Calling one's political rivals "Communists" or "Fascists" is a time honored way of the stirring the political pot. Such tactics have been used for decades. It is annoying and distasteful. That's true for a lot of things.
Calling one's political rivals Nazis or KGB or Stasi or Gestapo or Tonton Macoutes is different. It is rarely done, and far worse than Communist or Fascist tagging.
Comparing ANY president of the United States, whether George W. Bush or current President Obama, to Adolf Hitler is offensive in the extreme. It is offensive whether one is a U.S. citizen, a resident (legal or illegal) or a visitor. Adolf Hitler was an abomination. Our National Cemeteries are full of Americans who died fighting Nazi Germany.
However, we have free speech. People make stupid comments. So be it.
Recently, in Ohio
Comparing ANY president of the United States to Adolph Hitler by the President of the Ohio School Board is inexcusable. Yet this is what Debe Terhar did last week. As School Board President, Debe Terhar's salary is paid by the State of Ohio, with tax payer funds. The State of Ohio, obviously, has allegiance to The United States of America.
Pause and think for a moment
Debe Terhar's job responsibilities entrust her with the public school curriculum for Ohio's children. Working for the government, whether local, state or Federal, does not require relinquishing one's Constitutional Rights. Debe Terhar is allowed to have a private life! But she holds a position of incredible responsibility and influence. Publicly advocating ANY extremist political sentiment is inappropriate.
Moral turpitude is considered grounds for dismissal for public servants. So that means she isn't supposed to be moonlighting as a porn actress, or being drunk and disorderly in bars. She isn't supposed to push any religious doctrine on students. I consider any of those behaviors less objectionable than her current activities.
Debe Terhar didn't make a stray comment, caught at an inopportune moment. That happens.
She didn't share her sentiments privately. Instead, she posted a time stamped, PUBLICLY accessible statement online, under her own name:
"Ohio School Board President Debe Terhar posted an image of Adolf Hitler to her personal Facebook account along with commentary on gun control. Many people found it offensive, and thousands of Ohioans demanded her to be removed from her post. Gov. John Kasich said that she would not be fired. Now, the Anti-Defamation League is calling on Terhar... to stop referencing Hitler and the Holocaust [for her political agenda]."
I don't understand why the governor of Ohio refuses to fire her.
"Debe Terhar, Ohio's State Board of Education President posted last week on Facebook a photograph of Adolf Hitler with a message that was critical of the Obama Administration's new gun control efforts."
Political partisanship versus national allegiance
I don't want my Second Amendment rights curtailed. I had very positive experiences as a member of the NRA when I was younger. I truly believe that the CIA and FBI have my best interests in mind, keep me safe in ways I will never know. I like nuclear power! Lately, I feel disappointed with the Democratic party, though that is how my family has always voted. I don't think highly of Ron Paul, nor the Tea Party, but I understand the sentiments that brought them to prominence.
I mention this because I still don't think ANY U.S. President was a war criminal. None were a genocidal anathema comparable to Hitler, whose atrocities were committed within recent memory.
If Debe Terhar wants to create defamatory images and make seditious remarks, let her do it while drawing a salary from someone else other than the State of Ohio. No rational person should want her indoctrinating Ohio's children to hate our country's leaders.
*Update: 4 February 2013, corrected misspelling of Debe Terhar's name.