Dare we or don’t we dare?
Make the equivalence or leave him alone in his bunker, self-inflicted bullet hole to the head?
Conjure the awful ghosts of his unfathomable savagery, or consign them to rest, although a fitful one, as they certainly aren’t entitled to any semblance of peace, because we need to feel secure we will never see their likes again?
What does the most good? What prevents the most harm? What protects the still-living – thriving, defiantly, beautifully living – survivors of his indescribable evil? What shows them the most reverence? The most respect? What gives them everything they deserve, as if anyone, anywhere can give them all they deserve after all they have suffered?
Is it too soon to make the dreaded comparison now? No one wants to make it too easily – too freely – for the danger of diminishing its impact is very real. No one wants to weaken the power of the punch it packs. No one wants to appear to minimize what any of these thriving, defiant, beautiful, living survivors and their families overcame.
Yet, no one wants to wait too long, either. Who, with any sense of history among us, feels comfortable in the assumption that should the unthinkable officially re-emerge on this side of the Atlantic, he or she could look back with a clear conscience and say, “Well. I surely didn’t see THAT coming…”
Who believes with any real certainty that it couldn’t happen again? Can you witness the meteoric rise in the value of ignorance and hate in this election cycle and state with reasonable confidence, “We’re gonna be fine.”?
I understand and respect the personal nature of where each individual’s threshhold lies. That it is not all or nothing. That we can be in a world of trouble, but not be in quite that much trouble. I hope to god that we are never in that much trouble.
But if you even gently, with kind and good intentions, admonish me to be careful with my comparisons, to be respectful of those who have suffered at the hands of that scion of evil, I’ll respond with the following: exactly how careful is it to ignore the blatant similarities? How respectful is it to shut down meaningful discussion about making sure it never, EVER happens again?
We don’t have the best track record of learning from our mistakes. White children on the playgrounds of NYC are still telling black children they aren’t allowed to play because they’re black. Americans are still rejecting suffering refugee families, vowing to deny them safe haven. Men still think they own the rights to a woman’s body. And half of America is responding to the dog-whistle of an economy and a media he says are controlled by the you-know-whos.
When does it go from crying wolf to sounding the legitimate alarm in your opinion?
When can I use the Hitler card as my Trump card?
When, if ever, may I play my Jew card?
image via wikimedia commons