When the ruler gets greasy

Suzanne Fields discusses The devil in the details of Holocaust images. There are a lot of people who toss out comparisons to the Nazi realm and its leaders without much consideration for the quality of the comparison. It sounds so comforting to toss out something about how a person or group you don’t like is acting like a Nazi.

Because we’re human we have the capacity to make moral choices in heart and brain, tempering emotion with reason. Public issues require light not heat and arguments must be grounded in discriminations made in good conscience. The devil, after all, is still at home in the details.

Its a question of what are the important differences and what are nuisance details. The ability to make this discrimination keeps the measuring stick clean. That ability is one of the first things to go when someone wants to make a point that doesn’t exist. Critical differences get glossed over or ignored. Comparisons then become corrupt.

We see this in the rationale that there is a freedom of expression – no matter whether it is ‘fire in the theater’ or sedition.

We see this in the Vietnamization of Iraq.

Christopher Hitchens describes other examples at FrontPage Magazine.

The ruler gets greasy. It is a slippery slope.

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