Many aspects of historical perspective are puzzling. But nothing comes close to the one perspective I find the puzzling: if you ask a hundred Americans to name the evilest person they can think of, ninety-nine of them would say Adolf Hitler. Why is this puzzling? Among the 20th century's worst mass murderers, Hitler comes in third by a mile.
By most historical estimates, Hitler murdered six million Jews and an additional five million others, bringing his total to eleven million. That makes him the "bronze medalist" of 20th century mass murderers. The silver medal belongs to Russia's own Josef Stalin whose total is conventionally put at twenty million killed, although some historians contend it may be twice that number. Either way, "Papa Joe" make Hitler look like an amateur by comparison.
However, both these miserable excuses for human beings are no match for our gold medalist in the category: Mao Zedung. Chairman Mao's total comes in somewhere between forty and seventy-seven million killed. The large range between the two numbers is due to an ongoing historical argument whether the mass starvation of millions in China's great famine (1958-1961) was intentional or not. Based on the latest theories, historians are leaning towards the higher number.
So why is Hitler, as opposed to Mao or Stalin, the embodiment of evil in most peoples' minds? There are far too many reasons to explore in the space of a column. But one of the most salient ones is telling: to this day, the American left has never completely rejected its belief in philosophy of communism. In fact, the collectivist, "it takes a village to raise a child" mentality is very much alive and well within the halls of government and academia.
Much like one of America's most useful idiots, former NY Times reporter Walter Duranty, who won a Pulitzer Prize for ignoring the Ukrainian famine of 1932 which killed ten million Russians, many of modern-day America's "neo-bolsheviks" heartily embrace Duranty's idea that you "can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs."
Fortunately, "purging" people is still a tough sell in America. Unfortunately, purging capitalism is not. Thus, "breaking a few eggs" banks, car companies, insurance companies, private health care providers, small businesses and the dollar itself is the "natural order of things" as we move down the road towards re-making an America the left sees as fundamentally broken.
I suspect it is far too late for most Americans to re-order their historical priorities and give "credit" where credit is due to monsters like Stalin and Mao. It seems that only conservatives were taken aback by White House Communication Director Anita Dunn's professed admiration for Mao Zedung. Had she said she admired Adolf Hitler it may have been another story. But it shouldn't be. Nor should the left's casual dismissal or disdain for those who point out that Anita Dunn worldview is embraced by a number of other government officials who inhabit the Obama administration.
Communism is nothing more than Nazism with better PR. Its track record of atrocities dwarf those of Hitler, and its core philosophy is every bit as repugnant, if not more so.
That anyone in America would even attempt to put "lipstick on this pig" is an unmitigated disgrace. That they can do it with such relative ease under the banner of "social justice," no less is truly frightening.
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