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Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Because an Election Hasn't Really Got Started Till the Word 'Nazi' Comes Up

Not a Real Nazi
Yes, it's another election cycle and people are throwing around the 'N' word. No, not that N-word, the one that has to do with book-burning, concentration camps and goose-stepping across the face of Europe.
Anthony Marco, the NDP candidate in Niagara-West-Glanbrook (which is also PC leader Tim Hudak's riding), has some Liberals calling for his figurative head for a podcast he recorded over a year ago when he made some comments that they're construing as pro-Nazi. The quote they're upset about is as follows:
"For some people the old politics of Nazi Germany might be their religion. And just as I can't condemn other people's religion, I can't, I don't agree with them, but you can't stop somebody from believing in something." [...] "You're the one who is pretty messed up if you're going to devote your entire life to trying to convince somebody not to believe what they believe."
Liberal translation: If you want to believe in the Nazi doctrine of racial superiority then that's okay with Anthony Marco. But as reported by The Huffington Post Canada today, the quote on its own is out of context. Marco prefaced the above quote saying that he doesn't believe in burning books, even if he is against the ideology in a book:
"But there are a couple that I would suggest burning, and it’s not even from an ideological perspective, like 'Oh, burn stuff by Adolf Hitler.' Whatever. If you want to read that stuff, read that stuff. For some people the old politics of Nazi Germany might be their religion..." 
Marco did make an exception for one book though, "If you want something to burn and feel good about it, burn Bieber's book." For me it would be Kardashian Konfidential by the trio of spoiled sisters of the same name, but I also underline the base principle that burning any book is wrong.
Marco also had some choice comments about religion, but those don't seem to be getting him into as much trouble. For the time being, Andrea Horwath, Provincial NDP leader, is standing by her candidate. Hudak hasn't waded in too far saying he'd like to see a transcript before commenting, but the drum plays on for Liberals looking for a wedge.  
In the meantime, the word "Nazi" is teetering so dangerously on the verge of overuse that it threatens to no longer have any real meaning at all. What the Nazis did was awful, and the philosophical undercarriage of Nazism reprehensible, but every out of context use of the term only desaturates it further so that eventually it will as neutral a descriptor as cool, or douchebag. "Dude, why are you being such a Nazi?" "Mom stop being such a Nazi!"  
I don't think that's where we want to go, and I hate to say it, but do you know who else took people's political comments out of context and censured them for it, The Nazis. The circle is now complete.

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