I know how hard writing can be. Truly, I do. That’s why I rarely rip other writers. Because this stuff is difficult, and oftentimes what you put on paper doesn’t quite equate to what’s running through your mind. There’s a communication gap, a lost-in-translation thing that leads to some works not quite working.
But here, I’m making an exception.
Last night my wife directed me toward a column that ran on FoxNews.com. It was headlined, WHY BEN CARSON WAS RIGHT ABOUT JEWS, THE HOLOCAUST AND GUNS. The writer is Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and contributor to the site. In the piece, Ablow argues that Carson’s recent take (had guns not been confiscated from the Jews in Nazi Germany, Adolph Hitler would have had a tougher time orchestrating the Holocaust) is “right,” and that the director of the National Anti-Defamation League was “wrong” to disagree.
Here are Ablow’s arguments:
A. He was born Jewish.
B. He has studied the Holocaust.*
C. He has spoken before the Anti-Defamation League in the past.
And, eh, that’s pretty much it. Actually, there’s one more argument. This paragraph, which may well be the greatest thing ever written by man: “The mindset that Jews surrendered with their guns is far more important than the hardware they turned over: They surrendered the demonstrated intention, at all costs, to resist being deprived of liberty. If Jews in Germany had more actively resisted the Nazi party or the Nazi regime and had diagnosed it as a malignant and deadly cancer from the start, there would, indeed, have been a chance for the people of that country and the world to be moved to action by their bold refusal to be enslaved.”
See, here’s the thing: No, the Jews didn’t have enough guns to prevent the Holocaust. But the symbolism of surrendering their guns—THAT’S why 6 million died. If only they’d shot up some Nazis, the world would have understood and neighbors would not have turned them in and then … and then … and then … eh, well, Ablow’s not really sure what happens then. But guns! Guns are awesome! And, he adds, “It turns out it was a bad idea for any Jew to have turned over a gun.” Because, had they not turned over guns, they could have … um, used the guns. To shoot the Nazis! And lead a revolt! Because, eh … um .. ah … eh … um … yeah.
Wait. Time out: I’ve changed my mind. THIS paragraph is the greatest thing ever written by man: “Granted, I was not there. Granted, hindsight is 20/20. But it turns out it was a bad idea for any Jew to have turned over a gun. It was a bad idea for any Jew to have boarded a train. It was a bad idea for any Jew to have passed through a gate into a camp. It was a bad idea for any Jew to do any work at any such camp. It was a bad idea for any Jew to not attempt to crush the skull or scratch out the eyes of any Nazi who turned his back for one moment. And every bullet that would have been fired into a Nazi coming to a doorway to confiscate a gun from a Jew would have been a sacred bullet.”
I’ve now read this column five or six times, and I always walk away speechless. First, how does this thing make a website? I’m not even talking a major news website. I’m talking any website, anywhere. Back in the early 1990s, I edited my college newspaper, and I assure you no editor (conservative or liberal) would have run such banal bullshit. Second, the author notes in the column that he hosted a fundraiser for Ben Carson. So, well, why the hell is he allowed to write a piece supporting the candidate he gave money to? Third, fuck Keith Ablow. I mean this, fuck Keith Ablow. On behalf of my great grandmother, who died in a concentration camp. On behalf of my great aunt, who died in a concentration camp. On behalf of every Jew who died in a camp. You think this is fucking cool, offering up your speculative, based-purely-in-a-world-of-nonsense take on an event that wiped out a huge chunk of my people? Just to score points for your candidate and your warped political leanings?
* No elaboration offered. Which leads me to believe he studied, like most studied, in his fifth grade text, and perhaps a viewing of Schindler’s List.
** Where’s the editor?