I’ve made a point not to get political on this site. This is not a political post. Those who know me know which way I lean, but that is neither here nor there. I have no intention of swaying anybody.
I respect our constitutional right to free speech as perhaps the most sacred of our rights. But sometimes, when that right is exercised in a careless and hurtful manner, I feel compelled to exercise my right to express the outrage I feel.
Near the local post office today, a couple set up a table with some literature and some signs facing traffic. The signs were of the anti-Obama variety. There is nothing wrong with this. These people are actively engaged in the political process. They have every right to denounce the president, whether on his handling of the economy, foreign policy, or social issues. They even have the right, despite all evidence to the contrary, to believe he wasn’t born in the United States, or that he is a Muslim.
It was one of the signs that sparked my outrage. The sign said that if elected, Obama would start World War Three. Again, I have no problem with anyone believing that. What I do have a problem with is that the sign included a photo of Obama, with a Hitler moustache painted on. This is what set me off.
A reminder of who Hitler was. He exterminated more than six million jews, and he started a war that killed over 60 million people, or 2.5% of the world population. More than 416,000 American troops were killed in World War II.
You may disagree with Obama’s policies and his beliefs, but it is careless and lazy to compare him to one of the biggest monsters the world has ever known, and one of our country’s most despised enemies. Above all, it is disrespectful, not only to Obama and the office of the presidency, but also to all those who died at Hitler’s command, to the generation that sacrificed so much, sacrifices that have allowed subsequent generations to survive and prosper. Such a comparison trivializes the horrors of the holocaust and the heroism of those who fought so hard and gave up so much to defeat evil at its most powerful.
I understand that in a tightly contested race, emotions run high on both side. Rhetoric is used carelessly by all sides. Exaggeration and hyperbole are symptoms of passion. In the past, I have let emotions get the best of me, and made outrageous statements. So I don’t intend to come across as holier than thou.
I know it is only a moustache painted on a sign, and the intent may have been satirical or ironic, but I’m, sorry, it doesn’t come across that way. Not to me. For me, this crosses a line, a line that is painted in the blood of innocent victims and heroes who deserve more than to be trivialized to make a cheap political point.