It's official: the world has gone completely insane.
Yesterday, United Airlines forcibly dragged (literally!) a man off of one of their flights because they decided that their employees were more important than their customers. Then, instead of doing what any decent human being would have done (i.e. apologize for the obvious and egregious mistake and promise a review and overhaul of their policies and procedures) CEO Oscar Muñoz decided to throw fuel on the fire and blame the victim by labeling him "disruptive."
I wasn't going to write about that. The twitterverse and the blogosphere seem to have that situation well in hand. But just now Sean Spicer said that Bashar al Assad is worse than Hitler because, "Hitler didn't use gas on his own people" and it struck me that the whole world seems to have gone completely bonkers. Excuse me, Mr. Spicer, but have you ever heard the expression, "marched off to the gas chambers?" What exactly do you think that is referring to? Or do you, like Hitler, not consider the people who died in the gas chambers to be "his own people" because they were Jewish or gay or handicapped or whatever excuse Hitler decided to use to label them as The Other?
So: people who refuse to relinquish an airplane seat which they have paid for and in which they are physically sitting simply because the airline wants to reclaim their product are "disruptive", and the people killed in Hitler's gas chambers weren't "his own people" despite being Germans. (There is no question but that Hitler would have agreed with Spicer.)
The most disturbing thing about this is that neither Muñoz (oh, the irony!) nor Spicer seems to think they did anything wrong. If they do, certainly neither one has admitted it yet. Muñoz issued an Orwellian non-apology for "re-accommodating" the passenger, and Spicer said that he didn't mean "to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust" despite the fact that that is exactly what he did. ("I didn't mean to hurt her, officer. But God damn, she had it coming!")
If either Spicer or Muñoz saw the full magnitude of their evil and hypocrisy they would resign and slink away into the shadows with their tails between their legs. But of course they won't because that's not what alpha assholes do. Alpha assholes are Always Right About Everything, and if you don't agree, well, then you're being disruptive. You're one of Them, the enemy, the Other.
And if you think these are isolated incidents, that this attitude is not becoming pervasive in our society, that we really are going down the well marked path that mankind last began to tread in the early 20th century, then you should read this. And keep in mind that the writer is a U.S. citizen.