Detecting differences as a means towards honesty

There is this rationalization about the equivalence of rhetoric. Hanson notes the lack of intellectual integrity in trying to pretend that the rhetoric on both sides is equivalent in tone and manner.

The flood of the Hitler similes is also a sign of the extremism of the times. If there was an era when the extreme Right was more likely to slander a liberal as a communist than a leftist was to smear a conservative as a fascist, those days are long past. True, Bill Clinton brought the deductive haters out of the woodwork, but for all their cruel caricature, few compared him to a mass-murdering Mao or Stalin for his embrace of tax hikes and more government. “Slick Willie” was not quite “Adolf Hitler” or “Joseph Stalin.”

Is there a danger to all this? Plenty. The slander not only brings a president down to the level of an evil murderer, but — as worried Jewish leaders have pointed out — elevates the architect of genocide to the level of an American president.
[Victor Davis Hanson. “Little Eichmanns” and “Digital Brownshirts” Deconstructing the Hitlerian slur. NRO 18mr05]

This particular form of obfuscation was made famous in a debate about the definition of the word ‘is.’ Words mean things. Arguing about nuance of meaning can be a method of coming to grips with an ugly reality by changing the lens through which it is seen.

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