Turning Point USA’s Candace Owens is so keyed up to defend nationalism, in service to President Donald Trump, that she just got caught being a Hitler supporter…or at least someone who could hypothetically support Hitler if he’d just been more MAGA. I’m not even remotely kidding. Check out Candace’s speech here, and you tell me what you think.
Here is video of Candace Owens' full answer on nationalism and Hitler pic.twitter.com/NfBvoH8vQg
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) February 8, 2019
So if you watched that video, you heard, as Buzzfeed reported, Owens opine that Hitler’s big mistake wasn’t being a nationalist, it was that he had “dreams outside of Germany.”
“I actually don’t have any problems at all with the word ‘nationalism’,” Owens said. “I think that the definition gets poisoned by elitists that actually want globalism. Globalism is what I don’t want… Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler.”
“He was a national socialist,” she continued. “But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalise. He wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way. To me, that’s not nationalism. In thinking about how we could go bad down the line, I don’t really have an issue with nationalism. I really don’t.” (BuzzFeed)
Okay, cool, I wasn’t imagining things. Owens pretty much said that Hitler had some good ideas, but I’m glad that Buzzfeed had the transcript for me, because when my ears something so dumb as “Hitler’s problem wasn’t nationalism” — it most certainly was one of his biggest problems — it makes me feel like I’m drugs. It makes me second guess myself. I’m glad Buzzfeed was there to confirm that I did in fact hear Candace Owens say, in effect, if only Hitler had kept his horribleness in Germany, she’d have been cool with him.
Candace must have a definition of nationalism I don’t know of. Nationalism doesn’t have anything to do with limiting actions to those that happen within your borders. It just means having a strong sense of national pride. The reason we have generally moved away from nationalism as a tenet of belief is that it has historically been used to justify things like, wait for it, The Holocaust. Things like the Vietnam and Iraq Wars.
The dictionary defines nationalism like this: “identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.” The key is the “exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.” Nationalism isn’t isolationism, but Candace thinks they’re interchangeable. They’re not, but I think the more hilarious implication is that isolationist countries don’t commit human rights violations on their people.
North Korea is one of the most stridently nationalist countries in existence. The human rights abuses in that country are the stuff of nightmares. But since they aren’t trying to conquer other areas, and Kim Jong Un therefore must not have “dreams outside” North Korea, Candace must think he’s a swell guy, and is just trying to Make North Korea Great Again.
Maybe Candace doesn’t realize that nationalism often involves imperialism because it lends itself to an ideology of “might makes right,” land and resource taking, and that Hitler’s nationalism was no different. Maybe Candace doesn’t realize that nationalism is inherently a right-wing ideology because of its embrace of using the military to enforce your nation’s values on others. Sure, that makes her an ignorant fool, but there’s a chance she could learn some facts and change her positions.
Otherwise, we’re left to wonder if Owens purposefully muddies what nationalism is in order to cynically dupe the gullible into supporting a nationalist platform. And that would mean she’s just a disingenuous hack, but that can’t be true. Sure, before she was one of the rights’ darlings she was hardcore anti-Trump, and sure it seems like she made a decision to go to “the other side” to capitalize on it, but hey, let’s just ignore that, because it clearly doesn’t mean anything, right?
The bottom line on this one though is pretty cut and dry: Candace Owens said something really dumb about Hitler.
People like Owens are hell bent on painting Hitler as a liberal, and on downplaying what nationalism meant to his platform. They want to emphasize the “socialist” part of “nationalist socialist.” But the two are inseparable when you discuss Nazis, because for starters that’s literally what Nazi means — nationalist socialists. Hitler mobilized the German war machine in service of his nationalist goals, not his socialist false promises. That is why nationalism as an ethos is dangerous; it gives ideological cover to the idea that your country is so important it has the right to run over — literally and figuratively — any other country’s interests, even if that includes war and genocide.
Without his nationalist streak, Hitler still could have had the idea to exterminate Jews in his own country, even if he never expanded his campaign of terror outside German borders. And that’s why Candace Owens’ thoughts on Hitler are unnecessary, and she should be so ashamed of them she should delete her entire social media presence, but instead, she posted this Periscope video in a strident defense of her lameness.
Was Hitler a nationalist? (And Leftist journalists are still insane). https://t.co/ulxZXCWquh
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) February 8, 2019
Well, you can lead a moron to thought, but you can’t make them think. But I guess if nothing else, we can see now why so many Trumpers don’t see the connection between Hitler’s rhetoric and Trump’s…they don’t see anything wrong with either.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.