I’ve always been a believer that, if you are throwing around the craziest comparisons imaginable, you are clearly losing the debate. That basic idea gets magnified when you compare your political opponents to Hitler or Nazis, a debate tactic so tested that it actually has a name: Reductio ad Hitlerum.
The latest utilizer of this strategy is Texas State Representative Jason Villalba, who, during the Democratic Presidential debate, tweeted:
The “facts” are blatantly false and were thoroughly debunked by a PolitiFact article, which noted that there is absolutely zero alignment between what Senator Sanders defined as his version of Democratic Socialism and the political views as practiced by the Nazis. Oh, and don’t forget, Senator Sanders is Jewish, and the Nazis, you know, tried to exterminate the Jews from the face of the planet.
In a later interview when discussing the tweet, Representative Villalba said,
“So is the history accurate in this? Of course not. Look, was I trying to make a connection between Sanders and the Nazi party? Absolutely not. I categorically reject any suggestion that that is what I was intending to do. It was meant just to point out that the Democratic Party, as we understand them today and as they were going through their debate, have exhibited a level of left-wing social engineering that we haven’t seen in our country in decades.”
The stupid. It burns.
It’s worth noting that Representative Villalba has gotten into hot water for stupidity on social media before, having previously deleted angry Tweets and Facebook updates which were way over the top.
Someone really needs to take the phone away from this man. For the love of God, don’t say anything on social media unless you mean it. The old “Well, I tweeted it, but that doesn’t mean it’s true!” line doesn’t hold water. Of course any reasonable, logical person would assume this is what you meant – and, frankly, I think the Representative is blatantly lying here…you don’t call someone a Nazi just for the heck of it.
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