I try to live my online life by recognizing the truth of Godwin’s Law and its closely related corollary. Those are: the longer an Internet discussion goes on, the more likely someone will bring up the Nazis; and that the Nazi analogy is usually so absurd, the person making it automatically loses the argument.
But sometimes political speech becomes just a bit too disturbing – and the Nazi analogy is a bit too close to reality – to ignore it.
I’m speaking of Donald Trump’s calls for Muslims to carry special identification and for the closing down of mosques under certain circumstances. This demonization and dehumanization of religious minorities as “the other” as a path to power is just too close what the Nazis did. It’s sickening and un-American. And he won’t really distance himself from these statements when directly asked. I’m not saying that Trump is akin to Hitler. I don’t think he has quite the same methodical, thought-out ideology. That gives him too much credit. He’s just a guy trying to win an election – which is maybe even more disturbing. Who knows what he’ll actually do?
Thankfully, Trump has been criticized by many people, including some Republican presidential candidates (although fairly mildly in some cases). But that’s not enough.
To the moderate, non-bigoted Americans who identify as Republicans, for the love of your country, take back your party. You cannot stay quiet. Stand up and be counted at this time. Learn a bit about fascism, how it started, what it called for, and how it worked. Reject those tactics. Reject religious bigotry. Reject Donald Trump.
Some further reading.