Santorum’s Comparison of Obama to Hitler is Dangerous and Irresponsible

COMMENTARY | Rick Santorum seems to be using his recent surge in the polls as a license to say whatever comes to his mind. In recent days, he has essentially accused Barack Obama of not promoting Christian values and of wanting to abort babies to save the government money. In his latest statement, Santorum seems to be comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler, according to Politico.

The statements were made in Georgia over the weekend, and Santorum seems to be doing some damage control today, according to CBS News. He never actually said Hitler’s name in the speech, so he has allowed himself plenty of wiggle room to deny what everyone understood to be a comparison between our president and the German dictator responsible for so much death and destruction in the 1930s and 1940s.

The part of the speech in question is more than just a one-liner. Here is just part of what Santorum had to say; “This will be okay, I mean, yeah, maybe he’s not the best guy after a while. After a while, you find out some things about this guy over in Europe who’s not so good of a guy after all…Sometimes it’s not okay. It’ll be harder for this generation to figure it out. There’s no cataclysmic event.”

What conclusion can we draw from that statement? Given his numerous references to the “Greatest Generation” in the same speech, it is hard to imagine that he is referring to anyone other than Hitler. So what is Santorum accusing Obama of exactly? Is he saying that Obama is setting the groundwork for mass murder and destruction? Is there some idea that Obama wants to create a Socialist republic in this country?

What is most likely is that Rick Santorum is playing on the fears of the extreme views of the tea party and other far right-wingers. Comparisons of Obama to Hitler are not new, and they make for cheap rhetoric that people are unsure how to argue against. Hank Williams Jr. recently came under fire for making similar comparisons about the president, according to Reuters.

Rick Santorum’s desperate attempt to win over more voters is frightening and irresponsible. Such flippant remarks not only insult the intelligence of Americans, it insults the memory of those who were victims of the Holocaust. Instead of just attempting some minor damage control by clarifying his statements, he should issue a formal apology.

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