Nazis must need a good PR campaign. In recent weeks and months, they’ve had their leader’s famed mustache painted on Barack Obama’s image by Tea Party members; GOP tactics have been compared to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels by Democrat Congressman Steve Cohen; and comic Joan Rivers told a talk show host that Sarah Palin is a Nazi. A group of religious leaders slammed Glenn Beck for throwing the other “N” word around when talking about public figures; Beck and others often use the terms “Nazi propaganda” and “Hitler-like tactics” to label programs and leaders they don’t like. “Nazi” has become a word of choice for pundits, politicians and performers when they want to express anger or disgust. They must be trying to make Nazis look bad.
But, seriously, shouldn’t they all slow down and reflect on who the Nazis really were? National Socialism, born from the warped mind of Adolf Hitler and fashioned into a political movement, was a combination of fascism, racism, and anti-Semitism enforced by deadly tactics. Its belief in an Aryan master race ultimately led to the Holocaust: the massacre of six million Jews, plus another 2 to 3 million Europeans, disabled persons, homosexuals, and other “undesirables.” The Nazi regime conducted what was, undoubtedly, the most horrific era of oppression and mass murder in the history of the world.
Using provocative words to make a point is a time-honored tradition among PR professionals, the media and politicians alike. But, noted the Examiner’s Michael Stahl, “the terms ‘Nazi’ and ‘Fascist’ have become so pervasive, and so ill-defined, that they serve no longer any real purpose other than simple pejorative sling-stones.” So shouldn’t today’s communicators stop comparing anyone or anything to the Nazis and their heinous founder? Throwing this particular “N” word around is careless, foul and inaccurate, to say the least. It’s not a good way to communicate. Your thoughts?