The thing my father and I have often discussed, through the years, is
the eye-rolling art of comparing American presidents to Hitler. It is
such an absurdity we find it amusing …and frustrating. It’s often just a
punch line. Like the Soup Nazi wasn’t really a Nazi. He was just mean.
The Nazi part made it funny. You know …over-the-top. Like “grammar Nazi”
or “spelling Nazi.” Nobody is really a “Nazi.” It’s our representation
of something we consider jarring, strident, intractable and inhumane. But the truth about Nazis isn’t funny at all. It’s bloody and
horrible and gut churning. And it involves machine guns and butchery and
inhumanity on a scale that takes your breath away.
If we keep looking for Hitler in every United States president we disagree with, we’re not going to recognize the real one when he actually shows up …in a different country.