Comparing Trump to Hitler says a lot more about the accuser than the accused


After my article entitled, “Likening Trump to Hitler: a dangerous comparison” was published two weeks ago, I was astounded by the amount of readers who felt I’d failed to demonstrate exactly why Donald Trump is not Adolf Hitler. I believe this alleged failure to prove a negative was the corollary of a limited word count and imagination; I never imagined so many people would need to be convinced that Trump is not Hitler.

For starters, Hitler announced his 25-point Program in 1920 which promulgated that only those with German blood could be citizens, not Jews. Nearly three years later, and a decade before he even became Chancellor of Germany, Hitler began dictating Mein Kampf from his prison cell. He was in prison for staging a failed takeover of the government in Bavaria – known as the Beer Hall Putsch – where four police officers and sixteen Nazis were killed. Murder and armed revolution do not appear to be Trump’s modus operandi. But back to Mein Kampf, where Hitler outlined his racial theories and rambled on ad nauseam about the Jews being categorically evil and the need for them to be exterminated. So much for the claim that “no one knew Hitler was Hitler until he became Hitler!” As historian Eberhard Jäckl rightly stated, “Perhaps never in history did a ruler write down before he came to power what he was to do afterwards as precisely as Adolf Hitler.” Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ (1941-1945) was not unpredictable.

{mosads}Some may agree that Trump isn’t Hitler, but still whine that the resemblances are frightening; this is nonsense. While Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S. is absolutely un-American and deserving of censure, trying to prevent ISIS operatives from entering the U.S. (who are trying to pose as refugees) cannot be compared to Hitler’s ideas and decrees. There is not a modicum of evidence to suggest Trump would immediately call for a boycott of all Muslim businesses and bar Muslims from holding civil service, university, and state positions (like Hitler did with the Jews) if he were to be elected. The mere existence of the “Jewish race” was what acutely troubled Hitler, while Trump has never even hinted at having a problem with those of a “Muslim race”. While I disagree with the rhetoric Trump uses when discussing immigration, he is plainly distressed with the large numbers of Hispanics and Latinos who have entered the U.S. illegally (as was President Clinton); he has never implied that he has a problem with the mere existence of their race. If he did, one in four Hispanic registered voters would probably not support Trump. However, I do realize that facts often don’t matter to the social justice warriors who desperately want to feel that they are just as valiant as those who stood up to the real Hitler.

It’s axiomatic that the ultimate goal of those who compare Trump to Hitler (even if they know it to be untrue) is to frighten and cajole others into not voting for Trump, yet this tactic almost always has the opposite effect. I’ve personally witnessed a friend who was doing rather well in attempting to persuade another to not vote for Trump, hitting on all the right points (his capriciousness, ignorance of geopolitics, etc.), but the moment she made the Hitler comparison, the discussion was abruptly derailed. This charge reliably destroys any meaningful discussions that may have otherwise occurred. Considering there is plenty to criticize when it comes to Trump, as there is with Clinton (both scored historic unfavorable ratings earlier this year), it is baffling why so many still feel the need to make the Hitler comparison.

Trump is unquestionably unpresidential (this is the man who mocked a disabled reporter), but he’s nothing like Hitler. I encourage everyone to challenge and condemn the immoral and unfeasible ideas that Trump has, such as the proposal to deport 11 million undocumented migrants, but comparing Trump to Hitler is not only inaccurate, ineffective, dishonest, and dangerous, it also trivializes the tragedy of the Holocaust in the name of scoring political points. Indeed, comparing Trump to Hitler says a lot more about the accuser than the accused. If you truly want to convince someone else to not vote for Trump, while maintaining your intellectual honesty and ostensible acumen, you really need to stop comparing Trump to Hitler.

Bill Ozanick is currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.  He can be followed on Twitter @BillOzanick.


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