Last week, a few of my Facebook friends updated their statuses by informing the rest of us that the current President of the United States is “just like Hitler.”
To me, (and anybody else who is modestly informed and even the least bit rational) that’s big ol’ matza ball, hard as a rock, and impossible to swallow.
I remember people, on blogs, saying the same about George W. I was no fan of W’s ways, but that was beyond the pale also.
I decided it was my responsibility, as a concerned citizen, to correct this weird assertion.
I don’t know much about history, but I do know that anybody can compare anything to anything else and there’s nothing anybody can do about it.
I took a lot of history in college, but I wasn’t that good at it. I’m no scholar in any subject.
But what a foul thing to say.
So I said so — and I tried my best to use tact, restraint, reason, and respect.
What came back was a flood of angry garbage.
Veering off the subject (surprise! surprise!) I got into a discussion with one guy about whether or not all this talk was inflammatory. That led to a discussion about whether the term “Jewish Capitalism” was inflammatory. Then I was told that if I knew anything about Judaism — my religion — that I would know we did not read the whole Bible, only the “toro” (his spelling). This — from a person who was accusing me, from the outset, of being a socialist.
I wonder what he would have said if I had admitted that I was really quite fine being a socialist, and informed him that — whether he likes it or not — a proper interrogation would uncover the fact that he’s probably a socialist also.
He claimed his statements were not inflammatory. Those who took it that way, he claimed, are too sensitive.
Sensitivity, in this context, was not a virtue but a character flaw.
Being sensitive to diversity — well…that’s another issue — too far out there for this conversation. I couldn’t bring that up because I didn’t want to deal with the rebound.
In my view, we don’t get to choose what’s inflammatory. We kind of know. And, we get to choose whether or not be inflammatory or not.
I could have been inflammatory by pointing out, more directly, the level of ignorance within this whole conversation. Both sides.
The bottom line was that all the folks in this discussion are repeating what they hear Rush Limbaugh say.
Ironic that they repeat his words and then defend them as truth and deny the inflammatory, offensive nature of the comments.
Inflammatory statements aren’t very effective in public discourse — but it’s good business.
It’s obvious, just from the clips I see on the news, that offending people is Rush Limbaugh’s business plan. Why not admit it?