Invoking the Nazis: A Disturbing Trend
This morning, as I got off the bus, a policeman was there checking fares. I didn't mind, as I had my pass with me, it beeped, and I was sent on my way. The gentleman behind me seemed to take exception to being requested to show his fare. He held up the line as he argued with the policeman, until (I assume as he was not ticketed) he finally showed his pass.The disturbing thing is, as he walked away from the bus, he started singing, "Sieg Heil!" at the top of his voice. Clearly he was trying to draw a parallel between checking for fares on a bus and the rule of the Nazis in Germany during World War Two. This disturbed me, so much so that I found it hard to think about anything else. I had met some of the survivors of the Jewish Concentration camps in Auschwitz. I talked with old soldiers from that era, on both sides of the war. I studied the period that lead to one of the greatest breach of inhumane treatment in modern times. Checking for a bus pass or a ticket doesn't even come close to the tyranny the people's of Europe, including the Germans, had to live with during that period.And yet, this young man was determined to paint the officer as a follower of Hitler, simply because he was inconvenienced for a few moments. It's a worrying trend I see more and more in the news. Activists are invoking the Nazi name, and the vintage of Hitler, at a drop of a hat. Determined to polarize and focus dissent or anger, they willingly flaunt the horror that was Nazi rule as easily as they would fling a quote from a favorite movie.I don't subscribe to any particular political party, nor do I find partisan politics more useful than functioning government. But I resent the implication that one political leader or another is another Hitler simply because you don't agree with his policy. To make such a wild accusation so flippantly is embarrassing to the accuser at best, and insulting to the memory of those who suffered so much at their hands at worst.