Laura Loomer is running for Congress in Florida. She is a Republican. She ran a video advertisement against her primary opponent with images of a Nazi rally and concentration camp inmates moving across the screen. Joe Biden is a Democrat. He is running for president of the United States. He said of his opponent, “He’s sort of like [Nazi propaganda minister Josef] Goebbels.”
All such statements are more than ill advised. They are factually wrong and morally offensive. They are, however, not new. In 2010, a sign at a protest rally against the Israel policy of President Obama, a Democrat, said: “Obama’s Mideast Policy — Final Solution.” In 2014, a Republican Tennessee state senator, said this about Obamacare: “Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for ‘train rides’ for Jews in the ‘40s.” In 2014, the Israeli novelist Amos Oz, a self-described left-wing activist, said of West Bank settlers, “They are Hebrew neo-Nazi groups.” All of these instances of the use of the Nazi analogy are factually wrong and morally offensive.
None of these instances (there are many more) necessarily disqualify the point being made by the politicians; the policies or the people they oppose may or may not be terrible or reprehensible, but they do not tally with the facts of Holocaust. Nor do these instances exculpate lesser yet still severe instances of obloquy, such as President Trump’s failure to answer the question as to whether he condemned white supremacisim with a one word answer, “yes.”
Our citation of none of these instances is intended to oppose or to endorse anyone’s election. We seek to promote historical accuracy, integrity of memory and decency of discourse.
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