“Nazi”. For over a generation, that’s been a word used to defame someone else, one of the worst things you could call someone. Regardless of where and how the name is used, by consensus a ‘Nazi’ represents a soulless monster, a person with no humanity in his heart, and a certain deliberate viciousness about his actions and intentions. The use of ‘Nazi’ as a pejorative has gone through several incarnations, from the literal accusation that someone was part of the infamous political party and its agenda, to claims that a person’s politics or behavior is compatible with Nazi dogma, to a generic denunciation of an action or policy as inhumane, to the present use where no valid criticism can be found to use against a target, so ‘nazi’ is used as a particularly offensive yet generic name to smear someone with, a word so loosely applied that defense against it is all but impossible, since no specific charge is even made. It should be noted that for the last eight years, it has been pretty much standard for self-anointed “progressives” to address the Bush Administration as “nazi” for just this reason.
Now enters Barack “Change” Obama. Obama claimed to respect the heroism of John McCain, his opponent in the general election, but in fact he did nothing to defend McCain against a flood of unworthy malice from Obama supporters. The O mumbled a few excuses about not being able to control his people, which should be troubling from a man claiming he can bridge the divide between the parties, including their extremist elements, and “get past the politics of division”. I saw the excuse as revealing. In any case, at some point the façade of credibility will fade for the Obama White House, if not crumble away, at which time we may expect a variety of criticisms to be launched Obama-wards. Seeing as his Narcissusness has never had to answer hard questions, especially from his supporters, this will be an intriguing stage of his young relationship with Reality. Since there will be scant evidence on which to indict his work so far, when Obama, as is inevitable, disappoints his minions, the criticism against him will necessarily be generic and non-specific. Will ‘nazi’ be used to describe ‘The One’, if he chooses not to cut and run from Iraq? If Obama decides that raising taxes is not a good idea, after all? If President Obama decides, say, that America’s interests are in fact more important than those of, say, Venezuela?
The word’s been used with less justification many times. It will be interesting to see if it shows up again in the new paradigm, and if not, what weasel word will replace it.