Godwin’s Law and Politics

7 Apr

I never thought I would have to do this, but people have been rushing to the Hitler argument during debates.  The internet term for this is Godwin’s Law.  The term was coined by Michael Godwin.  It states, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazi’s or Hitler approaches 1.”  (Look it up.  I promise I’m not making it up.)   I have unfortunately seen this in several debates I have had with people, mainly while debating gun control.  This isn’t isolated to only one side using it, but it is much more common on the right.  It has been used on the left over the issue of unions.  (People say that Hitler outlawed unions too)  This kind of nonsense is unacceptable during a debate.  It shows a complete lack of understanding of history and insensitivity to people who suffered during World War II.

I understand that gun control is a divisive issue, but there is no reason to compare people banning guns to Nazi Germany.  Even if you take away the offensiveness of the comparison, the argument makes no sense.  Anyone who has even a middle-school understanding of history should know that the Holocaust was not the result of victims not having guns.  You have to have a really twisted view of reality to think that way.  It is also a huge jump to suggest that by requiring background checks and banning assault weapons will eventually lead to everyone’s weapon or weapons taken away, and compare that to Nazi Germany.

There is no comparison between our leaders and Hitler.  People have compared both Obama and Bush to Hitler.  There is no comparison between a U.S. president and Hitler, just a lack of understanding of history.  Leaders who commit genocide (i.e. Milosevic), can be compared to Hitler.  I am by no means suggesting that this talk is dominating our political discussion, but there is certainly enough of it going around for me to discuss it.  It’s time for this talk to stop; we are a better country then that to be making these kinds of analogies.


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