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Nazis are attacking Florida newspapers!

Oh, those poor journalists at the St. Petersburg Times! They are under attack from Nazis!

Well, of course that is not actually true. But it’s understandable why someone might think so, from the panicked headlines the St. Pete Times has been posting lately.

First there was Wednesday’s hysterically-titled blog post by Adam Smith, “Has Adam Hasner gone off the deep end?” in which he claims that Adam Hasner is comparing our government to the Third Reich.

Then, today, Daniel Ruth writes an op-ed, “Hasner mining for fear,” in which he says that Hasner was attempting to “link the nation’s economic woes to the threat Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich posed to the world.”

OMG! Hitler?

Nazis?!?!?!?!!!

NAZIS!!!!!!!! HITLER!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!

Hold on a second here. What exactly did Hasner write? Would someone who’s Jewish really be so careless with a Hitler reference?

What has the St. Pete Times’ panties in a bunch is Hasner’s July Fourth message. You can read the entire note here on his Facebook page.

Let’s look at the key language in the second through fourth paragraphs:

…The very freedom we celebrate this weekend is threatened like few times in our nation’s history.

On July 4, 1941, as Hitler’s Reich spread its influence across Europe, President Roosevelt used a radio address to proclaim the Fourth of July holiday as an example to the world in its fight for freedom. President Roosevelt said, “several new practices of tyranny have been making such headway that the fundamentals of 1776 are being struck down abroad, and definitely, they are threatened here.”

Nearly five months to the day later, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Despite the challenges, a generation of Americans would answer the call to save America, and the world, from a dark future under the control of brutal empires and savage dictators.

Today, the biggest threat to our liberty is not a foreign government, but our own. The worst practice of tyranny is not from a dictator, but from our debt – a debt which threatens to enslave future generations of Americans to a diminished future, a lower standard of living, and a reduction of our freedoms. We face more restrictions on our liberties from stifling bureaucrats than from threats abroad.

Wait. Go back and look at parts I highlighted with bold print.

Hasner mentions Hitler once, and only once, and in a reference to the challenges that Franklin D. Roosevelt was facing on July 4, 1941. Sooo…let me get this straight…Hasner only mentioned Hitler as part of a reference to the President who fought the war against the Nazis.

If that’s “going off the deep end,” then I guess it’s also crazy to mention King George III if you’re talking about George Washington, or mention that Abraham Lincoln fought to free the slaves, or Ronald Reagan’s efforts to end communism. Take note, politicos: the St. Pete Times does not want you to discuss history! Only an extremist would reference American history and past struggles for freedom in a July Fourth message!

Well what about the rest of the message? Does Hasner connect current events to the Nazis?

No, the exact opposite is true. Hasner said the “biggest threat” is not a foreign government, but abuses of power within our own government. And we’re not facing a threat from a dictator, but from our crushing debt. In other words, FDR fought Hitler and the Nazis, and Americans today are fighting something entirely different, “not a foreign government,” “not a dictator.”

Maybe Adam Smith and Daniel Ruth need to go take an SAT prep course and brush up on their reading comprehension. When someone says “we are not fighting X, we are fighting Y,” that is not “comparing” X and Y! That is saying that X and Y are different. It’s really not that complicated.

[Cross-posted at Sunshine State Sarah and The Minority Report]

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