On the holding of abeyance of Godwin’s Law

I had a brief Facebook conversation recently, wherein a friend posted something that gently prodded me for finally making a post that wasn’t political. That made me smile. If you’ve followed me over the many years I’ve posted, you’ll see I’m generally not overly political in nature. For the most part, I haven’t cared much about politics because for the most part whatever party is in office hasn’t made an obvious difference in the fundamental course of my life. I get interested in politics mostly for the element of system engineering and group dynamics that is inherent in the beast, but I’ve voted both directions and I’m semi-tolerant of the results.

But, yeah, I’m getting invested in this one. I get it if that’s annoying to folks.

On the other hand, this is the first election in my time where we have a candidate for whom the infamous Godwin’s law actually needs to be set aside.

I mean, yes, I acknowledge a non-zero chance that Trump is not actually a Mussolini/Hitler in sheep’s clothing. There is always a chance that he’s just your garden variety idiot. And I acknowledge that if he is just your garden variety idiot, then if he wins the presidency the world will march along for four very difficult years … but it will survive. If, however, he actually does turn out to be a Mussolini/Hitler in sheep’s clothing, which to me is a far greater non-zero chance … well … history books will all be looking at us and going “how the hell did you let that happen here?”

There are, of course, people who are following Trump who say this Mussolini/Hitler comparison is reactionary hogwash. The great thing about life is that you get to choose what you think are the right and wrong ways to think about things, so if that’s how you really feel–great. I certainly hope you are right. But I would also guess that if you are one of those people you have also at one point in your life said something like “those who do not pay attention to history are doomed to repeat it.”

I know what side of history I want to be on, though, and I think that’s a position pretty much all properly reasonable people share–regardless of what political party you say you are aligned with.

So, please think very hard about this holding of abeyance of Godwin’s law thing.


In the meantime, I will do my best to get back to posting about things like science fiction and writing and space and other cool things like that.

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