Ben Carson Needs To Stop Using Nazi Analogies To Compare Positions

Any student in the U.S. knows at least the bare minimum of history on World War II and how Hitler and the Nazi party committed horrible atrocities. And while it is important that students learn this history so that it is never repeated, the continued use of it to compare policies in America has got to stop. One repeat offender is Dr. Ben Carson, who has been rising in the polls as of late and should use his platform to discuss the issues instead.

I understand that politicians have to use analogies to compare ideas and policies. As someone who has worked in the political realm , I know that to accurately explain an issue, using a commonly known historical event or colloquialism to compare to helps to break issues down for voters. But the continued use of Nazi policies and Nazi Germany as a tool to compare American society and beliefs has reached too far and politicians must stop.

Carson is one of the continued users of this apology and has used the Nazis to compare American policies and beliefs numerous times recently. Two of his most blatant comparisons don’t jive with the facts, reality, or with what truly occurred in Nazi Germany. If one feels compelled to compare their policies to the atrocities from the Nazi era, the least you could do is (1) get your facts straight and (2) make an accurate comparison.


(1) Carson Uses Nazi Policies To Compare To IRS Audit

Once such ridiculous use of Nazi policies to compare American systems was when Carson claimed the IRS targeted him for an audit after he spoke out against President Obama. As someone who has interacted with the IRS for both work and personal reasons, I seriously doubt they have time to go around looking for a fight. Carson stated, “much like Nazi Germany . . . the government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.

First of all, let us compare the historical facts. Known dissenters to Nazi policies were imprisoned in internment camps, and/or beaten, assaulted, and killed. To use the fear created by losing everything as one was forced into an internment camp to compare to an IRS audit (as awful as they may be) is absolutely ludicrous.

Secondly, I was audited after I mistakenly applied for an education credit for tuition when I was in law school. In no way did I ever assume it was due to my (often highly vocal) political beliefs. I have railed against multiple politicians via my personal blog and social media, yet I doubt the IRS has the time to troll those place to single out people to audit. As I mentioned before, the IRS barely has time to answer calls (which I know firsthand, having spent unreasonable amounts of time waiting to speak to someone), so there is very little likelihood that they are going around auditing only those who criticize President Obama.


(2) Carson Uses Nazi Policies to Compare To Beliefs On Gun Control

The second insane use by Carson of Nazi policies to compare to American political stances was shortly after the shooting at the Oregon community college. At a time when many agreed that gun control has reached a critical mass, Carson instead chose to make an incorrect historical assertion to compare to gun control under the Nazis. He stated that if the Jewish people had had guns, then they could have stood up to Hitler. Carson further stated that the Nazi policies were restricting gun access during that time.

Again, if one feels SO COMPELLED to compare their point to Nazi Germany, the least they could do is get the history correct. An academic study disproved this theory over a decade ago, by showing that German gun laws actually became more relaxed under the Nazi regime. Therefore, claiming that gun control is the reason that Hitler was able to overpower entire countries doesn’t hold water.

All of this is to say that politicians, and Carson most especially, must stop using the Nazi analogy to compare disparate policies. The need to do this may be because there wasn’t quite the same level of fear here in America during that time. We did not live through black out curtains and air raid sirens the way our neighbors in Europe did. Perhaps that is why politicians stateside feel it is acceptable to compare the horrific and brutal killing of over six million men, women, and children, to a political policy that they disagree with.

Whatever the reason may be, we as a nation need to hold our leaders accountable to not trotting out these atrocities to discuss policies, and instead let their political plans and beliefs speak for themselves.


Oh, and P.S. I’m not comparing it to Nazi Germany, but if anyone wants to discuss restricting Free Speech, then Dr. Carson might want to take a good long look in the mirror first.


Featured image a combination of WikiCommons and Flickr User Marc Nozell, both available under Creative Common licensing.