Adolf Hitler was a genocidal dictator in the second world war. “Genocidal” means he killed a lot of people because he thought they were different from him.

If you’ve ever been in an argument or seen one, you’ve probably witnessed one person comparing another to Hitler even though neither of them has ever committed genocide. There are two reasons this can happen.

The first reason is: The accuser has made a mistake, an error in reasoning. She believes that just because her opponent has one thing in common with Hitler (like being a vegetarian or having a mustache), it means he is probably planning a genocide in his spare time.

The second reason is that no one likes to lose arguments.

Hitler was a terrifying person. It’s scary to think about the things he did. If we can get all the people listening to our argument to think about murderous hatred whenever they see our opponent’s face, they’re more likely to side with us.