To defeat evil, one needs to understand it. As this is Hitler's birthday, today is a good day to learn about the abyss that was, and is, Nazism.
"Adolf Hitler was born at half past six on the evening of 20 April 1889, in the Gasthof zum Pommer, an inn at the small town of Braunau on teh River Inn which forms the frontier between Austria and Bavaria." Alan Bullock, Hitler - A Study in Tyranny (1971). Thus, began a life that would set the world at war, result in the tragic loss of millions of lives, and assaulted the very foundations of free civilizations across the globe.
Hitler espoused the idea of the superiority of the Aryan race over mankind. "Everything we admire on this earth today - science and art, technology, and inventions - is on the creative product of a few peoples and originally perhaps of one race," he wrote in Mein Kampf. "On them depends the existence of this whole culture. If they perish, the beauty of this earth will sink into the grave with them."
Thus, Hitler advocated that the Aryan race dominate the lesser races, and a war of the racially superior to those of the inferior to preserve and advance mankind. "All great cultures of the past perished only because the originally creative race died out from blood poisoning," he asserted. "Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live."
Thus, "the folkish philosophy finds the importance of mankind in its basic racial elements. In the state it sees on principle only a means to an end and construes its end as the preservation of the racial existence of man."
Hitler's philosophy is exactly opposite of America's founding First Principles of the rule of law, unalienable rights, equality, the Social Compact, and limited government. We believe that "all men are created equal." We reject the idea of superior people or races - we are all of God's (or if you prefer, Nature's) children. We embrace the idea that all men and women have certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that governments are instituted to protect those unalienable rights. We reject the idea that government is intended to make some masters and other servants. Thankfully we prevailed in World War II and set the stage for the historic spread of freedom following the Cold War.
The issue now is whether we can keep the freedom that we so have fought so hard (and which millions literally sacrificed) to obtain. Without a firm understanding of who we are - and who the enemy is - we could very well lose those freedoms. If we don't remain vigilant, the likes of Hitler can easily arise again. The best way to preserving our freedoms is to understand the First Principles and our Constitution; understand our enemies; and meet them at every opportunity.