Using the N-word (the other one)

You know that a reasonable, productive political conversation is over as soon as someone starts dropping N-bombs.   That’s why I made a decision long ago that I shouldn’t mention the Nazis in an argument unless we’re discussing Normandy or Auschwitz or The Blues Brothers.

No matter how you cut it, the Nazis were, well…special.  Human history is dotted with dark moments and failures, but Hitler stands out.  It’s not just the brutality, the totalitarianism, the propaganda, or the brainwashing.  We have seen those tactics used before and since.  It was the unique synthesis between barbarism and industrial efficiency; the ability to harness some of the finest instruments of human ingenuity toward unfathomable evil that makes the crimes of the Reich such a lasting horror.

Whoever is being accused right now on some radio or TV show of being a Nazi isn’t.  Frankly, even if you’re talking specifically about some whackjob in a brown uniform with a homemade swastika on his arm, that guy is no Nazi.  He may be dangerous, racist, Fascist, and wrong, but Nazi?  That was unique.  He’s dreaming.

Using the N-word short-circuits any political discussion, taking it out of the realm of the negotiable and into pure emotional territory.  If you think your political opponents are Nazis, and you’re not a Mossad agent tracking down war criminals in South America, then you’re wrong and you should knock it off.  You’re doing no one any good while degrading the sacrifices of people who put their lives on the line making us free and prosperous.

Like Mama used to say, “I’ve had just about enough of that.”

And finally, a choice rant on the subject from Lewis Black.

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