Ben Carson

9 Times Ben Carson Compared Modern America to Nazi Germany

For months, the Republican Party considered this hyperbolic amateur a serious presidential candidate


Hyperbole's not just a river in Greece! ||| CNN

As Peter Suderman noted earlier, Ben Carson is gone from the GOP race. What is not gone, however—and what is, in many ways, exemplified by the person currently sitting ugly at the top of the Republican Party's presidential scrum—is the enduring attraction inside one of our two major parties for total outsiders who spout inane, hyperbolic, ahistorical bullshit.

I know, I know, if Ben Carson wasn't busy taking a nap he would be frowning at my lack of "civility." But let us count up the number of modern American phenomena that the accomplished and inspirational neurosurgeon has compared to Nazi-era Germany since becoming a national conservative darling in February 2013:

1) The "secular progressive movement" (January 2014): "There comes a time when people with values simply have to stand up. Think about Nazi Germany….Most of those people did not believe in what Hitler was doing. But did they speak up? Did they stand up for what they believe in? They did not, and you saw what happened….And if you believe that same thing can't happen again, you're very wrong."

2) The Internal Revenue Service (February 2014): "You know, we live in a Gestapo age, people don't realize it. But what I say is the Congress has to, at some point, step up to the plate. The reason we have divided government is if one branch of the government gets out of control, starts thinking they're too big for their britches, you need to be able to have control."

3) Political correctness (March 2014): "I mean, very much like Nazi Germany—and I know you're not supposed to say Nazi Germany, but I don't care about political correctness—you know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe."

4) A Bernie Sanders-style democratic socialism: (April 2014): "But are you willing to surrender your precious liberties to a socialist state which promises 'security' for everyone and government-enforced equality? Isn't this what Hitler and other socialists promised the German people in his Nazi (national socialist) platform—a country in which government guarantees security and 'equality' in exchange for giving up individual freedom? Will Americans fall for the same scam?"

5) Support for Barack Obama (August 2014): "You can't dance around it. If people look at what I said and were not political about it, they'd have to agree. Most people in Germany didn't agree with what Hitler was doing…. Exactly the same thing can happen in this country if we are not willing to stand up for what we believe in."

6) Citizen apathy, pt. I (September 2014): "I've talked in the past about how the people in Nazi Germany did not agree with Hitler. A lot of them didn't. But did they stand up? Did they say anything? No, they kept their mouths shut and look at the atrocities that occurred. And some people think something like that can't happen here but think again. Look at the world and all those examples of tyranny. It can happen here."

7) Citizen apathy, pt. II (September 2014): "If people don't speak up for what they believe, then other people will change things without them having a voice. Hitler changed things there, and nobody protested. Nobody provided any opposition to him, and that's what facilitated his rise."

8) Planned Parenthood (August 2015): "I certainly see a connection in the sense that Margaret Sanger, their founder, and people like Adolf Hitler…felt there were certain people who were superior and certain people who were inferior. And the way that you strengthen the society was to enhance superior ones and eliminate the inferior ones."

9) Gun control (October 2015): "The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed."

Let's be clear, if obvious, here: It is not "civil" to compare 21st century public policy annoyances to the Nazis, the Gestapo, and/or Hitler. That's because it is first of all not remotely accurate. Try as you might, forcing your American political antagonist into the position of genocidal, border-redrawing mass murderer triggers a laugh track, not a useful discussion or even temporally effective act of point-scoring.

Ben Carson is worried about secret Muslims running for president. He wants to "seal our borders—but not just the southern border, the northern border, the Pacific border, the Atlantic border, every border." He has said that "Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery." And between mid-August of 2015 and mid-November, he never polled lower than second in the national GOP race. That is a withering indictment of the sorry intellectual and moral level of the modern Republican Party.

NEXT: U.S. Unintended Pregnancy Rate Falls 18 Percent

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  1. 4) A Bernie Sanders-style democratic socialism: (April 2014): “But are you willing to surrender your precious liberties to a socialist state which promises ‘security’ for everyone and government-enforced equality? Isn’t this what Hitler and other socialists promised the German people in his Nazi (national socialist) platform?a country in which government guarantees security and ‘equality’ in exchange for giving up individual freedom? Will Americans fall for the same scam?”

    Stopped clock and all that – but he’s right here.

    1. Uh, no? Security, maybe, but not equality.

      1. They sold equality for those deserving it, same as here if you listen to Bernie.

        1. Ok… but the whole “master race” thing seems to be roughly the opposite of equality. I guess maybe they promised more economic equality than a free market.

          1. Master race is completely compatible with equality. Everyone in the Master Race is equal – all the rest of you bitches can leave the country.

            Not even SJW’s believe in genuine, *worldwide* equality.

          2. ant,

            Not the opposites. They sold the Germans the idea that they were equal and superior to the “mixed breed” and “lesser” foreigners.

          3. They believed in equality and economic fairness among nationals, wanted domestic markets protected from unfair competition, and wanted foreigners out of the country (imagine a bunch of scare quotes around those terms). That’s roughly what Sanders is arguing for.

          4. I’ve listened to all of one of Hitler’s speeches. Dude went on and on and on about how the German People were being exploited by other races and about how they were not getting their fair share. Kinda sorta the same rhetoric used by people who call for equality, just with a racial bent.

    2. I can’t find fault with this. I’ve been saying the same thing since Nixon was President.

  2. So Nick which statements do you disagree with exactly?

    1. Carson is her optic and amateur but calling Trump America’s Hitler is totally different.

      1. Didn’t Nick criticize the writer who compared Trump to Hitler? Or was that a different Reason writer?

        1. Did he? Good for Nick.

        2. Trump is not an American Hitler. That is nonsense.

          He’s an American Berlusconi.

          However, my Venezuelan friends tell me that Trump reminds them of Chavez. When Chavez entered politics, he made all sorts of promises and outlined plans that the elite thought to be outrageous but nothing but puffery. Many were surprised when Chavez actually delivered on those promises and plans, because the catastrophic consequences were obvious to anyone with a time horizon beyond next week.

          We all know that Trump considers himself “a really smart person”, and I have no doubt that he is smart. He’s smart enough to know the connotations of saying over and over, “I am the most militaristic person there is”. Militarism is a word that is associated with May Day parades in Red Square, Tojo, Mussolini, and brown shirts, and Trump knows it.

    2. I too would like Nick (which is apparently Matt Welch’s new nickname) to repudiate each statement that Ben Carson has made this election cycle. What are you hiding, Matt, or should I say, “Nick?” We are on to you, White Cosmo.

      1. It’s because of that time he nicked himself on Kennedy’s hoop earring. (They often doubled as shock collars for her co-hosts on < i The Independents.)

      2. Where muh jacket gone, indeed.

        *stares wistfully out window*

  3. I know this thread will be flooded with “You know who else”. But before that happens, I’d like to point out that there’s nothing uncivil about comparing “21st century public policy annoyances to the Nazis”. Godwinning is a perfectly acceptable form of reductio ad absurdum. Carson isn’t necessarily right on all nine counts, but there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the approach. Most public policy is only different from Nazism in degree, not in kind.

    1. Exactly. The problem with Goodwyn is that it assumes nothing can ever be compared to the Nazis. And many things clearly can

      1. Godwin’s Law doesn’t assume that, people misuse it to argue that. Godwin’s Law just states that the longer an Internet conversation goes on, the probability of a comparison invoking Hitler or the Nazis approaches 1. It doesn’t state or imply that all comparisons to the Nazis are invalid.

        1. It is however a popularly accepted corollary. In fact, I’d say the corollary is more widely known than the Law itself.

          1. ” In fact, I’d say the corollary is more widely known than the Law itself.”

            Sad if true.

            1. Ah, yes. “Corollary’s Law”.

          2. You know who else was more widely known than the Law itself?

          3. Seems to be the case with most corollaries.

        2. What kbolino said. I wasn’t referring to the strict definition of Godwin’s Law, but to the fact that almost everyone regards “Godwinning” as a logical fallacy.

        3. You know who else wished everyone would ignore arguably the largest world event of the 20th Century?

          1. Tojo?

          2. Everyone allied with the Austro-Hungarian Empire? And everyone allied with their enemies?

        4. “Godwin’s Law just states that the longer an Internet conversation goes on, the probability of a comparison invoking Hitler or the Nazis approaches 1.”

          Obviously untrue. So far’s I can tell, for any threads on this site, the probability is always 1, no matter how brief the discussion. If anything, it’s a matter of how many hours in single digits before it hits.

          The corollary should be that any comparison to the nazis will likely be followed by dismissal of whatever argument it was used in favour, employing the fallacy that if two things differ in degree they must differ formally and substantially. Which is absurd, since one would have to concede that the Italians weren’t fascists if the Germans were fascists, or vice versa. Or that all murderers are not actually murderers since they have all done incomparably less of it than Stalin did.

          It’s about as bad as the “That’s a bad idea, because nobody has used it yet,” argument, which I see about as often. Moreso since it’s frequently used to dismiss ideas that have in fact been used quite successfully but the arguer is just too ignorant of history to know it. If such cases are brought forth, then he’ll go off on, “Well that was a hundred years ago!” or, “That’s almost twenty miles from here!” or, “Those weren’t white men!”, narrowing it to, “That’s a bad idea because we, here and now, are not using it today,” and the reason they’re not using it is invariably because they think it’s a bad idea. Fucking elves.

          1. “Obviously untrue. So far’s I can tell, for any threads on this site, the probability is always 1, no matter how brief the discussion. If anything, it’s a matter of how many hours in single digits before it hits.”

            With how “probabilities” work, if the probability was ALWAYS 1, then every single discussion would BEGIN with an invocation of Hitler, and every SINGLE comment would involve Hitler and/or Nazis. Godwin’s phrasing almost guarantees that a Hitler invocation will happen sometimes during the discussion. Saying the probability is “always 1” means no one ever discusses anything other than Hitler. Which, admittedly, is also close to the truth. But rarely people make comments without any reference to Nazis whatsoever.

      2. Especially Reagan.

    2. I do not think we make enough Hitler comparisons.

      1. Everyone should be compared to Hitler at least once in his life. I myself often retreated to a bunker whenever I thought the Soviets were getting too close.

        1. If you live in a place and never exit it, Fist, I’m not certain that you can “retreat” to it more often than the first/original time.

          1. Gone are the days when we are tethered to a desk, to a wire, to have a foot in the ether. I flit freely from place to place like a post-wall Berliner, all while making my thoughts known here in pixel form.

            1. Yes, Fist, several of us realize that your mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention.

              And many of us also understand, as you must, that “they” will delete you, right after the bunker scene.

              1. You use your mouth prettier than a twenty dollar whore.

        2. I often twitch and shake but it’s because of the caffeine. I like dogs, too. And I suck at hanging wall paper.

        3. I was often compared to Hitler, but usually as a statement of my inadequacies, like, “Do you think Hitler ever ‘forgot’ to clean his room?” or, “Even Hitler turned better windrows than this!” and so forth. Then were the random times when it would segue into less intelligible ravings, when all my inadequacies sort of got backed up and ate themselves and Father started calling me “you little Nazi”, but I’ve never been to make any sense of anything said in those episodes. Go to bed miserable asking my silent friends, “Why was everything so darned easy for Hitler that’s hard for me?”

          “Focus,” they seemed to say without words. “Unify your mind!”

          Which they sort of seemed to say to everything. Eventually I got the message and so soon as I got to focussing the penicil of my mind on the cosmic sheem, I grew a mustache, grew up, studied the RING and the historical romances of Karl May and things just got a lot easier and little Adolf didn’t seem like such a big man any more. If he was to show up on my doorstep today, I’d have a few things to tell him to his fat fucking Austrian face. “You think you can make a bed? For faen med deg. Watch this, du hestehovedet!”

    3. I don’t know how the word “civil” got transmuted into something other than, literally, “displaying civility” but comparisons to Nazis aren’t uncivil. The analogy is almost always inapt for one reason or another, and the accusations are frequently accompanied by vitriol, but the accusation on its face is not uncivil.

      The far more trenchant point is that comparisons to Nazism are almost always rhetorically useless and intellectually lazy.

      1. +1 New World Order

  4. Barry Seal our borders?

  5. Matt, in spite of the nasty comments that are sure to follow, I like you.

    I like your dad better, but I still like you.

    1. I vote Matt as best Veteran Reason Writer In The Whole Wide Room.

      1. That’s a very brave stance. Almost as brave as publicly stating that you’re against burning kittens.

        1. How can you really know you’re against burning kittens until you’ve had to heat a house with some?

          Check your cis-feline privilege.

          1. Gotta burn ’em before you eat ’em, right?

        2. You can take your convenient moral-posuture now, but when the Zombie Kittens come meowing for your brains, you’ll thank me for having developed a kitten-specific flamethrower.

          1. Damn, how did Shaun of the Dead miss out on Zombie Kittens?

    2. I wonder – does Matt inherit the family juice fortune?

      1. Or is he here with us because he’s repudiated his family and their ‘only 10% real juice’ shenanigans?

      2. No family about it.

        “It has been owned by the National Grape Cooperative Association, a co-op of grape growers, since 1956.[1][2] “

  6. He would have been much more accurate comapring it to fascism 😀

  7. “Try as you might, forcing your American political antagonist into the position of genocidal, border-redrawing mass murderer triggers a laugh track, not a useful discussion or even temporally effective act of point-scoring.”

    Although genocide is by far the worst thing the Nazis did, it wasn’t the only rotten thing they did.

    They also, for instance, used a tragedy like the Reichstag fire to rationalize the suspension of civil liberties. If someone advocates using a national tragedy (say like the World Trade Center) to attack or suspend civil liberties like the Nazis did, then it is perfectly appropriate to compare that person to the Nazis.

    Think of it this way: What if a candidate or political party were exactly like the Nazis in every way–except that they weren’t antisemitic and didn’t want to invade Poland? They even wore the same uniforms as the Nazis!

    Would it not be alright to compare them to the Nazis because they weren’t antisemitic?

    Comparisons are apt to the extent that they are accurate. If you don’t want to be compared to the Nazis in some way, then a reasonable course of action might be–don’t act like a Nazi.

    1. P.S. Yes, the Soup Nazi acted like a Nazi.

        1. Nazi soup.

          1. Honestly, I can get behind that.

            1. I read the other day you ruined some perfectly good ribs with Satan sauce.

          2. Goat’s head soup.

    2. Also, watch out for the grammar Nazis!

      1. Sorry, I’m an English teacher. Grammar Naziism is hard to resist. However, I’m a descriptive grammar Nazi.

    3. Incidentally, Matt, is it okay to refer to Johnny Ramone as the KKK?

      Because racist Johnny stealing your girlfriend isn’t exactly like a cross burning or a lynching?

      So what?

      It’s descriptive, right?

    4. Also, the Nazis didn’t run their campaigns on genocide. They ran and got elected on a message of economic fairness, anti capitalism, and lots of free stuff for the middle class. The genocides happened after their economic programs had failed and became increasingly desperate clinging to power.

      So, I wouldn’t expect the political program of a new Hitler to include genocide, I would expect it to look like Sanders program. However, although I think Sanders is an idiot and although his program really is similar to Hitler’s, Sanders is no Hitler: he wouldn’t go on mass murdering people. Sanders is a well meaning but confused man who would wreck the economy and then leave office after one term.

  8. In Nazi America Trump and Cruz hate fuck.…..the-donald

  9. Only Jews can’t be Nazis. Except for Soros.

  10. Can we seal the borders around Washington DC?

  11. Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

    1. – and the ideology provided better care for marmots than that of the Nihilists’.

    2. And they were snappy dressers, so they had that going for them too.

      1. Ya!

        Auch singen und tanzen: Haben Sie Geh?rt Das Deutsches Band?

    3. Yeah … and it’s an ethos of national greatness.

      An example of a national greatness slogan would be “Make America Great Again”.

      1. Amerika ?ber Alles!

        1. Rufus Sewell does the best Nazi.

          1. The English always manage to pull that role off.

            /Oswald Mosley

    4. +1 Volkswagen

  12. Carson is right about most of this, and it is becoming more obvious by the day. I’m impressed that he spotted it in 2014. I’m not going to go through these one by one, but just looking at the first one: “And if you believe that same thing can’t happen again, you’re very wrong.” Absolutely right! Trump and his bullies would love to rescind free speech, religion and freedom of the press, among other basic rights. Then it’s easy to start up a drug war or war against the ‘grave threat’ du jour (muslims, immigrants, blacks, etc). ENB writes about that all the time. The threat of the country becoming Nazi / fascist is very real. Perhaps you’re confused because we are becoming Communist at the same time. However, those political strains rise together in parallel, feeding off each other.

    1. theyre both very collectivist ideologies, so it makes sense in some ways

  13. Yeah, ok, the Nazi comparison is overdone. That said, some of these Carson points are pretty legit if, perhaps they were juxtaposed against the old Soviet Union or even phrased as Socialist Germany.

    But on the other hand, back to those granaries…

  14. Damn, I agree with a lot of what Carson’s saying here. I’ve said before it irritates me when people call Hitler a monster; he wasn’t a monster, monsters are inhuman and Hitler acted exactly the way human beings tend to act with unlimited power. You can wonder now how the German people could have lived with Hitler, but he wasn’t Hitler at the time. Most Germans got up in the morning and they got dressed and they ate breakfast and they went to work and they lived their lives and all that Hitler crap had little to do with them and their daily lives. How much does the President really have to do with your day-to-day life? How much would it affect you if Trump were Hitler?

  15. If you take the worst ideas of Trump,Clinton and Sanders you have a very oppressive ,evil,government. And many like this shit.

  16. Only 9? Piker. I can pull off 9 Godwins a day here.

    1. You know who else . . . wait, wut?

      1. Idi Amin.

  17. Here is a wild idea that has never been done before: let’s make this thread about Donald Trump.

    1. What have I ever done to you???

    2. Did you know Donald Trump’s grandfather ran whorehouses in the Yukon?

      1. Well, did you want them to fuck moose instead?

        1. Ask a feminist.

      2. I *knew* I liked something about that man…

        1. The one thing I have in common with Trump is we both want to have sex with Ivanka. Just not at the same time.

          1. That would be fun. Just add Bill Clinton to make her airtight.

    3. I thought it already was?

    4. I thought it already was?

  18. It might also be noted that Ben Carson is a believer in a church that emerged out of what was left of the Millerite movement.

    He believes that the world will eventually fall under the influence of a one world government, headed by the Antichrist, and that government will be even worse than the Nazis–they’ll be what the Nazis would have been if they’d won World War II and conquered the world.

    In fact, Adventists are so afraid of that kind of government, that most of them think that abortion should be legal–even though they’re against abortion. (The church doesn’t officially take a stand against abortion. They merely say it isn’t condoned). They support the Second Amendment–even though when they’re drafted, they go in as conscientious objectors. A lot of that is because they fear a totalitarian government taking over the world and doing the will of Satan, which they believe to the be the last stage of the apocalypse. They don’t want Satan using the government to impose his immoral judgements on fundamentalists.

    1. They believe this is what will happen like many of us libertarians believe in what causes inflation. In other words, Ben Carson being hypersensitive to totalitarianism–as he sees it–isn’t driven by an insensitivity to the sufferers of Nazi occupation and genocide. Rather, it’s driven by a hypersensitivity to those things.

      Carson’s probably eighth or ninth on my list of preferred Presidents, somewhere on the list just above Hillary, Sanders, and Trump. I don’t like Carson’s positions on much of anything, but of all the problems you can have in a Presidential candidate, a hypersensitivity to the threat of totalitarianism is the least of them.

    2. And yet, isn’t that a fairly reasonable fear? At least everything but the anti-Christ part?

      We basically live in a world where government will sign treaties (like the TPP) essentially imposing laws on the whole world, but voters not actually approving of them.

      We have essentially a world wide oligarchy. Oh sure, a lot of policy is left up to individual countries. But treaties get shoved down the world’s throat, like it or not.

      1. Yeah, I don’t really care why people are hypersensitive to totalitarianism.

        And it seems to be a pretty consistent thing with him–as he understands it.

        His views and solutions are by no means libertarian, but going through that list of issues, . . .

        He opposes totalitarianism consistently as he understands it.

    3. The funny part about all this OWG shit – at the rate the US is going, *we* will be the ones to bring it about and the President will head it.

      1. IOW, as President *he’ll be instrumental in bringing about the very thing he fears*.

  19. I think “gestapo” has been thoroughly de-Nazified at this point. Just pretty much a synonym for “authoritarian”. Reached a bit on that one. Meh.

    1. even Nazi has been “de-Nazified”

  20. Harry Truman, 1948:

    “Now, let’s look at that group of men who are jeopardizing the future of democracy in the United States through their concentrated economic power. This is just as dangerous as inflation. Again and again in history, economic power concentrated in the hands of a few men has led to the loss of freedom.

    “When a few men get control of the economy of a nation, they find a “front man” to run the country for them. Before Hitler came to power, control over the German economy had passed into the hands of a small group of rich manufacturers, bankers, and landowners. These men decided that Germany had to have a tough, ruthless dictator who would play their game and crush the strong German labor unions. So they put money and influence behind Adolf Hitler. We know the rest of the story.

    “We also know that in Italy, in the 1920’s, powerful Italian businessmen backed Mussolini, and that in the 1930’s, Japanese financiers helped Tojo’s military clique take over Japan.

    “Today, in the United States, there is a growing–and dangerous–concentration of immense economic power in the hands of just a few men. That’s a dangerous situation. The Democratic Party has been fighting that ever since the Democratic Party has been in existence. This [Republican] 80th Congress I talk so much about was the tool of that sort of a situation in this country. They contributed towards the concentration of wealth.”

    1. Martin Luther King – “We see dangerous signs of Hitlerism in the Goldwater campaign.”

      1. 2005

        “Sen. Robert Byrd’s description of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power was meant as a warning to heed the past and not as a comparison to Republicans, a spokesman for the West Virginia Democrat says.

        “Nonetheless, two Jewish groups and a pair of GOP politicians chastised the senator on Wednesday, including one who recalled Byrd’s Ku Klux Klan membership as a young man. Byrd’s comments, which he made Tuesday in the Senate, came during his speech criticizing a Republican plan to block Democrats from filibustering President Bush’s judicial nominees.

        “”Terrible chapters of history ought never be repeated,” said Tom Gavin, spokesman for Byrd. “All one needs to do is to look at history to see how dangerous it is to curb the rights of the minority.””

        1. For shame, all those Republican outsiders and their “inane, hyperbolic, ahistorical bullshit.”

          1. When treated properly, perhaps there can be lessons to be learned from Nazi Germany. You don’t have to engage in scientific experiments, genocide and war to exhibit Nazi-like tendencies.

            1. You don’t have to engage in scientific experiments… to exhibit Nazi-like tendencies.

              Yeah, you hear that, “I fucking love science” jerkbags? You know who else fucking loved science?

              1. Bill Nye?

                I got into a mild debate over that smug d-bag today.

              2. Pierre and Marie Curie?

  21. Eh, most of these seem pretty legit (if hyperbolic) to me. Hell, Reason itself has had articles comparing many of the major party candidates either to Nazis or to the Soviets (effectively the right-wing equivalent to comparing everything to fascists).

    If referencing one of the most pivotal and egregiously evil events of the past century reflects on the “sorry intellectual and moral level of the modern Republican Party”, then it really says something about the sorry intellectual and moral level of modern Reason that they can’t be arsed to fire a writer who regularly compares American soldiers to Adam Lanza or Israel to the Taliban.

    1. When Reason does it, it’s correct and done with the purest of motives. When others do it (others they dislike anyway), it’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

  22. When did Matt Welch start supporting gun control?

    (shakes fist)

    1. Could you repeat the statement?

  24. Was this article written before Carson dropped out? Because if not, seems like a ridicules waste of time. I think this is the most ink I’ve seen Carson get here. Incivility? Hyperbole? In a political campaign? Stop the presses.

  25. The Nazis also stored grain in pyramids.

  26. The Nazis weren’t secular, they were in bed with Christian churches. Here is Hitler in his own words, on his inauguration as Chancellor:

    “The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.”

    1. HAHA. Sounds like Trump calling for ‘inclusivity in the Republican party’.

      In fact most churches opposed Hitler, but his network of bullies shut down dissent. The Nazis were very anti-Christian following Nietzshe’s contempt for the religion for its weakness and they believed it was supplanted by Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’ which they took to mean that races must fight each other (the ‘aryan’ race being superior). The rise of Trumpism parallels Nazism and is a grave threat to the country as Carson insists. I admit, many of the other things he says are pretty weird. But on this issue he hit the nail on the head. Honestly I’m surprised people here would question it.

      1. In fact most churches opposed Hitler, but his network of bullies shut down dissent.

        That is a lie. The Catholic church spoke up against the Nazis in the 1920’s, but that was mostly because it saw them as a political competitor for the conservative vote, and that changed later. The Catholic church was a key in Hitler’s rise to power and profited quite handsomely from collaboration. Two key events were the the signing of the Reichskonkordat and the Catholic Center Party’s support of the Enabling Act, under the leadership of Prelate Kaas, effectively installing Hitler as dictator of Germany. The Catholic church collaborated with the Nazis until fairly late in the war when they saw the writing on the wall and when they felt that they were being short-changed by the Nazis.

        The Enabling Act is particularly instructive, since the socialists (mostly atheists) were the only party to speak out against it and vote against it, knowing that this would likely result in risk to their freedom and lives. Prelate Kaas, on the other hand, in his speech supported the act, and the Catholic Center Party votes were essential in passing the act.

        Yes, a church that would have held true to its core beliefs would have opposed the Nazis and suffered the consequences. In real life, the churches collaborated with the Nazis in order to gain wealth and power.

        1. The Enabling Act is particularly instructive, since the socialists (mostly atheists) were the only party to speak out against it and vote against it, knowing that this would likely result in risk to their freedom and lives.

          The socialists? You mean the National Socialist German Workers Party?

          1. Germany’s major parties in the Weimar Republic were the National Socialist Workers Party (NSDAP), the Catholic Center Party (ZP), the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the Communist Party (KPD). The SPD was Marx-style socialism and advocated atheism.

            The Hitler government arrested the communists before the enabling act, and outlawed the socialists after the enabling act (and sent many into the camps).

            Despite the name, the NSDAP wasn’t actually socialist, it was progressive and fascist. Its economic views were “third position”, meaning they opposed both socialist and capitalist economic systems. The NSDAP was also literally “right wing”, seated as far away from the “left wing” as possible.

            The ZP was headed by Prelate Kaas, a Catholic church official. ZP support was essential for Hitler in winning the Enabling Act. You can read the parliamentary speeches of Kaas and Hitler before and after the vote, where they are falling over each other praising Christianity and traditional values. A vote against Hitler by the ZP would have deprived him of the Enabling Act and might have seen history unfold rather differently.

            The SPD, in contrast, recognized Hitler for what he was: a tyrant who was going to ruin people and commit mass murder. The socialists condemned Hitler and voted against him, knowing full well that this meant exile or concentration camps for them should he win. He won, thanks to the ZP, and the rest is history.

        2. “a church that would have held true to its core beliefs would have opposed the Nazis” – True. And the Catholic church has long been a den of corruption and perfidy and still is. I’ll grant you that. My point is that Hitler is not Christian except in the sense he saw himself as the Messiah (and the people saw him the same way). He was the leader for his ‘race’ much like ‘Nature’ ensures the survival of the species, in his philosophy. Ben Carson is exactly right in his comparisons with Nazi Germany, even if there are some churches that support Trump, and even as some people claim that church support for Hitler invalidates the comparison.

          1. My point is that Hitler is not Christian except in the sense he saw himself as the Messiah

            Hitler was a church member in good standing, he presented himself as a Christian, and people recognized him as a Christian. That’s the only sense in which “being a Christian” matters in the political context. Whether he was actually a “true Christian” in light of what he did after he came to power is irrelevant.

            Ben Carson is exactly right in his comparisons with Nazi Germany

            No, he isn’t “exactly” right. He makes some valid comparisons, but he also has fundamental misunderstandings. Foremost, he thinks of the Nazis as a “secular progressive movement” that came to power because “people with values” didn’t stand up. But “people with values” did stand up, and they supported Hitler precisely because they believed he shared their values. In fact, the support for Hitler among Christians was the result of Christians trying to fend off parties that were unequivocally secular and atheist, namely the socialists and communists. Sorry to break it to you, but a man with Ben Carson’s views in the 1930’s would likely have been sympathetic to fascism and Hitler.

  27. Another history lesson for Mr. Carson: abortion in Nazi Germany was a capital offense.

    Nazi Germany was a statist ollaboration of progressives, social conservatives, and churches, united in their hatred of personal liberties and free societies.

    1. Yeah, I’m sure the spirit of Aryan kinship was comforting to the 3 million Polish Christians killed in the Holocaust and the wing of Dachau dedicated entirely to Catholic clergy, you historically illiterate fuckwit.

      1. The 3 million Poles weren’t killed for being “Christian”, they were killed for being Polish (it is hardly unusual for Christians to kill each other in large numbers). And they can thank their German Catholic brethren who enabled Hitler to do that.

        There were some principled and good Catholic priests during the Nazi era, people who stood up against the regime at risk to their own lives. Stop dishonoring those courageous people by pretending that they represented the policies of the Catholic church itself. Their church had signed the Concordat, committing its priests to loyalty to the Nazi state in return for money and privileges.

        Germans, and hence Nazis, in the 1930’s were 95% Christian, official, registered church members that paid their church tax. The majority attended church regularly. The idea that the Nazi state was some kind of atheist entity that Catholics opposed is a lie. So stop being such a “historically illiterate fuckwit” and stop spreading lies.

  28. My take on the examples –

    #1. This doesn’t seem to be comparing America to Nazi Germany, but citing an example of evil triumphing when good men do nothing. And Nazi Germany is a fair example of that.

    #2. Okay this is pretty silly, even if in support of a legitimate point. The IRS is not the Gestapo. Still, the point about a runaway executive isn’t a bad one.

    #3. Again silly. People saying mean things about you on Twitter is not the equivalent of being taken away in the middle of the night.

    #4 This is nothing more than a restatement of the notion that those who give up essential liberty for security (or equality) deserve and will have none. Nazi Germany is a fair example of that. And Hayek demonstrated that you can’t do socialism without eventually arriving there.

    #5 – #7 These are just variants on #1.

    #8 Well, noting that an actual eugenicist might have common cause with Nazis doesn’t seem that bizarre.

    #9 Dubious proposition at odds with his observation of a lack of opposition to the Nazis. I’ll count this as silly.

    So, about a third of his Nazi Germany references fall int the silly camp.

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  30. Wilsonians progressives like FDR had a mutual admiration with the Fascists over their policies until it became clear that the Axis was pushing for war. Our current progressives are presently trying to find their way around freedom of speech, freedom of religion and due process as well as their traditional contempt for private property and free markets. Carson’s rhetorical sin is at worst one of degree, not something that is wrong on its face.

  31. So the man godwin’d a few arguments. They can’t all be gold. Substance of his arguments is about a thousand times more important than the metaphors he uses to make his point. Is it really still too soon to mention the nazis?

    I think this post exists solely because the Matt found a nice collection of Hitler quotes and needed to tie them together with some kind of point to put up the blog and count it as doing his job.

    1. But there are indeed lessons to be remembered from Nazi Germany. Hitler was elected as a progressive on economic issues, railing against capitalism and inequality, and promising free health care, free education, and free retirement. At the same time, Hitler was also elected as a social and Christian conservative, and he had widespread support from Christians and churches. So, much as Carson might like to pretend otherwise, Christian conservatism is not an antidote to progressivism or fascism, it is historically a collaborator and supporter.

      Carson should get off his moral high horse. In fact, Carson should simply retire quietly and shut up because he is simply embarrassing himself.

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