Not Insulting?

September 05, 2006

Newt Gingrich does not seem to understand the definition of “insulting.” While on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes show the other day, Gingrich said he agreed with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld “that critics of the Iraq war are tantamount to Hitler’s appeasers.” When told by Alan Colmes that such a comparasion was “insulting,” Gingrich declared, “It’s not an insulting comment.”

Really? Who would not be insulted to be compared to Hitler (other than neo-Nazis whom Rumsfeld and Gingrich were not referring to)? Of course it is insulting. If it were not, they would not use it to describe their critics and political enemies. Maybe if Gingrich was referring to his mother or best friend he could claim he meant it as a term of endearment. But when he was using it to describe his opponents he meant it as an insult because it is insulting.

It is time to stop the pointless and overly inflammatory insults. And it is time to be honest. Hopefully Christians will not join in using such insulting language.

4 comments

  1. >that critics of the Iraq war are tantamount to Hitler’s appeasers.

    I didn't see or hear about the event you are referencing. But from what you've stated, a comparison wasn't made to Hitler but was made to Hitler's appeasers. That's a big difference. A lot of good-intentioned people appeased Hitler. History reveals the error of their decisions and demonstrates that intentions don't automatically equate to wise, principled decisions.

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  2. Roger: Thanks for the comment. You make a very good observation, but his comment is still insulting. There is a big difference between comparing someone with Hitler and comparing them with those who appeased him. However, no matter how otherwise good those people may have been, they are still attacked for not being more aggressive against Hitler. They are sometimes even given partial blame for the Holocaust and World War II. That is still an insult.

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  3. I don't think it's an insult to bring up the errors of the past. If we don't learn from them, we're bound to repeat them, right? I'd rather be good-intentioned and right instead of good-intentioned and wrong. Wouldn't you?

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  4. Roger: I definitely would. And I agree that it is good to try and learn from the past. However, that does not mean it is not an insult. Something can be accurate and even ethical but still be insulting to the person being referred to. What was said here was an insult, but the important question you raise is whether it is fair or accurate. Even if you think it is, you should still recognize that it is an insult nonetheless. However, I believe the comparison has some flaws. Thanks for the comment.

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