Hitler references have no place in U.S. politics

Pro-union Wichitan Pat Lehman, who is among the Democratic National Convention delegates, famously says what she thinks and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about what she says. But she did her presidential candidate and party no favors this week by mentioning Republican strategies in the same breath as Adolf Hitler’s, and then doubling down when challenged. “It’s like Hitler said, if you’re going to tell a lie, tell a big lie, and if you tell it often enough and say it in a loud enough voice, some people are going to believe you,” Lehman said about the GOP contention that voter-ID laws are necessary to fight voter fraud. The political media and Twitter seized on Lehman’s quote, linking it to California Democratic chairman John Burton’s statement this week that Republicans “lie and they don’t care if people think they lie…. Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it.” Not only are such references to the “big lie” factually challenged, but the surest way to discredit any argument in contemporary politics is to bring up Hitler as you make it. Such rhetoric also exhibits disrespect for the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. As Jeremy Burton, who leads the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, said on Twitter: “Can we all just please agree, no Holocaust analogy in U.S. politics is ever OK. Nor does it work.”