Is Bush Hitler? No — Just No.

Bush is not Hitler.

Oh sure he is.

George W. Bush is Hitler. His dad is also Hitler. Walt Disney was Hitler. Mother Theresa was Hitler. At this time, Saddam Hussein has been called Hitler more times than Hitler. Jimmy Carter is Hitler. That guy — the one on the message board — do I have to say it? You don't even know that guy and he's the epitome of Hitler.

I think the only person who never gets compared to Hitler is Hitler himself — and it wouldn't surprise me if I was wrong about that.

Does this comparison even mean anything anymore? Sure!

It means that an awful lot of people have never read a history book. If you have read a history book — really any history book — aw, hell, if you've read any book ever — you are unlikely to equate Bill Clinton with Adolph Hitler on the basis that both men were popular with women. Yet, I found that very comparison on the Internet.

I determined that it would be of service to the Internet, and its throngs of armchair analysts — or, as I should really say, throngs of my fellow armchair analysts — to illustrate some of the practical limitations of comparing people to Hitler.

The need for enlightenment is desperate. This becomes painfully obvious when one encounters a web-forum posting containing a statement like this:

Both [Al Gore and Adolph Hitler] believe very firmly in a hands-on federal government.

Rik Brooks, Al Gore's So Called Future, 22 June, 1999

It's baffling that anyone would pair Al Gore with Adolph Hitler, especially on the premise that their conceptions of federal government are in some way congruent. This relationship could only be conjured in a consciousness utterly devoid of any knowledge of either Al Gore or Adolph Hitler — or the principles of federal government, for that matter.

A casual survey of the Internet revealed that almost every public figure in recent memory has been subjected to an inexplicable association with Adolph Hitler for the sake of exposition. The more controversial the figure, the more likely that he or she features in as many as hundreds of preposterous correlations.

Except Ralph Nader.

I was unable to find any comparisons of Ralph Nader and Adolph Hitler on the Internet.

Hey, Internet! Do any of you actually know anything about Hitler? Besides that he had a little mustache? You guys probably don't realize he's not the dude with the bowler hat and cane in those silent films. That's a different guy.

Same mustache, different guy.

Anyway, I'm going to illustrate a couple of key issues. First of all, I'm going to look into actual history. This can have the frustrating effect of demonstrating the idiocy of the Hitler comparison you are about to make. That's OK — one of the points I try to convey in my essays is that it is undesirable to do idiotic things.

The good news is that there are a lot of other historical figures with whom one can compare Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Saddam Hussein and even George W. Bush.

Recently, the Internet has shown evidence of progress; forum participants are now making comparisons to Neville Chamberlain, who is a historical figure who isn't Adolph Hitler.

Of course, it is merely incremental progress, as Neville Chamberlain is only famous as a result of his interactions with Adolph Hitler.

But progress is progress.

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