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View Diary: Comparing Bush to Hitler: Is it Reasonable? (74 comments)

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    There are some frightening parallels between the current threats to American democracy and several past rises of dictatorships. I have read extensively about the end of the Weimar Republic and the parallels ARE there. But only up to a point. Similarly, there are some close parallels with the transition of the Roman Republic into an Imperial dictatorship. Simply put, what we are seeing now is the attempt of certain Republicans to turn this nation into a one-party dictatorship with a thin veneer of a republican system. In that sense, the parallels with ancient Rome are closer. But Bush and the Republicans are using similar tactics to undermine a democracy as were used by fascists in the 1930's and by dictators at the end of the Roman Republic. I suspect there are other parallels as well since the use of fear, blind patriotism, lies and control over information are going to be common themes in the fall of any democratic system.

    The problem with using the Hitler comparison is that it carries the suggestion of genocide. Systematic, well-planned genocide based mainly on racist myths. That is part and parcel with the use of the term "Nazi." So far that comparison is unwarrented. But...there are some frightening trends that make such a thing a concern.

    Right now in America the government can detain ANYONE without due process on the SUSPICION of terrorism. At the same time, the American government advocates the use of torture on SUSPECTED terrorists. The combination of these two things is a frightening trend. It is NOT the same as the systematic genocide advocated by the Nazis. But it could be a precursor to atrocities. It is not so much that Bush is currently like Hitler. The concern is more the direction he is taking us. The path he is taking us is TOWARDS both dictatorship and atrocity. THAT is the problem.

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