Identity, Politics

Good News/Bad News

Last week, I was on my way to a healthcare rally when I bumped into some Larouche-ies. You’ve probably seen them yourself. They are out with a disturbing Obama-Hitler Mashup:
As I walked by, a late teens/early 20s scraggly white dude says “Hey, you like the mustache?”
After thinking about it for a second and trying to calm down I said:

Well, it’s sort of a good news/bad news situation for you. On the one hand, it’s bad news that your comparison is ridiculous, offensive, and wrongheaded. On the other hand it’s good news for you that Obama isn’t much like Hitler, since, if he was, you’d be in a concentration camp for drawing the comparison.

In retrospect, I think that’s a good response but not a great one.
Later I thought of some other alternatives:

  • Glib–I don’t see the connection. What does Obama have in common with Charlie Chaplin?
  • Serious–Frankly, I don’t. It is needlessly provocative and creates an unnecessary hurdle in your being taken seriously. If you have a good argument, make it.
  • Identity Political–Most of my family was killed by Hitler and I find this both disgraceful and insulting to their memory. If you wish to be sensationalist, please exploit your own history rather than mine.

Not sure any of these hits the right notes. What would you have said?

8 thoughts on “Good News/Bad News

  1. I actually really like your initial response. The Charlie Chaplin one ignores that anything distasteful is going on. (BTW, see this for more on Hitler and Charlie and it’s not about The Great Dictator
    I think the serious one is no fun. And the holocaust card is no good because of the off chance that the shmuck handing is out is a Jew or whatever and had relatives die in a camp.

  2. historical: yeah I see the comparison… When they came with the New Deal I wasn’t unemployed so I said nothing, when they offered a Great Society I wasn’t poor so I didn’t speak out, When they provided Medicare I wasn’t a senior so I stayed silent, now they want to give me health care… who will be for me?

  3. Loved your initial response, but I did laugh pretty hard when I read the Charlie Chaplin line… thanks for speaking up! What did he say after?

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