This shouldn’t have to be said, but just because you don’t like someone doesn’t make them Hitler.
For a half-century it has been extremely difficult to qualify as a Hitler, and rightly so. One could even argue that there has been only one Hitler in all that time, though Joseph Stalin did a commendable job, and were you to call him Hitler there are very few folks likely to argue. Idi Amin, Pol Pot and Mao all gave it their best; while many had Hitler-esque qualities, they ultimately fell short of the standards set by the original Hitler. Even if they were to be considered Hitlers, their inclusion would be much more warranted than that of a temperamental news anchor or Senator from New York. Saddam Hussein is certainly a rotten apple; but he’s no Hitler, especially after being plucked from the ground in such an un-climactic, pathetic way.
It’s unfortunate that the Hitler bar has been lowered so much. Certainly it does a disservice to everyone when the original Hitler’s nefarious behavior is equated to laying off 3000 employees.
Lest we forget: Hitler was not hated for assigning too much homework, making you come to the office on weekends, or acquiring obscene wealth in the computer business. As abusive as an NFL football coach can be, there is no amount of meanness they could dole out that would make them a Hitler. Outrageously awful film directors, despots and religious zealots living in caves are all bad, but not Hitlers. As a former vegan/animal rights freak myself, I empathize with you PETA lunatics. That said, even Frank Purdue’s complicity in the death of billions of juicy, delicious chickens does not make him Hitler. Ironically, Hitler was a vegetarian; not sure if it was for health reasons or because he loved animals more than pretty much anything else.
I don’t like Yasser Arafat too much. He’s evil, a cancer on civilized society, and a miserable Arab who may like Hitler’s business model, but that doesn’t make Arafat a Hitler.
From the ‘Stop [swastika] Bush’ and the ‘Bush = Nazi’ graffiti in the neighborhood to the ‘Bush is Hitler!’ advertisements from the bright bulbs at moveon.org, it seems that some folks – especially those equipped with markers and Final Cut Pro – need to be reminded that not liking someone does not automatically make that person Hitler.
This is probably how it happens: someone is vehemently anti-Bush; they don’t feel words like ‘loser’ or ‘jerk’ are strong enough to express their sentiments, and they don’t know other words. Like Martin Sheen, they’re over-emotional, lack the capacity to reason and don’t have a thesaurus handy. From their simmering anger comes forth the name-turned-adjective that embodies how horribly evil they think the individual they hate is. So, without applying too much thought to the whole equation, their nemesis becomes Hitler, one of the darkest, most evil genocidal menaces the world has ever faced. Then they cap the marker and run off to a rally.
As a result of the free-association of Hitler with everything negative, no matter how trivial, there has been a glossing-over of the real reasons why Hitler is one of history’s all-time Very Bad Men, if not the Most Bad. This is not good. Hitler earned his Ultimate Evildoer rating, and deserves to retain that status undiluted by any warped affirmative-action program that seeks to include a coterie of inconsequential wannabes. Hitler is a Hitler because he was Hitler.
In the future, it is recommended that prior to classifying an individual as Hitler, one consults the following checklist. If you can answer Yes to all the following questions, you are dealing with a Hitler and can feel free to label him as such:
-Does the person I am about to equate to Hitler wield power as a supreme leader?
-Does the person I am about to equate to Hitler harbor a strangely deep-seated but never quite explained hatred of a race, religion, or group of people not his own?
-Does the person I am about to equate to Hitler suggest that all society’s ills can be corrected by the wholesale murder of any and all enemies of the state as determined by him?
-Has the person I am about to equate to Hitler created an apparatus of extermination?
-Does the person I am about to equate to Hitler have an aggressive salute?
-Does the person I am about to equate to Hitler love Charlie Chaplin films to the point where he has adopted his moustache?
-Would the person I am about to equate to Hitler think it’s a good idea to get married and then spend his honeymoon shooting himself in the head before being cremated in a ditch?
As you can see, even Stalin, the closest non-Hitler to Hitler, falls short of meeting all the criteria to be labeled a Hitler. Stalin did not have an aggressive salute, killed mostly his own people, and died peacefully. Not to mention his moustache was more Magnum P.I. than Chaplin.
Let’s hope that this helps clear up the Hitler qualification standards and return the bastard to his rightful place: a little short of Satan, but well above Jesse Helms, Barbra Streisand and Simon Cowell.
Please, choose your Hitlers wisely.