Today, I woke up to the news that Marjorie Taylor Greene had compared getting a “vaccine logo” to Jews being forced to wear a gold star in Nazi Germany. That’s a stupid comment from her. It’s one of many stupid comments that Greene has made in the past. I imagine she’ll make many more stupid comments in the future because that’s who she is.
Greene is being rightfully condemned. At the same time, I think some people are missing the bigger picture. It has become so common place for people in America to compare their opponents to Nazis that it’s led to the actual horror of what the Nazis did has been downplayed. When you compare everyone you dislike to Hitler, the end result is that it becomes easier for people to overlook or even forget just how uniquely evil and thoroughly depraved Hitler and his followers were. I’ve seen four U.S. Presidents in a row, all compared to Hitler by their opponents. Say what you will about any of those presidents, none of them rated the comparison. By making the comparison, people do a gave disservice to both the victims of the Holocaust and the people who spoke out against it while it was happening, often as the risk of their own safety.
I don’t care how you vote, knock it off with the Nazi comparisons. If you can’t make your point without doing a disservice to and cheapening the memory of the over 6 million people who died during the Holocaust, perhaps you shouldn’t be taking politics in the first place.
Like many people, I’ve been shocked by the open anti-Semitic violence that I’ve seen in the United States, the UK, and in the rest of the world. It hasn’t just been the violence, though. It’s also been the silence from the people who are usually quick to rightly speak out whenever any other group is targeted with threats and harassment.
As much as it pains me to say it, anti-Semitism does not surprise me. It’s the world’s oldest prejudice and one that stubbornly refuses to die. And I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the same people who have spent the past few years supporting BDS and spreading lies about Israel are now conspicuously silent as those lies are used to justify attacks on Jews worldwide. And yet, I am surprised because, deep down, I keep trying to convince myself that the world is better than this and that even those who are critical of Israel have enough human decency to step and condemn anti-Semitism.
Don’t get me wrong. After spending a week attacking Israel, some members of the Left have offered up half-hearted condemnations of anti-Semitism. Of course, they always making sure to mention that Islamophobia is bad too. And yes, Islamophobia is wrong but, when violence broke out in New York’s Diamond District last week, it wasn’t because Jews were driving through the neighborhood and attacking Muslims. Apparently, the “both sides do it” argument is suddenly once again acceptable when it comes to discussing attacks on Jewish people. The message that I’ve gotten from so many on the Left is that open anti-Semitic violence is bad only because it is saying the quiet part loud.
The lack of any real condemnation will be remembered long after this current spate of anti-Semitic violence has died down.
Last week, I started replaying Red Dead Redemption 2. It had been quite a while since I last played the game and it’s been nice to be reminded of just how good the game actually is. At the same time, it’s been downright traumatic to rediscover just how easy it is to accidentally shoot people.
From the minute I started my replay, I promised myself that I was going to play Arthur Morgan as being a good guy. He may be an outlaw but he’s not a murderer. At least, that’s what I wanted to believe. I wasn’t going to rob strangers unless it was absolutely necessary. I wasn’t going to shoot any helpful shopkeepers. I was going to help everyone who needed help.
It hasn’t worked out that way, though. It’s not intentional. It’s just that it’s very easy to push the wrong button on your controller. Over the past week, there have been so many times when I’ve thought I was pushing the “greet” button just to discover that I had accidentally pushed the open fire button. I’ve even gone back and restarted the game a few times because I’ve felt so bad about shooting the wrong person.
The big difference between Red Dead Redemption and a game like Grand Theft Auto is that when you kill someone in Red Dead Redemption, they don’t come back. In Grand Theft Auto, you can run over a hundred pedestrians just to find them all resurrected as soon as you drive to a new neighborhood. In Red Dead Redemption 2, accidentally shooting the wildlife photographer means that you never see him again. It can be traumatic but, at the same time, it’s also emotionally rewarding when you manage to get through an entire mission without accidentally shooting anyone.
Of course, I’m taking my time with my replay so I’m just on Chapter Two right now. I’ve been busy exploring the towns of Valentine and Strawberry. There’s many more chapters and town to come. Hopefully, I’ll remember to push the right buttons and the violence can finally come to an end.