In response to Keith Olbermann’s recent lengthy comparisons of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with Adolf Hitler, Real Clear Politics stated that the GQ The Closer host had violated Godwin’s Law. But did he really?
Olbermann has appeared in dozens of videos, with several making the Trump-Hitler comparison, and all tearing the candidate to shreds, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
Godwin’s Law was created by U.S. attorney and computer enthusiast Mike Godwin as a response to what he saw happening in dial-up bulletin boards and early internet chat rooms of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“As an online discussion continues, the probability of a reference or comparison to Hitler or Nazis approaches 1.”
So widespread has the usage of Godwin’s Law become that those who make comparisons with Adolf Hitler, especially on the internet, are often quickly made aware of it, with the Real Clear Politics assertion held up as evidence.
Keith Olbermann’s, as well as The Young Turks co-founder Cenk Uygur’s, comparisons might seem to not really fall under the prelude of “online discussion.” Each are objective journalists who would likely admit to possessing personal bias, as all humans do. Each has made the case that the Hitler-Trump comparison is, objectively, a fair one. They are not alone.
What does Mike Godwin think about the Trump-Hitler comparisons that are being made? The author of Godwin’s Law addressed the subject in a Washington Post piece in December 2015.
“If you’re thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler or Nazis when you talk about Trump. Or any other politician,” Godwin wrote.
Thoughtfulness and real awareness might seem to be key tests of whether or not someone has made a trivial comparison, seen to increase the odds that the law has been violated. Godwin gives the example of Mets fans comparing Yankees fans to members of the Nazi Party. There are other examples available.
Keith Olbermann has gone so far as to compare the current Donald Trump presidential campaign with that of Adolf Hitler in 1932-33. Before there was a “Night of the Long Knives” and the Holocaust, there were absurd promises. Promises that Olbermann, Uygur, and others feel are comparable with Donald Trump.
Furthermore, while Olbermann and Uygur would both seem to realize that Donald Trump has not yet ordered anything as atrocious as many of the events that occurred during World War II in Germany, both hold that his promises for a Muslim ban and mass deportations rhyme with Adolf Hitler’s in the early 1930s.
There is a quote that is often incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain, whose origin is unknown, as reported by Quote Investigator.
“History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.”
“I don’t personally believe all rational discourse has ended when Nazis or the Holocaust are invoked,” Mike Godwin stated. “But I’m pleased that people still use Godwin’s Law to force one another to argue more thoughtfully.”
Godwin goes on to state a belief that thoughtful discussion including comparisons with the Holocaust are appropriate when they are “meaningful and substantive” and are, in fact, an important way to prevent similar events from unfolding in the future.
In national poll averages with Real Clear Politics, Hillary Clinton currently leads Donald Trump 46.4 to 44.8 percent, a 1.6 percent margin, down from over 5, one week ago.
Prior to the dive in Clinton’s poll numbers, FBI Director James Comey sent a bombshell letter to Congress, stating that there may be emails on a computer used by former Congressman Anthony Wiener related to Hillary Clinton that the agency needs to investigate. Keith Olbermann and Cenk Uygur have each expressed disappointment with Comey’s move, which has seemingly prompted each to double down on their Trump-Nazi comparisons and pleas to U.S. voters to not vote for Donald Trump.
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