Nikki Fried: “In a Lot of Ways” Governor DeSantis is Like Adolf Hitler — Are Such Unpleasant Comparisons Dignified?
Republicans and Democrats are equally prone to distasteful comparisons
Just days after making childish posts on Twitter, stating that Governor DeSantis is becoming a dictator, Democrat Nikki Fried has doubled-down on her insults. In the January 14 episode of The Florida Roundup podcast, Fried said that ”in a lot of ways“ Governor DeSantis is behaving like Adolf Hitler.
Outright distasteful comparisons might be considered inappropriate for a politician from any party, but Fried — a Democrat — is only doing exactly what other Republican politicians have done before her. Still, does that make it right?
DeSantis’ own private army — like Hitler’s Brown Shirts?
Fried is currently Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner and is running against DeSantis in the 2022 gubernatorial election. The substance of her comparison seems to stem in part from the previous announcement by Gov. DeSantis of his intention to revive the Florida State Guard.
Fried seems to think that this amounts to a private army, along the same lines as Hitler’s Brown Shirts — the private security force that Hitler amassed during his rise to power over Nazi Germany.
DeSantis the dictator?
Fried chose Twitter, late during the night of January 5 to suggest that Gov. DeSantis had aspirations of being a dictator:
The substance of her claims weren’t stated in the tweet, but in the recent podcast episode she added more clarity:
“He is doing everything possible to take power away from local governments, taking away people’s abilities to protest, making it harder to vote, talking about, you know, banning books That’s what dictators do. Instead of listening and trying to govern with the people, he is trying to govern over the people, and, you know, that, I’m sorry, I’m a student of history, too. I saw the rise of Hitler.”
Her references to banning books seem to link with the proposed banning of the teaching of critical race theory in Florida’s schools under the ‘Stop WOKE’ act being debated this legislative season.
Meanwhile Gov. DeSantis seems to have his own perspective on Fried’s actions. As long ago as June last year he spoke at a press conference and stated:
“All she does is emote on social media”
He also accused her of virtue signaling to financial donors to the Democrats.
Republicans aren’t immune to comparisons with the Nazis either
While decent citizens might consider it in poor taste for any politician to draw comparisons with the Hitler or the Nazi party, high-profile members of the Republican party have often chosen to do so anyway.
In 2021, as the Biden administration discussed vaccine outreach programs to help reach Americans who had been unable to get to major towns and cities, Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia chose to make comparisons with Hitler’s Brown Shirts, looking to round-up those who were unwilling to comply.
It seems that politicians on both sides of the aisle are equally prepared to draw tasteless comparisons with history when the mood takes them? Shouldn’t we be able to expect more from them though?