Politicians just can’t stop invoking Hitler to make their points, complains Anne Applebaum on Slate. President Bush did it last week, saying negotiating with “terrorists and radicals” was tantamount to 1930s Nazi appeasement. It was a ridiculous statement, “giving tactical choices a phony moral grounding.” But that’s par for the course for such analogies, which never fail to cheapen debate.
Everyone from Vladimir Putin to Madeleine Albright has trotted out the Third Reich. It seems virtually any issue can lend itself to a Nazi allegory, but it’s rarely a useful comparison; instead, it ends discussions, lending them a combative tone laden with inflexible principle. “Seventy years have now passed,” Applebaum writes. “Let’s put the ghosts of Munich to rest.”