(As usual I suggest you open the links in other tabs so you may follow along with this article while also looking at the reference links as needed...)
For those of you who are not familiar with 'Godwin's Law', let me explain it's origins: there is an ancient discussion area of the internet called USENET newsgroups. It is basically a bunch of mostly text based groups that existed long before web pages and browser technology were invented where like-minded individuals would go to talk about things they like, dislike and otherwise interact. It's the wild west, with little or no moderation, where anyone can say just about anything. It is because of that nature that it appeals to many. Speech there is inherently free for the most part.
In fact because of it's openness many people still do go on and use USENET news servers, which are somewhat akin though slightly more immediate and spontaneous than what are called "mail-lists". Google and Yahoo just call them "Groups" though theirs have a much broader focus of available topics with a slicker interface. Anyhow, USENET is where Godwin first postulated his 'law' which essentially is this: "as a USENET discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches.", the now canonical corollary of which is that once this occurs, the person who invoked Nazis or Hiltler in the first place has lost the debate and essentially the tread or line of discussion is over.
However allow me to point out that it has always been considered to be bad form to intentionally invoke Godwin's Law in order to prematurely end a rousing debate. This is known as 'Quirk's Exception' (see post above for historical information) and is backed up by 'Formosa's Law' wherein "The truly insane [already] have enough on their plates without us adding to it...".
America's health care reform debate has reached the point where Godwin's Law must and should be invoked. By now you should already know who has lost the health care reform debate because they are the ones who "done brung Hitler and the Nazis to the dance", namely the far right wing crazysauce folks -- the birthers, deathers, tenthers, Beck-ers, Quiter-ers, LaRouchies and the rest of those who would rather help to divert attention away from the real debate using Nazis and Hitler as well as racisim to obstruct any real progress (more on the latter below). So call it game, set and match. It's over. At least the Godwin's Law part. I too am personally finished talking to "dining room tables", as is Barney Frank, the originator of that last and quite astute and insightful quote said. One cannot reason with the unreasonable. Better to let them yell or rant manically and as they do their argument collapses under the weight of it's own hubris. In addition if you ask them to go beyond the talking points they have memorized in their very non-thinking and sheep-like fashion all you will get is either a change of subject to yet another talking point or a blank, deer in the headlights type stare before they stammer and either repeat the same talking point or rapidly change the subject to yet another memorized talking point. Usually louder.
They have become both laughable and all too predictable. Desperation does that to them. Since Godwin's Law proves them and their debate tactics to be a hollow failure, they now turn to what I will dub 'Lazarhat's New Corollary To Godwin's Law' which is: "When all attempts to divert attention away from the actual subject of a debate by invoking Nazis and Hitler fail, they will change tactics and start spouting racial slurs and racist ideology instead..." -- which is precisely where they're going right now especially since even they can realize the absurdity of their Obama as Hitler and his administration as Nazis meme. It has become a non-starter amongst all thinking individuals.
So when they get in your face and wish to launch into yet another spittle and hate fueled rant about Obama as Hitler or comparisons of our government as Nazis (or fascists, socialists and Marxists for that matter), calmly raise your hand in a slow manner, placing it with the flat of your palm outward -- not on them or their face but near it, signifying the universally accepted symbol for 'STOP' and then tell them softly yet firmly "yeah whatever -- that's what all the negativists and nihilists say...", then lower your hand, smirk inwardly (if you must smirk at all), turn on your heels rapidly and walk away. You've got about a ten second head start before their head explodes while they try to figure out exactly what you meant.
Or when they get in your facebook and tell you that you MUST watch Glenn Beck, do likewise and say "yeah whatever, that is what ALL the racists say..."
(pelase see the post above for a possible personal historical connection to the character of Quirk as mentioned in 'Quirk's Exception' to 'Godwin's Law'... just for giggles.)
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