Our opinion: Pay attention: words have weight

Published 5:02 pm Friday, January 14, 2022

We never really thought we would be in a position to advocate for more common sense. By its very definition it should be  … common.

However, in another example of “People should really think before talking,” we feel it’s important to perhaps touch on the subject.

On Thursday, Ohio Republican Rep. Warren Davidson apologized for comparing Washington DC’s COVID-19 safety protocols to Nazis, which in a perfect instance of hindsight being 20/20, probably wasn’t a real smart thing to do in the first place.

Davidson said in a tweet: “Bad things happen when governments dehumanize people. Sometimes, there is a next step — to systematically segregate them. Unfortunately, any reference to how the Nazis actually did that prevents a focus on anything other than the Holocaust.”

Many have come to believe that there is runaway government overreach, but one should really shy away from comparing the effort to try and get past a global pandemic to what the Nazis did during World War II.

It’s something Davidson seemed to forget when responding to Washington mayor Murial Bowser who said adult residents and visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination, a photo ID and a mask in public.

Davidson responded to that on Twitter: “This has been done before. #DoNotComply.” With it he included an image of a Nazi document.

We went on to say: “Let’s recall that the Nazis dehumanized Jewish people before segregating them, segregated them before imprisoning them, imprisoned them before enslaving them, and enslaved them before massacring them.”

We should probably give Davidson credit for at least apologizing, though he had ample opportunity to read the tweet before hitting send and we, as a society, should remain highly disapproving of apologies over Twitter. It doesn’t seem very sincere when you don’t have to face a person, which has been replaced by a cell phone screen.

The heart of the problem remains a lack of thought and a realization that as a “leader” his words carry weight.

There are far too many who wouldn’t have apologized for such sentiments, encouraged by an increased poison in rhetoric these days, and bolstered by other “leaders” who refuse to back down from their own common sense vacancy.

This creates a dangerous situation that could have far-reaching implications if we are not careful.

You just can’t take something you consider bad and compare it to Nazis. To do so demonstrates a woeful ignorance of the atrocities put upon a people by the Nazis.

People are going to have opinions, but if you are going to claim to be a leader of the populace, you have the moral obligation to put a weighty gravity on each and every word you say or tweet.

Your job is to inspire, not inflame.