Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/9/2008 (2992 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Although I may not share the outrage that some have about politicians who call other politicians "Hitler," let me say that I'm tired of it.Several candidates have used Nazi imagery to describe their outrage at Conservative government policies. YouTube is full of home-made videos likening Harper and his government to Hitler and his team of thugs and terrorists. I guess the theory is that if you want to really express concern about a right-wing politician, the term Hitler is the best way to make your point. In that sense, the argument is that Hitler has become like Kleenex
, it's an iconic, single-word reference that over the years has worked its way into the fabric of our culture. The problem is, only one of those iconic names refers to a mass murderer, and I guess that's why people have no sense of humour about it.I do know some people in politics who believe it is the worst possible thing anyone could call them. In fact, Premier Gary Doer
was incensed a few years ago when a Free Press editorial cartoon about the smokiing ban portrayed him as a goose-stepping Nazi. I heard quite a bit from the NDP about that one, and despite the fact I will always defend the right of editorial cartoonists to speak/draw their minds, I agree that it was not an appropriate image.In this campaign, we've heard quite a few politicians sling the H-bomb at their opponents, in particular at Prime Minister Stephen Harper
. I don't find these slurs to be offensive, per se. I think they are a bit extreme. Most of all, I find it a sign of political immaturity. It's the kind of mud slinging that most often comes from someone with absolutely no chance of getting elected.Smart politicians know the difference between dictator (okay) and Hitler (not okay). And I doubt that anyone is ever going to get elected by tossing the H-bomb around. For those who actually believe participating in electoral democracy is a good thing (small group, getting smaller at the time) it might be good to figure out another way of expressing your outrage.-30-