but if you go carrying pictures of hitler’s moustache, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow

Say somebody has a brilliant argument. It’s well articulated, insightful, and has profound implications for the entire world. Literally, this argument could change the direction of all humankind. BUT THEN, when everything seems to be going great, the person making the argument uses the “Hitler Analogy,” where they compare something to Hitler, like, say, “People that don’t agree with me about this are just like Nazis.” 

Suddenly, all credibility is lost. Forever. A bad analogy just stopped the potential for a change to all civilization, because of a silly analogy.

Just as serious and dangerous as the “Hitler Analogy” is the “Hitler Moustache.” You may have seen it being put on United States President B. Obama lately, from what I can tell because he likes health care. I was in Seattle a few weeks ago doing “research” and was walking by Pike Market about to go into my hostel when I noticed some guys on the street corner with big picket signs, being ignored by everyone that walked by. So of course I went over to them to see what was going on.

Their eyes lit up when I said hello. I asked them what they were protesting, and they said they were there to raise awareness of all the horrible things Obama was doing to America. I politely asked for examples. They said there were lots. The worst, of course, being that he doesn’t want to spent money on a manned Mars mission. That’s when I looked down at the sign, and saw that it was, of course, a picture of Obama with a Hitler moustache drawn on. ‘You know,” I told the guy, “there’s nobody that wants to go to Mars more than me. I love the idea of space exploration, I’ve seen every episode of every sci-fi show ever made – heck, I used to get beat up on the playground at school because I watched Star Trek instead of the New Kids on the Block cartoon.”

“Well,” they said, “then you must understand what a threat Obama is to the country.”

“No, actually, I don’t,” I replied, “because Obama is trying to spend money on things that matter in this place called REALITY.. As much as I like sci-fi, all I have to do is turn on the television to see that’s there’s a whole heck of a lot of stuff that needs our attention a bit more than chilling out on Mars.”

I then went on a bit of a rant about how the Apollo Program was really just something that came out of the Cold War competitiveness between the USSR and USA and not some noble drive of the human spirit when the protesters interrupted.

“Would you like to give us $25 dollars to help fund our campaign?”

I said no, of course, and then changed the subject to the Tea Party Movements to see what these guys thought of those crazy nutcases. “Oh those,” they said, “we’re going to take them over, so you should probably give us that $25.”

I decided to leave them there on the corner with their Hitler signs and their quest to get rid of Obama and get to Mars. It just goes to show you that not only can the Hitler Moustache ruin a good argument, it can also exemplify a situation where people really have their priorities out of order, and never had a good argument to begin with.  I’ve decided to be as clever as the person who came up with the Hitler Moustache. Using innovation and technology just as well as they have, below you’ll see a sign of my own designed to help the people who are having trouble telling the difference between a genocidal maniac (Hitler) and someone trying to bring about a lot of positive changes (Obama).

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8 Comments on “but if you go carrying pictures of hitler’s moustache, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow”

  1. Protesting in 2010, a lofty enterprise indeed. I too saw the moustache Obama signs down south but I think the protesters were trying to raise awareness about the unemployment rate in southern California. There were half a dozen of these growly sign wavers sipping Starbucks between Fox derived rants and awkward political puns. I took a few extra steps to avoid them and so did almost everyone else in the grocery parking lot. In fact, as I watched them (waiting for my wife to bring out our own Starbucks), only one person approached the protesters and only to tear a strip out of them for disrespecting Holocaust survivors. That shut them up. I chuckled and with a coffee in hand, my wife and I once again took the long way around the group of angries. It seems to me that an Obama adorned with devil horns, an arrowhead tail and a pitchfork would have been easier to warm up to than the ‘Hitler moustache’.
    I learned a valuable lesson: If you want to raise awareness about a pressing issue in your community, don’t gather like a mob and wave controversial images so that your peers will avoid you and your message.

  2. Lime Says:

    So all the Tea Partyists are crazy nutcases? Is it just me or is this whole post just a rambling, round-about way of saying “I heart Obama!”

  3. Well, it was supposed to be more of a rambling about how using the “Hitler card” can really undermine the legitimacy of an argument. I felt the same way when it was being used against Bush Jr. when he was in charge. Really, you didn’t need to make a comparison to Hitler to show how bad Junior was (if you had a problem with him). Instead you could simply cite examples of what he did on a given day (or didn’t do, in the case of New Orleans).

    With the Tea Party crowd, what bothers me about many of them is how extreme they seem to be in their rhetoric. This past weekend during the health care debate, they thought it would be a great opportunity to push homophobia and racism into the mix of why they thought it was wrong to provide 32 million people with health care. That’s a better triple combo than anything I can get from Wendy’s!

    The part of the Tea Party movement I feel are the “crazy nutcases” can be described by this complex mathematical formula:

    Glenn Beck + No previous engagement with politics + Believing the extreme-right hype machine that often contradicts itself but that only helps its position = CRAZY NUTCASES

    What America needs, I (humbly) think, is what Thomas L. Friedman calls a “Tea Party Without Nuts” or a “Tea Party of the radical center.”

    Here’s Friedman’s article about it in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/opinion/24friedman.html?hp

    Just as I have a problem with the Hitler card being used by extremists on both the right and left, I think that a grassroots movement on the center could actually a lot of good, as opposed to driving America apart like the crazy nutcases are trying to do. I guess I would call this the “South Park Viewpoint” because on the show what they are always attacking satirically is extremism, whether it is on the left or right.

    You need a fine balance. Not pictures of Hitler and Bush Jr. or Hitler and Obama.

  4. Here’s a CBC article, “The Dark Side of American Protest.” It says things way better than I can: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/03/24/f-rfa-champ.html

  5. So, it looks like Palin is having some tea at the party:

    “Palin kicks off Tea Party Express tour”


  6. Nevermind the moustaches, here’s a much better idea:

    “THE PRESIDENT: ‘[W]e can’t expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down. (Applause.) … Throwing around phrases like ‘socialists’ and ‘Soviet-style takeover’ and ‘fascist’ and ‘right-wing nut’ — (laughter) — that may grab headlines, but it also has the effect of comparing our government, our political opponents, to authoritarian, even murderous regimes. … [T]his kind of vilification and over-the-top rhetoric closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation. It prevents learning –- since, after all, why should we listen to a ‘fascist,’ or a ‘socialist,’ or a ‘right-wing nut,’ or a ‘left-wing nut’? (Laughter.) It makes it nearly impossible for people who have legitimate but bridgeable differences to sit down at the same table and hash things out.'”

    I’ve taken that quote from the 2 May 2010 edition of Mike Allen’s POLITICO Playbook, and it was taken from Obama’s remarks at the University of Michigan Spring Commencement. The transcript for the address can be found here:


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