When Playing the Nazi Card, At Least Get It Right


Using the Nazi analogy to discredit political opponents is a popular game that seems to work best as a substitute for honest criticism. Although such comparisons usually do little more than expose one’s ignorance of the actual history of the Third Reich, it doesn’t mean that valid comparisons don’t exist. Within the right context, similarities can be drawn, Godwin’s Law be damned.

Actually, there’s only one good reason why the subject should ever be brought up in the first place. Nazi Germany was a fundamental transformation of a parliamentary democracy that became a one party dictatorship. Just as important, it was done within the government’s legal framework and with a popular mandate from the people. That factor alone makes it a relevant example of a government gone wrong—a compelling schematic and a warning for citizens concerned about the future of their own respective countries.

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