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How does that one-sentence-comparison make someone a Stalinist? That seems to me a huge gap in reasoning.

One sentence given in an interview doesn't mean much. Having been a Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan does.

What makes you think the two are comparable?

In the current US political climate, people are regularly subject to calls for denunciations for making similar statements, about figures perceived as "far right wing".

Suppose the comparison had been Hitler rather than Stalin, how do you think the results would have played out?
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