"As someone who has visited the concentration camp memorials in Germany, I find this over the top. People can question legislation that has passed, but to equate anyone, on either side, to Hitler is in my opinion inexcusable. It's stuff like this that drives the Independents away. And, before anyone says good riddance to that, well, I'd like to point out that is how elections are won. Or lost.
I get that people are upset about the health care vote, but really, some perspective here is needed. "
Some perspective here is needed, isn't it.
Indeed. However there's a problem with that, if you go about getting some perspective... from the wrong perspective... you end up with a perception that perceives nothing of value to your point of view.
The real problem with playing 'the Hitler card' is that people look at it from the vantage point of our end of history... which makes the value of history worthless. History learned and applied from the perspective of having all it's answers, leaves you unable to perceive the questions happening all around you in the present. If you want to learn something more from Hitler than the effortless knee jerk response of 'Never again!', try looking at Hitler from the point of view of the time that he was introduced to the people, as Werthmann does in her article, or in these videos (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 ).
Just for the moment, try to forget about the evils which surfaced later on, look at the platforms that he and the National Socialist German Workers Party ran on, the social safety nets they campaigned on, and delivered... hence the smiling and waving crowds.
Think of the industrialists who welcomed Herr Hitler, who welcomed the State nationalizing industries, while keeping 'ownership' in place (and try not to think of GM, Chrysler, AIG or that portion of the new Healthcontrol bill that nationalizes the Student Loan industry... nooo... move along... nothing to see here).
Everything he did was welcomed and popular with the greater masses of 'common sense' Germans, who afterall, still actually thought that they were free.
Keep that in mind... and then recall the nightmare which those popular policies and common sense solutions led to.
Once you've got that juxtaposition in mind, then wipe Hitler from your consideration completely, and look at the particular policies he implemented, what they rested upon, and how he implemented them. One thing you should take notice of is the dilution, and the eventual wiping out of property rights, which was politically sold, initially, as making things fairer for the common man, giving him a break - and keep it in mind that where this all ends up at, is the loss of all individual rights, the loss of all rights to property and then eventually the loss of a right to life itself.
Now that that's got your attention, take your attention off of Germany for the moment.
Look at how other nations have implemented similar policies. Forget about the various 'isms they go by, socialism, communism, fascism - those are only different skins of style and presentation that were appealing to their people in their time - at their core, they all run upon the same core principle, the promising of new positive Rights, "Rights to..." (a job, a house, an education, to old age care, to healthcare, etc), 'Rights' which can only be given to 'the people' through the negation of their property rights for the stated (and probably sincere) purpose of doing good and benefiting their people, which requires also necessarily saving the people from being hoodwinked and influenced by hostile speech.
Take a look at how those earlier policies end up. Perhaps they all do not end up as did Robespierre's France, Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany, Lenin's Russia, Mao's China, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Castro's Cuba... but there are enough of them that did, so that it should at the very least give you some pause when you hear popular politicians proposing policies that have core similarities. And I wouldn't take all that much comfort from the apparent exceptions of modern European social democracies... they've been propped up by the USA for half a century... though you might want to take a look at Greece lately for a clue as to what may be developing now that we are no longer in a position to step in and help.
Take a look at the agricultural policies that were implemented in the USSR and China - the famines which claimed the lives of tens of millions of their own people. While of course there's no direct comparison to our situation, you should still have a look at what's happening in California's San Joaquin Valley, and the destruction of millions of acres of the most productive farmland in the world in order to 'do good' for the environment and the Delta Smelt. Pay attention to the areas 20% unemployment and the lack of response from those people with the power to turn on the faucets. For a fish. Done because those with the power to make policies to do what they think is valuable, a higher good, they turned productive farmland to dust in an attempt to do good.
Take a look back at what the efforts of the left to 'do good' for blacks did to the structure of their families, to their neighborhoods, to the rise of crime and violence in their neighborhoods, as a result of the various welfare policies set in place to help them.
Take a look at the results of what congress did, in an effort to make homes more affordable, to the mortgage industry.
Look at how the well intentioned efforts of Democrats and Republicans to 'manage' the price of healthcare over the last 70 yrs, has resulted in the steadily rising costs of healthcare (two good short summaries can be found here and here).
Think of how the well intentioned ideas and rulings of people like Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes to prevent the multiplication of 'botched' peoples, enabled them to mandate that a 'feeble minded' woman (later shown not to be) should be sterilized, should be prevented from having children, for the greater good. In America. Here. No 'Hitler' in sight.
But again, for the moment forget about what we know of these failed policies now, and think only about what those policies of Herr Hitler's accomplished in Germany while he, and they, were still popular... they spread the wealth around, they pleased (and enriched) many successful industrialists, and they did that by consolidating power into particular agencies established by experts to put things in order and to look out for the people. They did that by giving government agencies the authority to put things 'to right', to make things more efficient, more fair... by ignoring some peoples rights, for the benefit of others; they did all that in one way or another, by negating the rights of some people to their property, and then spreading their wealth around.
For the People. For the greater good. It did, and always does, promise to be a good thing.
But have you ever taken a good look at what good things have relied on in the past to accomplish good? Do they really resemble each other at all? Look at the historical facts, does 'the greater good' come from the intent of bureaucrats to do good, or from allowing people to do the good they can do for themselves?
Evil things never, NEVER come in to human affairs with the intent to wreak destruction and to do evil - they always come in with the intent of improving things and doing good for the people. For the children. For the Elderly.
For the Greater Good.
Forget about when it looks like someone is playing the 'Hitler card', don't let yourself be distracted by his name or his face, look at the fundamentals of the policies in question, and see if you see any similarities between them.
That is the only way to learn from history and to ensure that it really will happen 'never again'.