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Jerry Shenk


The Goose Step Theory

by Jerry Shenk
 

An online aphorism, Godwin's Law, or Godwin's Rule of Hitler Analogies, states that, as arguments get lengthier and more passionate, it becomes increasingly likely — approaching certainty -- that somebody will mention Adolf Hitler or the Nazis in an unproductive way. In other words, as political arguments continue, sooner or later, somebody will compare someone or something to Hitler.

Whether they know it or (more likely) not, disputants who hyperbolically invoke Hitler during simple disagreements reveal that they've exhausted their arguments -- if they ever had any — and automatically, immediately forfeit the debate.

After all, if you are willing to label someone with whom you merely disagree "Hitler" or "Nazi," what words do you reserve to describe Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering, Josef Goebbels and the rest of that murderous lot?

Since the November General Election, though, there has been a lot of "Hitler," "Nazi" and "fascist" talk among shocked, dispirited hard-left losers which began in earnest even before Inauguration Day.

The left's "apprehension" about President Donald Trump has taken on the appearance of a clinical case of psychological projection. One suspects that, because they approved of and encouraged former President Barack Obama's and his executive agencies' impositions of policies that couldn't pass Congress, the left worries that the American system their side willfully weakened is incapable of constraining Donald Trump.

That anxiety may be a tacit admission that, all along, the left's intent was to impose their own autocratic makeover of America. Indeed, in his first inaugural address, Obama did promise to "remake America." He certainly tried.

If the past is prologue, then what the left really fears is that, by exploiting the precedents of the Obama administration's unilateral extra-constitutional overreach, President Trump and his administration will carry out inverse variants of Obama's excesses.

In that context, one understands the left's fears, even though — or because -- the programs and policies the Trump administration has advanced to date have been to repair or dismantle the blunders and constitutional infringements of Obama's eight years, to rationalize the regulatory regime, improve national security and, unlike Mr. Trump's predecessor, enforce existing American laws.

Ironically, everything the Trump administration has announced or attempted falls within the boundaries and constraints of the United States Constitution.

As always, context is everything, so the left's vitriol appears to have far less to do with genuine apprehension about a fascist takeover of America than with their distress over the electoral loss of a perceived opportunity to finalize their own centralized authority.

Groundless "Hitler" comparisons are despicable, albeit common left-wing political rituals that shamefully trivialize the genuine evil of the Holocaust and dishonor the six million Jews, gypsies and other "undesirables" murdered by Hitler's goons.

Explaining the left's propensity for leveling accusations of fascism at legitimate officeholders and voters who only defeated left-wing ideologues in fair elections is simple: Gratuitous "Hitler," "Nazi," and "fascist" slanders are soulless, anger-induced symptoms of the left's spiritual, intellectual and political bankruptcy — out of arguments, and out of power.

http://www.ldnews.com/story/opinion/2017/03/17/godwins-law-goose-step/99303852/



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