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JLeslie's avatar

Can someone explain to me why they think Obama compares to Hitler?

Asked by JLeslie (62437points) August 19th, 2009

I just don’t get it? I am not asking this question to argue about health care, or the TARP money, or any of that. I just really don’t get what Obama and Hitler have in common. Hitler used propoganda and fear to convince the public to go along with him. He was a genocidal maniac who believed there was an elite race. Hitler also wanted to take over Europe and probably the world. He carted around human beings like cattle, stealing their property, and enslaving people. How does this compare to Obama?

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50 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

Fun fact: Both Hitler and Obama enjoy karaoke and bubble baths.

People evoke the name Hitler to villainize anyone these days. It’s default.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

You don’t have to listen to what every irrational angry person has to say.

Sarcasm's avatar

@eponymoushipster I hear a recent study was done and they also both eat bread. Despicable, how similar the two are!

dalepetrie's avatar

Because it’s a fear tactic and fear tactics work. They right wing noise machine has sold their sheep on the idea that because Obama wants to spend money on people, he is a Socialist, and there has long been a false link kept up in their minds between Socialism and Communism. And of course most people who look to blowhards to do their thinking for them aren’t smart enough to discern the difference between a Communist and a Facist, so it’s a trick that works, it makes people angry, and when people are angry, they shout down anything they don’t want to hear and refuse to debate on the facts.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Sarcasm i heard Hitler had a secretary named Obama, and Obama? A secretary named Hitler. TWIST!

Sarcasm's avatar

To be fair, before going to war with the world and enslaving humans, he did reconstruct a broken nation, and united a country.

augustlan's avatar

That whole Hitler comparison makes me so fucking mad.

jrpowell's avatar

Lots of people on the left compared bush to Hitler. link

I’m a total Obama supporter and hate Bush but I think the comparisons on both sides make people look like idiots.

wildpotato's avatar

Several ways. Both are/were gifted public speakers, extremely charismatic, figureheads of a large counter-culture social movement, readers of Nietzsche, and autobiographers, off the top of my head. Policy-wise of course there is little to compare – but factually, the things I cited above are correct.

St.George's avatar

Are we really going here?

JLeslie's avatar

@johnpowell I didn’t like when the left made comparisons with Bush either, but Bush did use fear tactics like weapons of mass destruction to start a war, and he did forbid the publication of coffins coming home from the war, and he did think that American democracy was the best thing for all countries, and I’m pretty sure there are some other comparisons I can’t come up with right now. But, I still personally would not compare Bush to Hitler, because mostly I think of Hitler more than anything as a genocidal maniac and I don’t think Bush is that, although I think there are people out there who would argue the point. Meanwhile, I am still curious to hear from someone who really thinks the comparison of Obama and Hitler makes sense…

DrasticDreamer's avatar

There are no comparisons, aside from trivial and insignificant crap. They just don’t like Obama, so they link him with one of the most hated figures there has ever been.

@wildpotato They both read Nietzsche? I find that extremely fascinating. I can easily see why his musings and philosophy would have appealed to Hitler. And I can also see why Obama would find it appealing, except on the completely opposite spectrum. Nietzsche had some very interesting ideas, but I also think he was a complete moron.

I can definitely see why people would link Obama with Hitler, simply based on the fact that they both read Nietzsche. (More human than human, a superior race, etc.) However, I still think it’s only something morons would say, who haven’t actually read any of Nietzsche’s writing for themselves.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Some things Hitler and I have in common:

We are both vegetarians.
We are both in favor of animal rights.
We both condemn pedophilia.
We both abstain from drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes.

Everybody on the planet has a number of similarities with any other single person on the planet. If we want to compare Obama to a murdering tyrant, perhaps a cross-section would be more helpful. How is Obama like Stalin? Idi Amin? Kim Jong Il?

It is patently ridiculous that people are comparing Obama to Hitler. Yes, he is extremely charismatic, like Hitler was, but so are a lot of people. I’m just waiting for seVen to pop up and tell us all he’s the antichrist.

I might add that I am very tired and so may not be making much sense tonight…

wildpotato's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Oh, I hadn’t meant it to be a remarkable fact – lots of folks read Nietzsche. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that Barry O has the same take on Nietzsche as Hitler now I reread and see that neither did you One of the books Hitler kept under his pillow was Will to Power, a text that was hijacked by Nietzsche’s crazy Nazi sister while he was dying of syphilis.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@KatawaGrey You make perfect sense.

Side note: What I said above only regards why I can see that other people would link Obama with Hitler. I still think the comparison between the two is absolutely ridiculous, but for those who don’t know much about Nietzsche, I can see why that might scare morons.

@wildpotato No, no. I didn’t think you were implying anything. :) I just found it interesting, because I didn’t know. I just understand why that might scare (ignorant) people.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@KatawaGrey Sorry, Hitler abhorred smoking, but he enjoyed drinking beer and wine, usually watered down. And he was NOT a vegetarian, as that was propaganda created by Joseph Goebels to make Hitler seem more god-like. Hitler loved those small Vienna sausages and ate them with nearly every meal. He did however ban smoking in public places, and he was a Christian as well.

More Hitler facts, that mustache he had? That was a British style, not German. Hitler also despised homosexuals, the physically and mentally infirm, and Gypsies as well as Jews and atheists. Hitler had an entire asylum full of physically and mentally disabled people poisoned to death in his search for the perfect Final Solution.

Hitler wasn’t even German, he was Austrian, and his Mother and Father were related, but not first cousins. Adolf hated his Father but loved his Mother, caring for her up until the day she died.

JLeslie's avatar

I have to say these facts about Hitler are interesting.

Sarcasm's avatar

After @evelyns_pet_zebra‘s post, I feel this is necessary.
In case you’re wondering “why?”, it’s because of the line “and what I bet y’all didn’t know is that I’m down with the Jews. The Gypsies, homosexuals and retards too”

THATguy's avatar

Because we live in a sensationalized world now a days.

Christian95's avatar

For me is a stupid unfunded comparison.Probably it was made by some nasty racists which purely hate the fact that an afro-american person has managed to gain this huge power

dpworkin's avatar

@Sarcasm Time for you to hit the history books, pal. He “united” the country by rearming, invading the Alsace, enforcing the Anschluss with Austria, vilifying the Jews (beginning in 1932 but planned long before that, and you never heard of Krystalnacht?), murdering political opponents (you never heard of the Night of the Long Knives?) and using gangs of thugs (you never heard of the brownshirts?) to intimidate political oponnents.

Zuma's avatar

I’m afraid these guys showing up at political meetings with guns remind me an awful lot of the brownshirts who would disrupt democratic meetings in order to foment disorder and unease. After seeing the spectacle of a McCain/Palin anti-Obama hate-fest, and the some fulminating hatreds that the early Nazi party rallies, I think they ought to tread very carefully about calling people Nazis. A famous Hitler and Nazi tag line was “Stabbed in the back!” If you start hearing about how they are really the victims, then you know the goose stepping and the Seig Heils are not too far away.

rawpixels's avatar

I’ve seen people compare not only Obama to Hitler, but Bush, Reagan, and countless others. It’s a shame so many people have no clue about history. Lots of intellectually lazy people out there, I guess.

filmfann's avatar

@THATguy welcome to Fluther. Lurve.

According to pictures I have seen recently, Obama and Hitler have the same mustache

ubersiren's avatar

It’s like the best (or worst) insult some people can come up with. Well, that, and the Anti-christ, which I’ve seen the wackos of the Westboro Baptist Church claim. But, as @johnpowell mentioned, it’s not just exclusive to Obama haters. I think it displays either a lack of imagination or severe misinformation.

Zuma's avatar


I don’t agree with Godwin’s law (or rule) because it tends to stifle people’s attempts to point out the fascistic inclinations of a people, philosophies and policies, even when such a criticism is apt and warranted. Fascism is not just a bad name you call people you don’t like; it is a distinct political philosophy and a kind of social pathology to which democratic societies are uniquely susceptible. It doesn’t help matters to create a kind of virtual taboo against discussing fascism when it takes on a new disguise (like fundamentalist Christianity) and threatens to rear it’s ugly head.

There are at least 14 defining criteria of political fascism and more if you consider it’s cultural dimensions. When people were comparing Bush to Hitler, they were not talking about their personalities (which are obviously different) but their political philosophies, which bear disturbing similarities.

JLeslie's avatar

@MontyZuma Bush, or maybe we can’t blame him, but the extreme right helped foster about 10 of those 14.

So far all we know is that the comparison of Obama and Hitler seem ridiculous. Did y’all see the clip of Barney Frank responding to that woman when she said Obama is a nazi? Is she an idiot? Does she even realize he is Jewish and gay?

Zuma's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, Jon Stewart had a cute quip, “How could anybody think a gay Jew and a mixed-race black man could be Nazis?” Incredible.

gailcalled's avatar

Hey, some people here call me a grammar Nazi. Some folks can’t think clearly and speak with any originality so they fall back on clichés, no matter how despicable they are.

dalepetrie's avatar

@MontyZuma – I totally agree with the rise of facism, the 14 signs, and how the Bush administration basically employed each and every one of them with great success, but the problem with the Hitler comparison is that Hitler was oh so much more than just a facist, he was a serial killer/mass murderer. And so, the thing about Godwin’s Law is that once you invoke Hitler to make your point, most people aren’t going to take you seriously, because even if you personally blame Bush for every death in Iraq, including civilian deaths and you take the largest estimates out there which are around 100k people, well first off, it’s different qualitatively killing someone in a war situation (even if the war is unfounded) then putting them in gas chambers or turning them into soap. There’s also a difference between collateral damage and intentional ethnic cleansing, and there’s certainly a difference between 100k and 6 million. So I have a lot of criticisms of the Bush Administration and Bush himself, but even though I could intellectually draw some parallels between how Bush and Hitler rose to power and created a PR machine that essentially propagated lies until they were considered the truth (which was really more of an observation made by Goebbels), some comparisons are simply not in any way imaginative or acceptable. Basically, as soon as you make such a comparison, you completely discredit yourself in the eyes of anyone who can think. So, having Rush Limbaugh propegate this myth about Democrats doesn’t piss me off, I actually delight in the fact that he did that because any intelligent conservatives who still listened to him up to that point are quite likely to have migrated away from him because of that. And look at @JLeslie‘s clip, I saw that last night, you see how the entire audience just kind of hissed and gasped as she was making that comparison and how Frank put her in her place by opening MOCKING her? That’s what comparing someone to Hitler will get you. So, indeed I want to have a serious debate on these issues, and if Conservative thinkers have valid points about opposing something Obama wants to do, I WANT them to be able to get their arguments across to him, I think dialogue will create better laws. But the whole opposition to this health care thing for example, the debate that is raging is not about the issues being addressed by reform…it’s all based on fear tactics….fear that Obama is a Nazi, fear that he’s going to institute death panels…it’s as Obama referred to it last year in the campaign, “silly season” in politics right now. And the problem is, much of this fear based rhetoric is actually convincing people, but I believe that once we start to see these same people who oppose reform start to invoke Hitler, a lot of the people who were scared into buying this bullshit are going to think twice.

Zuma's avatar

@dalepetrie Good points. Probably tactically and rhetorically better to just accuse the person of being a fascist rather than a Nazi (which is just one of many historic forms of fascism); or a to call the person a Nazi rather than comparing him to Hitler (who is more specific still). Il Duce anyone?

galileogirl's avatar

Actually the Bush/Hitler seemed to be tongue in cheek after the admin talking heads called those of us against the war anti-American appeasers. Neither remark has resonance with even slightly educated people over the age of 15. Remember your hs history classes? Even more ridiculous is comparing Obama to both Hitler and Stalin.

avvooooooo's avatar

Its simply the worst name they can think of. I personally can’t wait until someong grabs this photo and photoshops a baby into there instead of the ice cream cone. Because Obama eats babies and all kinds of other atrocious things.

I think that this is just the same kind of fear mongering that Sarah Palin was up to when she started talking about “death panels.” I still can’t figure out if she’s completely nuts and believes what she’s saying or if she’s just enjoying inciting people to rebel against her opponent (though she probably knows nothing about his policies, voting history, that his ancestors were from a continent called Africa, or anything much).

mowens's avatar

Someone called Bush hitler and no one complained…..

To me, neither are Hitler.

THATguy's avatar

The only one that is remotely close to Hitler…Is Hitler himself.

bea2345's avatar

Comparisons with Adolf Hitler can be interesting, as they tend to tell you more about the person making the comparison than about the person being compared. The late Eric Williams was described by your own State Department as a demagogue and a petty Hitler. About the only things my late Prime Minister had in common with Hitler was his talent for speechmaking (one or two of them are classics of the genre); and his extraordinary knowledge of current affairs, encyclopedic in nature; and his consequent grasp on what was happening in the country. Other than that, he was a democrat, and allowed the Press a great deal of latitude (so that he would know what people were saying, no doubt). Calypso flourished during his administration

dalepetrie's avatar

OK, everyone…read this, I promise it’s worth your time.

avvooooooo's avatar

@dalepetrie Excellent article.

dalepetrie's avatar

@avvooooooo – thanks, I thought so too.

The only other point I’d make, and I still don’t think this makes the Bush/Nazi comparisons any more acceptable or apt than the Obama/Nazi comparisons, but one of the main supporting points for the Bush/Nazi theorists was that Bush’s grandfather Prescott actually helped finance the Nazis and his businesses assets were actually seized in 1942 for trading with the enemy, though the whole story is a lot more complex than that and it would seem that at the end of the day, Prescott was actually a pretty good guy, didn’t do anything illegal, and was even far more liberal than either his son or grandson (he was active in both the NAACP AND Planned Parenthood in fact). So there was some at least plausible real connection there which made the arguments “somewhat” more tenable on the face. But the main contention of the Obama/Nazi crowd is what was said in the beginning of this article…first Hitler took over the car companies, then the healthcare industry, THEN he killed the Jews. That argument doesn’t even pass the first sniff test, it ignores everything but 3 things that Hitler did. Then it assumes that Obama “took over the car companies”, which he did not, he insisted on a return on the government investment that had been already made, and he replaced the head of ONE American car company who had his head squarely up his ass…that’s a FAR cry from a government takeover. Second, health care is not beign taken over by the government, but the portion of the insurance which would PAY for health care would be administered by the government, just the portion that by and large doesn’t even EXIST now. Barney Frank was right to openly mock that idiot.

JLeslie's avatar

@dalepetrie Since we are talking facts about Hitler…I always thought he killed 9 million. That it was 6 million Jews (a third of the Jewish population in the world by the way, and we still are not back up to 18 million, even all of these years later) and then another 3 million others who were people who helped the Jews, I think a lot of times they were Catholics, and also disabled people of different sorts.

avvooooooo's avatar

@JLeslie Don’t forget the gays. He hated gays. Pink triangle and all that. Some were killed, some were sent to concentration camps.

dalepetrie's avatar

@JLeslie – I’d always heard 6 but I’ve never been a Holocaust expert. I just love when people say the Holocaust is a lie because nowhere near 6 million people died, it was probably more like 1 million, as if that makes it acceptable. Speaking of parallels, kind of like when people say that we don’t really have 50 million uninsured because some of them are illegals…really only like 30 million of OUR people are without coverage. Like that’s nothing…well, if it’s not 50 million/6 million, no big fuckin’ deal then, eh?

JLeslie's avatar

Here’s the thing, I think it was just under 3,000 died in 911 in the US; 3,000 in a country of 300million. Now think 6 million out of 18 million world wide, it’s the percentages, 30% of all Jews in the world, that is why the Jews keep that history so alive, but I am pretty sure the 6 million is Jews only, does not include others. @avvooooooo and gays yes of course them too.

What you said about the 50m/6m made me think of what I always say when people tell me they only play the lottery when its over $100million, I always think to myself, like $6million wouldn’t be a bonanza? You have to have the possibility of $100million to buy a ticket? I find it funny.

The German’s kept great records…just to go along with the stereotype of being methodical and accurate. There are records of what was taken from people, who was killed, all sorts of documents accounting for what happened. The German’s themselves admit it happened, and I think they still return property even very recently from their records and research. I just think it is unbelievable to people that such horrors could happen, I’m not sure they are denying the past or just can’t imagine it?? Maybe I am naive? What would be ironic is if the same people who call Obama a Nazi also say out of the other side of their mouth that the Holocaust didn’t happen—you know there are some crazies out there that do it.

bea2345's avatar

@JLeslieI’m not sure they are denying the past or just can’t imagine it?? A little of both, I think. Reading this thread, I am reminded of a conversation with an uncle of mine some 25 years ago. When I described to him conditions in our prisons, he did not believe me, said I was exaggerating; and then added, “They deserve it anyway.” Well, I wasn’t exaggerating. And yet, my uncle was a mild and God-fearing man, much loved by the family. Perhaps a lot of the Germans were like him, good parents and citizens, hard working, etc. etc. BTW, the present generation of youth is active in prison reform, to the extent that the subject is high on Government’s agenda.

JLeslie's avatar

@bea2345 I think you are saying that there are German’s who couldn’t imagine it was as bad as it was, Which I agree with, but I think on this thread we were referring to people TODAY in the US who deny it happened. Or, maybe that was only my interpretation.

bea2345's avatar

@JLeslie – people don’t change much. The same attitudes that allowed the Holocaust to occur, are very much alive and well today.

JLeslie's avatar

@bea2345 I think that too.

mattbrowne's avatar

The comparison is outrageous. People who make it should end their political career immediately, go to college again, enroll in history classes as a freshman and stay there till they finally get it.

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