13.7.07

Partially misunderstood

In My Biases I say:
Evil does exist. Hitler and Stalin may have been the most recent examples of evil leadership; comparing current politicians to either dilutes the meaning of the word and anesthetizes us to the true thing.
Today, I received a comment that says
Most recent examples? You discount Pol Pot, Mao, Kim (pere et fils), Saddam, Milosevic, etc., etc.? How very forgiving and liberal of you!
BrianFH is correct: these are more recent examples of evil leaders. However, I'm not "forgiving" them in the slightest. I'm talking about our habit of referring to US leaders as "Hitler" or "Nazis" or using it for a quick laugh in popular movies/tv (the Soup Nazi - a character I've never seen but have heard about because of the popular ubiquity of Seinfeld - is an example, here and here are political examples). It cheapens the actual horror of what evil they did (I've never heard anyone in politics or popular culture referred to as "another Pol Pot/Milosevic/Mao" - have you?).

Yes, those men were evil, akin to Hitler and Stalin. And yes, they are/were more current examples. But my statement was about diluting the brand (if you will), not about forgiving their crimes. There is evil in this world still: in Darfur is one egregious example. But let's not call something "the next Darfur" unless we really mean it.

4 comments:

stj said...

wouldn't say liberal as much as ones that spring to mind as known examples. these boys have been recorded much more than the others.
let's face it this is one of those things that it could be argued that Bush, the state of Israel, Turkey and basically anyone, thing could be used as a mass murderer...

Aravis said...

You know, I had to laugh at the liberal epithet. Everything else aside, you're quite moderate, leaning a little to the conservative depending on the circumstances, but rarely over to the liberal side. Which is not meant derogatorily in any way. It's just how I've perceived you over the years, and have enjoyed your viewpoints, so often different from mine. :0)

Lazygal said...

Aravis, my mother cracked up when I told her. Liberal is definitely not how she views me.

Anonymous said...

hmmm... what makes my lies to my neighbor any worse that Hitler's?