history repeat itself? The answer is incredibly vague with hard parameters to define. It depends on how exact you want to get. Historical figures don’t come back to life (except for Jesus, of course) to do exactly what they did before.

The reality is so complicated that I’ve conceded that history doesn’t actually repeat, though one could certainly argue that it rhymes. The repetition is merely an illusion that stems from our desire to find patterns in chaos. Humans fear randomness, because it leads to the possibility that anything terrible could happen at any moment. This scares us, so we mentally look for patterns as coping mechanisms when the unexpected occurs. This psychological phenomenon explains the existence of conspiracy theories. In a weird way, it’s more comforting to think that sinister government operatives are behind tragedies like 9/11 than to accept that tragedies could strike at any moment.

Hallucinations emerge from this search for patterns, and here’s where we arrive at cognitive dissonance. I wrote in a previous blog about my own experiences with cognitive dissonance among atheists (you can read it here); now, let me explain how Hitler comparisons emerge from it.

Cognitive dissonance occurs as a defense mechanism when faced with the possibility of being wrong on something. It could be religious, political beliefs, whatever. But when confronted with a belief being shattered, rather than changing their minds, the vast majority of people will actually double down on their wrongness. This is why facts and logic rarely change minds. When pressure is put on our brain acknowledge being wrong, the mind will respond by twisting itself into a pretzel to find a way out.

The aftermath of the 2016 election is a perfect microcosm of this. Most Democrats truly believed Hillary was going to win. That reality was shattered when Trump won handily. But rather than admitting they were wrong about Hillary’s chances, cognitive dissonance set in and their minds created a Russian coping mechanism as a way out. The idea that Russia was somehow behind Trump’s victory was born. Once they had the out, they doubled down on it, chasing an invisible boogeyman of Trump’s secretly plotting with Vladimir Putin to steal the election. Their egos can never let them admit that Hillary was a lousy candidate to begin with and that they were lying to themselves about her chances.

Everyone is living in their own reality. We imagine our lives as movies with ourselves as the main character. No one wants to be the villain; we like to think of ourselves as the hero. But to maintain this, we have to vilify our opponents in religion or politics. It’s harder to engage them on an issue-by-issue basis. It’s much easier to just hallucinate them as evil caricatures. This is why as Trump has had great success on the economy, North Korea, etc., people who believe he’s Hitler are doubling down on that hallucination rather than waking up to reality. While this can stroke one’s ego, it’s actually a mental prison. As a side-by-side contrast, Eminem is completely trapped in this hallucination while Kanye West broke free of it.

The mind trapped in cognitive dissonance is looking for patterns that justify the mental prison. For those hallucinating that Trump is Hitler, they see things that aren’t there. The most recent example is the separation of illegal immigrant families at the border. The reality of the issue is very complicated; this law was put in place by the Clinton administration. It states that if people crossing the border illegally are arrested, their children can’t be with them in prison. The only solution is to build temporary detention centers to hold the children until the parents can be processed. While it isn’t ideal, there really is no good answer. Having the children in prison with their parents wouldn’t be any better, and allowing illegal border crossings to go unchecked could lead to human, drug, and assault weapon trafficking.

But the media has seized on this issue and blown it into a crisis on the news, creating the impression that Trump’s policies were intentionally designed to rip families apart and cruelly lock children into cages. Those who believed Trump was Hitler now have visual confirmation to justify the hallucination, imagining detention centers as concentration camps. If that sounds unlikely, remember that our egos will jump at the chance to be proven right about something all along.

This is dangerous because leads to justification of violence. The sad truth is that there’s a savage streak inside humans. We secretly desire conflict and will come up with discrete ways to destroy our enemies both physically and mentally. If you can convince yourself that your political opponent is somehow the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler, you now have an excuse to violently attack people. Because of this tribal mentality deep in our psyche, people now think they have justification to do horrible things to Trump’s family and supporters. It’s why a passenger got verbally abusive to Ivanka on an airplane or why Samantha Bee called her a vile name on her so-called comedy show. It’s why Antifa beats veterans and pregnant women, and why Sarah Sanders was kicked out of a restaurant. People already are filled with hate. But the Hitler-hallucination has given them imaginary justification for that hate. This is called the “fake because.”

The “fake because” is a sinister trap, because now you’ve convinced yourself that the ends always justify the means. You can destroy lives and hurt people all you want without consequence, convinced that you’re actually somehow the hero who’s stopping the rise of Hitler and saving humanity. But it’s all a sham. Read more about this in my previous blog, Are You Prepared to Throw Acid in Children’s Faces?

What’s truly sad is that if Trump doesn’t turn out to be Hitler, half of this country may end up disappointed that the Third World War didn’t break out, with them as the heroes saving the world. But real life doesn’t resemble a Call of Duty game. I hate to break this news to you all, but Trump isn’t Hitler. Neither was Bush, or any other president. There is no “next Hitler.” There was only one, and he isn’t coming back.


TOPICS: History; Politics; Religion; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: hitler; leftistoutrage; media; trump
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Source:

-Leveiro, Anthony. “President Likens Dewey to Hitler as ‘Fascist Tool.’” The New York Times. Archives. October 26, 1948.

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1 posted on 08/05/2018 12:38:09 PM PDT by pcottraux
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To: pcottraux; boatbums; rlmorel; georgiegirl; Shark24; Wm F Buckley Republican; OregonRancher; ...

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge: Hosea 4:6.

This is the official ping list for Depths of Pentecost: I’m a Christian blogger who writes weekly Bible lessons. Topics range from Bible studies, apologetics, theology, history, and occasionally current events. Every now and then I upload sermons or classes onto YouTube.

Let me know if you’d like to added to the Depths of Pentecost ping list. New posts are up every Saturday.

2 posted on 08/05/2018 12:38:43 PM PDT by pcottraux (depthsofpentecost.com)
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To: pcottraux

The Left have been calling those with whom they disagree Hitler for all of my 59 years that I can remember. I heard politicians do it and I heard friends and aquaintences do it. This is old and it is wobbling badly as a tactic, which is what it actually is. It is NOT an argument.


3 posted on 08/05/2018 12:44:30 PM PDT by TalBlack (It's hard to shoot people when they are shooting back at you...)
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To: pcottraux

The First Photos of Trump’s ‘Tent Cities’ Are Here (Air conditioned, of course)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/3665196/posts


4 posted on 08/05/2018 12:55:43 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You cannot invade the mainland US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: pcottraux

Well done...you touched on all the right points.

I have always found it telling that the very people who vilify Hitler actually venerate the Communists whose death tolls made Hitler look like a piker in comparison.

When you are responsible for 6 million murders, being made to look like a piker in comparison is not easy to do.


5 posted on 08/05/2018 1:04:54 PM PDT by rlmorel (Leftists: They believe in the "Invisible Hand" only when it is guided by government.)
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To: TalBlack

I was talking to someone liberal, and asked her about Trump being Hitler. I asked her in what ways is Trump like Hitler.

She said that if I don’t know my history, to see the historic parallels between Trump and Hitler, then there’s no explanation she could give to explain things to me.


6 posted on 08/05/2018 1:07:07 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’m disappointed the author didn’t mention the main reason it is foolish to compare Trump to Hitler. Nazism is literally national socialism. It is the Liberals, AKA socialist, that are bandying around the word.

It just shows their extreme ignorance.


7 posted on 08/05/2018 1:09:57 PM PDT by CottonBall (Thank you , Julian!)
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To: CottonBall

But history does repeat itself. The whole point of that phrase is that if you don’t understand history it will repeat itself. And understanding history means understanding that Nazism is socialism. Socialism / fascism / liberalism / communism - all part of the same thread and are the opposite of capitalism.

And not understanding the evil that those ideologies can do means that they will happen again. And Liberals are proving that everyday.


8 posted on 08/05/2018 1:12:25 PM PDT by CottonBall (Thank you , Julian!)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

The easy cop-out of the ignorant. She didn’t even know what to say

I don’t bother to talk to liberals anymore. The conversation goes just about the same. If they can’t convert me then they start yelling and name-calling and insulting.


9 posted on 08/05/2018 1:13:49 PM PDT by CottonBall (Thank you , Julian!)
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To: pcottraux

so headline doesn’t match the quote - fake news in 1948...


10 posted on 08/05/2018 1:34:09 PM PDT by stylin19a
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To: pcottraux

Because Hitler was a man nobody would be comparing Hillary to Hitler if she’d won. Hitler comparisons are sexist.


11 posted on 08/05/2018 1:49:05 PM PDT by bigbob (Trust Sessions. Trust the Plan.)
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To: pcottraux

bump


12 posted on 08/05/2018 4:01:37 PM PDT by foreverfree
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To: TalBlack
The Left have been calling those with whom they disagree Hitler for all of my 59 years that I can remember. I heard politicians do it and I heard friends and aquaintences do it. This is old and it is wobbling badly as a tactic, which is what it actually is. It is NOT an argument.


13 posted on 08/05/2018 4:34:20 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: pcottraux

A Democratic victory on election day will bring a Fascistic threat to American freedom that is even more dangerous than the perils from communism and extreme left crackpots.


14 posted on 08/05/2018 4:53:12 PM PDT by TBP (Progressives lack compassion and tolerance. Their self-aggrandizement is all that matters.)
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To: pcottraux

Our side has compared the Democrats to Hitler too, myself included. It’s just as stupid coming from either side.


15 posted on 08/05/2018 5:13:23 PM PDT by TwelveOfTwenty (Prayers for our country and President Trump)
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To: pcottraux

Dewey ran for president three times: 1940, 1944, 1948. If he had been elected either of the first two times, he would still be the youngest president ever elected.


16 posted on 08/05/2018 7:19:19 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: Dilbert San Diego

It’s at that point that you say to a liberal “Thanks for conceding the argument’’.


17 posted on 08/06/2018 3:05:22 AM PDT by jmacusa (Made it Ma, top of the world!'')
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To: TalBlack
The Left have been calling those with whom they disagree Hitler for all of my 59 years that I can remember.

When I make it to 59 years, I won't expect anything to have changed.

18 posted on 08/06/2018 2:36:53 PM PDT by pcottraux (depthsofpentecost.com)
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To: rlmorel
Well done...you touched on all the right points.

Thank you!

I have always found it telling that the very people who vilify Hitler actually venerate the Communists whose death tolls made Hitler look like a piker in comparison.

The misconception that Hitler was some sort of right-wing extremist unleashed. Of course the exact opposite was true.

And sure, the body count was higher under the other Communist dictators...but you won't hear American leftists saying anything negative about their ideological brethren.

19 posted on 08/06/2018 2:39:21 PM PDT by pcottraux (depthsofpentecost.com)
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To: CottonBall
I’m disappointed the author didn’t mention the main reason it is foolish to compare Trump to Hitler. Nazism is literally national socialism.

You can talk to me directly. :)

I don't disagree with that, but which side is actually closer to Hitler's ideology is beside the point I was trying to make. It was more about the psychology of why leftists are so quick to cry "Hitler!" versus who more closely resembles the Fuhrer.

20 posted on 08/06/2018 2:42:05 PM PDT by pcottraux (depthsofpentecost.com)
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