“In the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, many Americans and Europeans had a firmer grasp of the bible than of the history of genocidal dictators. Orators in search of a universal symbol for evil typically turned to figures like Judas Iscariot, Pontius Pilate, or, most frequently, the Pharaoh of Exodus.”
Makes sense, I guess. But, as I’ve said before, if the Bible was their reference point, why would they not have used the Devil himself?
(Hat Tip to Andrew Sullivan)