Beating Back the Nazi 'Sickness'

While racial hatred is certainly repugnant, that alone hardly encapsulates the evil of the Nazis. Misdiagnosing their sickness as merely an attitude toward superficial differences fosters a distorted view of their offense, leaving modern evils out of focus.

Hating Jews and other minority groups was not the chief offense of the Nazis. Violating individual rights was. Racial hatred was the repugnant frosting on a vile and poisonous cake. Hating someone on account of their ethnic origins, while certainly distasteful, does not harm the hated individual. Hate alone cannot deprive someone of anything. It cannot -- without further action -- take life, encroach upon liberty, or seize property. Those violations can certainly be motivated by racial hatred, as was the case with the Nazis. However, motivation matters little compared to the violations themselves.

We should be concerned when someone as prominent and influential as Clinton fails to recognize such a distinction because his lack of focus mirrors that of many social-policy crusaders who believe that the greatest evil facing our world is “intolerance.” Of course, by “intolerance,” what they really mean is any politically incorrect, opposing opinion. When that becomes the standard of evil, the “sickness” which must be purged from the world, than any means becomes justified in siphoning it from the body politic. In practice, that translates to state-sanctioned rights violations in the name of promoting “tolerance.” Thus, a misdiagnosis of evil enables evil to masquerade as good.