Readability

No Hitler Yet

by baldilocks

Just got through with Part One of Future Learn’s Holo­caust course. I’ve read a lot of books on the topic; speak Ger­man; was sta­tioned in Old West Berlin for four years, and this course is more like a refresher course than a true study — at least the first part is. We’ll see about the sec­ond part.

Review­ing what hap­pened dur­ing the rise of the Third Reich has always been essen­tial, but this is espe­cially so right now. We have oppo­nents of Pres­i­dent Trump com­par­ing him to Hitler while, with no sense of irony, riot­ing, destroy­ing prop­erty and assault­ing his sup­port­ers. Would any of them be inclined to “review” this his­tory? Doubtful.

But more rea­son­able sorts — both pro­po­nents and oppo­nents of the Trump Admin­is­tra­tion — should take the time to do this. Oh, not because any­thing like the Third Reich is pos­si­ble yet in the USA, but because such a thing should be rec­og­nized from a long way off. And you can’t pre­pare for some­thing you don’t recognize…or some­thing that you misremember.

Exam­ple: my cousin is warier of Don­ald Trump than I am and asserted that Amer­i­cans are “just as capa­ble of vot­ing in a Hitler as the Ger­mans were.” Amer­i­cans are cer­tainly capa­ble of mak­ing mis­takes in pick­ing who sits in the Oval Office, but the prob­lem with the anal­ogy is this: the Ger­man peo­ple did not vote Hitler in as Chan­cel­lor. His party didn’t even win a major­ity of votes. It received a plu­ral­ity; the Ger­man Pres­i­dent Paul von Hin­den­burg “decided” to choose Hitler as chan­cel­lor and thus began the descent into Hell. That’s the short version.

My cousin is very intel­li­gent and very knowl­edge­able about this period of Euro­pean his­tory, but he for­got this essen­tial thing about par­lia­men­tary elec­tions and about that one in particular.

It takes just a lit­tle bit of effort to make sure one’s metaphors are cor­rect so that one is not cry­ing wolf on the day when a real wolf comes knock­ing on the door.

For a bet­ter essay about the absur­dity of call­ing any Amer­i­can pres­i­dent Hitler, go here.

Thanks to Michael Tyson, Major, USAF (ret.)

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2012. Her sec­ond novel ten­ta­tively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on Feb­ru­ary 2017! Fol­low her on Twit­ter.

Please con­tribute to Juliette’s JOB: Her new novel, her blog, her Inter­net to keep the lat­ter going and COF­FEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Inde­pen­dent Journalism!

baldilocks

by baldilocks

Just got through with Part One of Future Learn’s Holocaust course. I’ve read a lot of books on the topic; speak German; was stationed in Old West Berlin for four years, and this course is more like a refresher course than a true study—at least the first part is. We’ll see about the second part.

Reviewing what happened during the rise of the Third Reich has always been essential, but this is especially so right now. We have opponents of President Trump comparing him to Hitler while, with no sense of irony, rioting, destroying property and assaulting his supporters. Would any of them be inclined to “review” this history? Doubtful.

But more reasonable sorts—both proponents and opponents of the Trump Administration—should take the time to do this. Oh, not because anything like the Third Reich is possible yet in the USA, but because such a thing should be recognized from a long way off. And you can’t prepare for something you don’t recognize…or something that you misremember.

Example: my cousin is warier of Donald Trump than I am and asserted that Americans are “just as capable of voting in a Hitler as the Germans were.” Americans are certainly capable of making mistakes in picking who sits in the Oval Office, but the problem with the analogy is this: the German people did not vote Hitler in as Chancellor. His party didn’t even win a majority of votes. It received a plurality; the German President Paul von Hindenburg “decided” to choose Hitler as chancellor and thus began the descent into Hell. That’s the short version.

My cousin is very intelligent and very knowledgeable about this period of European history, but he forgot this essential thing about parliamentary elections and about that one in particular.

It takes just a little bit of effort to make sure one’s metaphors are correct so that one is not crying wolf on the day when a real wolf comes knocking on the door.

For a better essay about the absurdity of calling any American president Hitler, go here.

Thanks to Michael Tyson, Major, USAF (ret.)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks