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Trump's Meeting with Putin isn’t Kristallnacht

By Tyler Bauer

Predictably, people are losing their minds over President Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "How could Trump meet with such a vile dictator?" they ask. They are also likening this meeting to some of the worst events in American history, such as Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Not to be outdone, one MSNBC contributor - Jill Wine-Banks - compared the meeting to Kristallnacht. (For a sane and informed analysis of the meeting, click here).

For those of you who, like me, received a public school education, here's a brief rundown on what Kristallnacht was. On November 9th and 10th in 1938, the Nazi Party's paramilitary launched a pogrom against Jews. By the end of the "Night of Broken Glass," hundreds of Jews were killed and roughly thirty-thousand Jews were imprisoned in concentration camps. Additionally, nearly three hundred synagogues were destroyed and seven thousand Jewish businesses were damaged or destroyed. Kristallnacht served as the wake-up call for much of the world that Jews were not safe in Nazi Germany.

In a way, I kind of get where Wine-Banks is coming from. Putin isn't a nice guy, and we all know that, so I understand why she may be upset about this meeting. However, comparing a meeting between two world leaders to Kristallnacht would be laughable if it weren't so disappointing and insensitive. Is this really the state of American political discourse? Even if you absolutely hate Trump, comparing diplomacy to Kristallnacht is terrible. Not only does it not change anything, it demeans the suffering of Jews in Nazi Germany. Seeing as the left prides itself on being the group that supports minorities, it seems odd that they would compare arguably the worst scenario of the twentieth century to two men talking.

Not only was Wine-Banks' comparison insensitive, it's also factually incorrect. Nothing bad has come from this meeting, and I don't expect anything bad to come from this meeting in the future. Nobody died, nobody was imprisoned, and no damage has been done. We have nothing to lose when Presidents Trump and Putin get together. To quote Winston Churchill, "To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war." I'd much rather see Trump and Putin meeting frequently, because that means we aren't involved in a nuclear war. I don't like Putin, and I don't like Trump, but I'd dislike them even more if we went to war. Keeping in contact with each other is their best way to avoid war.

You can disagree with their policies and criticize their actions, but please, understand that the alternative to these meetings is total isolation, which makes war more likely. And for the love of God, please stop comparing these things to Kristallnacht, Pearl Harbor, and 9/11. It shows how unintelligent and emotionally-driven you are, and we should try to approach politics with rational, logical, and well-informed thoughts.

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