If you have entered into the battlefield of political debate on the internet, chances are, at some point, the term “Nazi” or comparisons to Hitler have been bandied about. When these terms are used, the debate participant they are being used to attack may quote Godwin’s Law to immediately thwart the assinine comparison and get the debate back on track.
If you aren’t familiar, Godwin’s Law states, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1,” meaning it is bound to happen the longer one debates. Godwin’s Law isn’t meant to point out fallacy, but rather the hyperbole associated with comparing somebody to a Nazi or Hitler because they have differing viewpoints. It’s meant to call attention to the horrors of the Holocaust and the fact that one may have blown a gasket and gone a wee bit overboard in their zealousness to win an argument.
This defense has come to an end for the alt-right. After the display in Charlottesville, Virginia — where alt-right Nazis beat a young black man named Deandre Harris and a Nazi terrorist rammed his Dodge into a crowd killing a young woman named Heather Heyer — Godwin himself decided to weigh in:
By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you.
— Mike Godwin (@sfmnemonic) August 14, 2017
This is certainly a historic moment in internet debate history. One in which the creator of a law — a law meant to cease the infection of hyperbole in a debate — has just stated that in no uncertain terms, the alt-right are Nazis. Not only Nazis but also shitheads which we kind of already knew.
Godwin had previously weighed in when a journalist took a crack at infamous Nazi leader Richard Spencer:
Actually honey the Nazis failed to conquer England pic.twitter.com/A4U098phLw
— Danielle Tcholakian (@danielleiat) June 4, 2017
No suspension required.
— Mike Godwin (@sfmnemonic) June 4, 2017
This will take some getting used to but it appears Godwin’s Law does not apply if you are calling an actual Nazi a Nazi. Just be sure it’s an actual Nazi. The term “alt-right” no longer applies.
Featured image of attorney Mike Godwin via Wikipedia