The Dartmouth Observer

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Thursday, August 01, 2002

Sadly, allusions to Nazis are all too often thrown around in political rhetoric these days. The use of these allusions is not only damaging to the person or group so labelled, but is usually completely unmerited, having the simultaneous ill-effect of belittling the horrors of Nazism by construing simple political differences with one of the greatest tragedies that the world has endured. However, Vijay ignores the most ubiquitous and blaringly inappropriate usage of the Nazi appellation in U.S. politics. The use of the word "feminazi" by such conservative loudmouths as Rush Limbaugh (who I believe coined the expression) is unquestionably the most popular and hateful Nazi comparison, as well as being the most erroneous. Apparently, women who are finally claiming their full rights as human beings are so threatening to men like Mr. Limbaugh and other reactionary incendiaries that they must find yet another damaging and silencing obscenity to hurl at women. After all, how does one respond to being compared to Nazis? Even responding to that sort of name-calling dignifies it to a level it does not deserve. I sense in this behavior both a profound insecurity and a complete unwillingness to debate matters of gender and policy in a rational, civil manner. And, after all, isn't that something that conservatives pride themselves on?

So, Vijay, don't be too quick to ascribe the progressives full blame for misusing the Nazi reference. Conservatives need to question their own dubious practices before pointing out anyone else's. Otherwise, a dangerous hypocrisy develops.