History Holocaust Holocaust denial Politics Skepticism/critical thinking World War II

Wingnut of wingnuts: Vox just can’t help himself

Well, well, well.

Remember about a year ago, when Libertarian wingnut Vox Day shot himself in the foot big time by using a warped logic to argue that because it was “possible” for Hitler to round up six million Jews in four years then it’s not “impossible” for us to round up 12 million illegal immigrants, a contention that I had a great deal of fun royally fisking (as did Sergey over at Holocaust Controversies) and that was so bad that it was apparently deemed too offensive even for WorldNet Daily, which edited it to water down Vox’s horrible historical analogy? (If not, please check out my deconstruction of it all here and here; you won’t regret it.)

You’d think that, over a year later, Vox would finally have realized just what an idiot he had made himself look like with his “hey, Hitler managed to pull it off so it’s not impossible” rationale (or, as I described it, “Hey, It Worked for Hitler“). You’d think wrong, of course. Vox is incapable of admitting when he has just made himself look like a wingnut of even more epic proportions than we all know him to be. This time he does it not once, but twice, apparently in response to his old article from last year being resurrected, Hitler Zombie-like, on and Ameriblog. Apparently, just like the renewed debate on an “immigration reform” bill on Capitol Hill, everything old is new again, as Vox’s idiocy from last year would better have been laid to rest for good. On the other hand, its reappearance now gives Vox the perfect opportunity to dig himself in deeper, and he doesn’t disappoint yet again:

But apparently today’s column gave numerous double-digit IQs the vapors, as they were unable to ascertain that the IDENTIFICATION, FORCED TRANSPORTATION and MURDER of six million Jews in four years by the National Socialists proves that President Bush was absolutely incorrect – and presumably lying – when he stated that IDENTIFYING and FORCIBLY TRANSPORTING twelve million illegal aliens was not possible.

Quite clearly, it is. As for those who find all mention of the National Socialists or the Holocaust inherently beyond the pale, I am certainly open to hearing any suggestions that similarly prove the case. Has anyone else besides the National Socialists been identifying and transporting millions of people lately? Does anyone else put the lie to Dear Jorge? And if not, do we simply pretend that it never happened and that there are no lessons to be learned from it? Wasn’t the whole point of the Shoah documentaries and the survivor recordings and the Holocaust museums to make sure that no one ever forgot?

I love it when Vox is reduced to typing in all caps, like a Usenet troll. (Come to think of it, Vox and Usenet trolls have much in common.)

In any event, to Vox, it would seem, the main “lesson” of the Holocaust appears to be that it is “possible” to round up and expel millions, meaning to him that it’s possible for us to do it too if we really, really want to. Certainly it is true that we probably could do such a thing if we really, really wanted to. All it would involve is a little thing like suspending civil liberties (as Hitler did), mobilizing our police and armed forces to dedicate to rounding up all these illegal aliens (as Hitler did), and not concerning ourselves overmuch with niceties such as making sure that everyone survived their deportation (as the Nazis did). Yep, just like Hitler, if we wanted to, we could load up overcrowded cattle cars that exposed their occupants to the elements and force them to travel in their own filth, leading to many deaths on the trip, just as the frail had a nasty tendency to die on the train ride to the death camps. Yep, it’s sure possible to do this, and apparently Vox continues to assure us that, if we as a nation just had the will, we could do the same thing, minus the death camps at the end of the transportation. Or, as Vox puts it:

Actually, I compared it to what the National Socialists did between December 1941 and June 1945. Perhaps you’ve never heard of concentration camps – really death camps – such as Dachau and Auschwitz. Before they killed the Jews, the National Socialists had to identify them and transport them. The point, as seems to have escaped you and many other morons, is that it is quite clearly possible to enact deportations on the scale required.

It’s also possible that this “nudge, nudge” sort of “I’m just sayin’, ya know” kind of disingenuousness reveals the vileness in Vox’s heart, if you know what I mean. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.) But Vox isn’t through yet. Apparently stung at least a little bit by all the criticism coming his way yet again due to his article being resurrected from the grave in which it should have stayed remained to rot and trouble no one further, he just can’t help himself and has to keep arguing when keeping quiet would probably serve him better. Yes, just when you think Vox can’t go any lower, he isn’t satisfied just to get out a shovel to start digging. In response to criticism, he has to get out a backhoe with this amazing piece of vileness that he calls George Bush, Holocaust denier:

Okay, so if we know it takes four years to identify and transport six million people in inhumane conditions, how much longer will it take to do it in air conditioned, beer-and-pizza provisioned comfort? 50 percent longer? 150 percent longer? The point is that it can be done. And how is it hard to separate one lesson of the National Socialist regime from another, does this emo-brain also have the impression I’m advocating an invasion of Poland, launching rockets at London and a Non-Aggression Pact with Stalin’s corpse?

This guy doesn’t even seem to realize that he has EXPLICITLY conceded my point, his paroxysms of outrage notwithstanding. THE HISTORICAL EXAMPLE OF THE NAZI MURDERS SIMPLY PROVES THAT WHAT GEORGE BUSH SAID WAS IMPOSSIBLE IS, IN FACT, POSSIBLE. That doesn’t mean that Americans harbor any desire to hurt anyone and it doesn’t even mean that we have to transport people like the Germans did. In fact, that wouldn’t even make any sense, since we don’t want to harm any aliens, we just want to send them safely home.

Ah, more caps. One would think Vox would master the HTML tags for bold and/or italics.

We get it already, Vox. Your idea is Hitler Lite, you know, exporting all those racial undesirables, only without those nasty death camps waiting at the end of the line or using overcrowded cattle cars to transport them. So what? That doesn’t mean that it’s practical or that the price it would take would be worth paying. After all, it is possible to do a lot of things that are either impractical, would cost far too much, or have harmful consequences that negate any perceived benefit. Indeed, it’s worth pointing out that, in the speech that provoked Vox’s ill-fated analogy a year ago, even President Bush didn’t say that deporting 12 million illegal immigrants would be “impossible”; rather he said it would be “unrealistic” and that “it’s just not going to work.” It was one of the rare instances in which Bush was actually correct about something. To give you an idea of just how idiotic Vox’s “nudge-nudge” insinuation is, consider a couple of other things that were (or are) possible. After all, it was possible to invade Iraq, and we all know how that turned out. Or, to take things to the the same sort of level of massive overkill that Vox apparently can’t resist with his Nazi analogy, it’s definitely possible to launch our nuclear weapons preemptively at Iran to prevent it from successfully building a nuclear bomb itself. It’s even possible for us to nuke Iran until the sand turned to glass. Sane people know why doing so would be a horrible idea, both on moral and practical grounds. Given Vox’s horrible analogy, I’m not so sure that he does:

If we’re going to not do things simply because the National Socialists did them, then I suggest that we begin by not financing public schools and not invading other countries. And I note with no little amusement that if George Bush or anyone else claims that mass deportations are impossible, this must, by definition, make them Holocaust Deniers.

Talk about a straw man! The complaint against Vox’s idiocy is not that we shouldn’t undertake mass deportations just because Nazi Germany did; the complaint against it is that Vox chose as his example of why mass deportations are, as he so disingenuously puts it, “possible” one of the most brutal and murderous example in history (if not the most brutal), a project that required a totalitarian dictatorship, hundreds of thousands of troops ideologically committed to the task, and the monopolization of large segments of rail lines, even to the detriment of the war effort. He also got Holocaust history breathtakingly wrong on a number of points. You’d think that if a democracy had succeeded in moving millions of people against their will without suspending civil liberties and the use of violence, he would have been able to come up with an example. After all, he is a Mensa member! I suppose he could have mentioned that the U.S. expelled many of the indigenous Indian tribes from their homelands. Oh, wait. That’s not such a good example either, as we did it with trickery and force, and certainly without much concern for treating Native Americans humanely, a story that remains a blot on our history to this day.

Yesterday, apparently not content with digging himself in deeper with a mere backhoe, Vox decided that it was time to break out the dynamite and start blasting to deeper levels, which seems to be why Vox changed gears a bit and pointed to Iran’s recent deportation of 70,000 Afghans as an example that “it could be done” without mass slaughter, comparing such mass deportations to the busing of schoolchildren:

70,000 per month = 840,000 per year = 6.7 million in eight years. Obviously there’s no evidence whatsoever that George Bush’s statement that deportations are “unrealistic” is false.

Other than, you know, the mass deportations taking place right now. And incredibly, it’s being done without the mass slaughter that some have insisted is inherently a part of any such involuntary mass transportation, the daily busing of 23.5 million American school children notwithstanding.

At least he’s finally quoting Bush correctly.

What I find particularly ironic here is Vox’s choice of examples. Vox is a self-proclaimed “Christian libertarian,” who has said time and time again that he distrusts the government and doesn’t want to expand government power. Presumably, if he really is a “libertarian” (something that I’m fairly skeptical of, given some of his statements in the past), he values freedom, democracy, and reducing government power and influence in our lives to the lowest level compatible with its enumerated functions in the Constitution. Yet, in his zeal to show that it is “possible” to forcibly export 12 million illegal immigrants, what examples does Vox gravitate towards? Why, he chooses Nazi Germany, one of the most murderous totalitarian dictatorships in history, and Iran, a Muslim theocracy not known for its attention to little niceties like due process and citizens’ rights, both of which he holds up as examples of what can be done in terms of moving out undesirables. His observation that it’s possible to deport 12 million illegal immigrants, when you come right down to it, is in reality rather trivial. If you throw enough resources and people at a task like this, eventually it can usually be done. The question is: Should it be done? And the problem is the price that it would cost, particularly the intangible price. There’s no way such a monumental task could be accomplished without a massive expansion of the power of the federal government and a corresponding degradation of due process and the rights of American citizens that would make the excesses of the Patriot Act look like a Libertarian vision of utopia. If one really thinks that the illegal immigration problem is so bad for our country that a “final solution” to it (sorry, couldn’t resist) is worth seriously degrading our civil liberties and expanding the power of the federal government, then argue that. But don’t pretend that your position is in any way “Libertarian.”

Of course, as you may recall, Vox had an answer for that complaint too, in essence arguing that stripping illegal immigrants whatever due process rights they have now, setting bounties on them, and unleashing the power of the free market to encourage bounty hunters would take care of the problem. Yeah, that’s just what I’d want to see: Bounty hunters busting into homes and businesses all across America in their search for illegal immigrants with the result of many more incidents like this .

In the two years since I first encountered Vox Day and noted, among other things his misogyny, his belief that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they are “fascists at heart,” and his antivaccination ignorance that’s led him to fall for the pseudoscience and lies of the mercury militia, it’s never ceased to amaze me that there can be so much concentrated wingnuttery in one man. Most amazing of all his “accomplishments,” on this issue at least, he has done something that I had previously thought impossible.

Vox has actually made President Bush look wise by comparison.

ADDENDUM: Vox keeps digging and blasting himself in deeper, this time trying to weasel out of the inferences that come from his comparison to Nazi Germany and Iran on the immigration issue by trying to ask what number of illegal immigrants would it be “practical” to remove? Nice dodge, very typical of Vox, but it doesn’t absolve Vox of his disingenuous use of regimes whose commitment to human rights are abysmal as “evidence” that evicting 12 million illegal immigrants is “possible” in the U.S. Sadly, Merkur (the commenter who called Vox to task over his analogy) appears to have let Vox suck him into this obvious dodge. I leave it to my readers to have some fun fisking this new silliness from Vox; I have to get to work. Even more disturbing are comments like this.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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