Trump Isn’t Like Hitler, He’s Like Roosevelt

By | February 6, 2017 | 0 Comments


In 1939, the M.S. Saint Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, carrying 907 refugees, mainly Jewish, fleeing from Nazi oppression. They were refused entry into Cuba, which had accepted other refugees. The ship then sailed within sight of Florida.

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter approached ‒ which at first seemed a savior to the refugees. Can you imagine how the American flag on the cutter appeared to those people? Just look at the smiling children and their parents. But soon it became obvious that the cutter was there not to escort the Saint Louis to an American port, but to warn the ship not to approach the coast.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the iconic Democrat president. Older people, especially older Jews, still see Election Day as an opportunity to vote for Roosevelt’s umpteenth term. But Roosevelt died in 1945. And after his death, more sober analysis revealed that he had done as little as possible to save refugees ‒ specifically Jews ‒ from Hitler’s gas chambers and crematoria. The tragic voyage of the Saint Louis was but one example of this cold indifference.

Hitler wrote a book outlining his burning hatred for the Jewish people. Few read it; even fewer took him seriously. Even when Hitler came to power in 1933 and began building the mightiest military on earth, most people merely shrugged. Churchill and a few others who warned of what was to come were called alarmists, or worse.

And then came the bloodiest war in history, and the worst genocide in history. But what did we learn from the costliest lesson in history? Not much.

● Hitler committed suicide at age 56. By then he had been responsible ‒ not alone, of course, but responsible ‒ for 30 to 40 million deaths, including about 11 million civilians murdered in concentration camps. Trump is 70 years old, and as far as is known, he is not responsible for a single death.

To compare Trump to Hitler is thus delusional hysteria at best, and blatant lying at worst.

● Roosevelt turned away uncounted thousands, if not millions, of refugees, most of whom ‒ like the passengers on the Saint Louis ‒ perished in the Holocaust and World War II. Trump is turning away ‒ temporarily ‒ refugees from seven majority-Muslim nations that are in the grip of violent unrest, but not from all the other majority-Muslim nations. Roosevelt’s motive was to avoid irritating unemployed Americans, who were unemployed despite his efforts to revive the economy. Trump’s motive is to bar entry to potential terrorists, until a way can be found to distinguish them from genuine refugees.

To compare Trump to Roosevelt is thus more accurate, though Trump’s motivation is much cleaner. In fact, Trump is reversing Obama’s policy of admitting Muslims in preference to Christians. Trump intends to admit persecuted Christians preferentially ‒ exactly the opposite of what Roosevelt did with persecuted Jews. So on second thought, don’t compare Trump to Roosevelt ‒ it would be unfair to Trump.

The next time you hear a Trump hater compare him to Hitler, just throw a few of these facts into the argument. At least you’ll be able to crack a smile. And who knows? You might even get through to someone who retains a shred of logic.

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