The Philadelphia Inquirer took advantage of Holocaust Remembrance Day no less to score a reductio ad hitlerum, comparing in its editorial Hitler himself to, you guessed it…yes, Donald Trump, of course!
Until now, the argumentum ad hitlerum, the comparison of anyone you dislike politically with Hitler, was a hackneyed ad hominem fallacy typical of discussions between internet trolls. However, The Philadelphia Inquirer is the third oldest newspaper still in circulation in the United States and among the top 20 in the country, based on daily circulation.
That a leftist newspaper blindly and vehemently criticizes Trump is nothing new; that he is compared to Voldemort, Sauron, Lex Luthor or Hitler himself is not surprising either, but that the comparison with Hitler is made on account of Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day, January 27, 2021, marks a new milestone in the decline of the traditional press.
The Philadelphia Inquirer: anyone who doesn’t agree with me is Hitler
The editorialist makes an exercise in historical memory by appealing to his Jewish Holocaust-victim ancestry to justify his words, but conveniently forgets that Trump achieved historic peace agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Comparing Hitler’s concentration camps and gas chambers to Trump’s cages for immigrant children is wrong for many reasons. First and foremost, because the horror of the cold-blooded, systematic murder of millions of people for their mere existence is not the same as the holding of immigrants illegally crossing the border awaiting deportation, cruel as this may appear to be. And second, more anecdotal, but highly ironic, is that such cages are the fruit of Barack Obama’s Administration, and relatively less used by Trump.
To see a clear parallel between the grotesque assault on the Capitol and the attacks on Jewish businesses in the 1930s, but to remain blind to the Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots and looting over the past few years demonstrates an ideological myopia worthy of study, as well as a severe case of astigmatism that prevents him from differentiating between public and private goods. Even more so being a Philadelphia newspaper.
Moreover, the fact that Trump has been the first American president in 40 years not to initiate a war during his first term in office makes him a warmongering dictator with Hitlerian overtones of the most extravagant and peculiar kind.
Godwin’s Law, or Godwin’s rule of Nazi analogies, says that “as an online discussion gets longer, the probability that a comparison mentioning Hitler or the Nazis will appear trends toward one.” With idiocies like that of The Philadelphia Inquirer we will have to think about whether to rephrase it, saying: as Trump’s shadow lengthens, the probability that a leftist journalist will appear comparing him to Hitler -remember, a socialist- trends to infinity.