Any Final Solution to Extreme Nazi Analogies?
By William Boardman
"This is a very dangerous
drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its
descendant "progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?" -- Tom
Perkins , January 24, 2014, in the Wall Street Journal
Thomas James Perkins was born in 1932, a year before Adolf Hitler came to Power in Germany and six years before the Nazis escalated their persecution of the Jews to mass murder during Kristallnacht (Crystal Night, the Night of Broken Glass, so-called after the array of broken glass from Jewish synagogues, storefronts, and homes), November 9-10, 1938.
Today, Perkins is an octogenarian multi-millionaire (not a billionaire, he insists), a very successful venture capitalist living in his $multi-million San Francisco penthouse, when he's not living in one of his other $multi-million homes like his mansion in Marin County or his Elizabethan mansion in England (that once belonged to Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and that Perkins reportedly has for sale).
"Tom Perkins is no ordinary venture capitalist. Perkins is personally worth $8 billion dollars, and Kleiner Perkins [Perkins was a founder] is also one of the oldest, largest and most respected VC firms in Silicon Valley. It is no exaggeration to say that Perkins personally played a key role in catalyzing the modern American venture capital industry. In sum, this is not a guy who went off his meds and now rants at the world on street corners," wrote Joshua Cohen in the Times of Israel.
His January 24 letter to the editor published in the Wall Street Journal provoked a wave of media ridicule, rebuttal, and hostility that prompted him to write an apology to the Anti-Defamation League for his choice of words. On January 27, Perkins was doing a Bloomberg TV exclusive, apologizing for using the word "Kristallnacht" and pitying himself as a messenger who'd been shot ("as the messenger I have been thoroughly killed by everybody"), but mostly he expressed strong reaffirmation of his message:
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