Left wingers/liberals are constantly being compared to Nazis. Glenn Beck incorporates Third Reich footage on his show in discussing the Obama “regime”, the corporate bailout = socialism and socialism = National Socialism = Nazis. I’m sure everybody’s seen those “Raise your right hand if you believe in gun control” bumper stickers with Hitler giving the Nazi salute because Nazis of course banned most private handgun ownership (after legally stockpiling assault rifles for their private militia before coming to power, which is odd because private militias are to be preserved at all costs).
Sometimes it gets really loopy and tangential: Obama is charismatic and a good public speaker… LIKE HITLER!!!
The Nazis were socialists, in name and in practice, and while it can be argued that socialism in 1930s Germany was extremely different from socialism as applied to some businesses and aspects of government in modern western Europe and Canada is different, nevertheless it is true that socialism is left wing.
In popular parlance
Socialism = Left Wing = Liberal
Hitler was a Socialist, therefore Hitler was a Liberal it seems. At least to many ultraconservative commentators.
Which is odd because Nazi social policies could hardly have been less liberal. It is absolutely impossible to separate the hate speech from Nazi teachings and philosophy and rhetoric, it was there from the movement’s conception. Hitler hated Jews above all but also Catholics, gays, feminists, and… uh… liberals.
And while I’m not calling Rush Limbaugh a neo-Nazi (though I’m sure he could fit into one of Göring’s old uniforms if he had to), if you were to listen to a Limbaugh speech and then to an Obama speech, both randomly selected and not tailored, you would probably find worlds more similarities twixt Rush/Beck/Hannity/Dobbs/etc. and Hitler than twixt Obama and Hitler. I’m not the only person who notices this: several self described neo-Nazis and Aryans who have gotten into trouble with the law have books by these pundits all over their homes (the cop murderer in Pittsburgh recently, the Aryan in Tennessee, Lou Dobbs was voted awards by an Aryan Nations web site, etc.).
Now, while the historical truth is as ever more complicated than its twitterization it’s also extremely ironic to me that one thing most people “know” about Hitler is that he took an economy that was absolutely smashed flat and worthless due to World War I (the war itself and the indemnity) and the worldwide Depression and restored it to a great powerhouse, as great or greater than it had ever been on the world stage. It bears repeating: in most people’s concept of history, including those of the right, Hitler fixed the German economy.
Which is what makes him a liberal.
OTOH his conservative views against Jews and all others who weren’t Aryans are what made him the greatest supervillain of all time.
Anyway, I apologize for the rambling- this began as a rant over another “liberals = leftists = Nazis” comment but I decided it would be more interesting as a debate, and there’s some jetlag from the flying to a different forum. So the question is:
Would Hitler/The Nazi State be better categorized as liberal or conservative, or as left wing or right wing, or would you rule them incomparable to our concepts of these terms.