Conservatives need to do more to purge the grifters in their midst – Washington Examiner

Candace Owens, the communications director of Turning Point USA, has yet again landed the pro-Trump student organization into hot water. During an already-stymied bid to launch a division in the United Kingdom, Owens tried to argue there that Adolf Hitler was evil not because of his nationalism but his globalism.

“[I]f 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,” Owens said. “He wanted to globalize. 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.”

As both an aside and a general rule, if you’re considering using Hitler for your political metaphor or analogy, don’t. If you’re considering justifying any action of Hitler’s to make a broader philosophical point, don’t. Just as the popular corollary to Godwin’s law dictates, the first person to mention Hitler in an online argument loses by default. Few hills are worth dying on, but none more so than Hitler as a philosophical justification.

But as for Owens’ specific argument — that Hitler’s only sin was invading outside territories in the name of Lebensraum and not his genocide in the name of German purity — it demonstrates an even simpler truth: Owens just isn’t very smart.

Fine, no political faction has a monopoly on lunacy. In a video released within an hour of the Owens video, presidential contender Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., justified the fiscal idiocy of the “Green New Deal” by equating it to not only the ambition of the space race, but also — you guessed it — the American defeat of Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Democrats have elevated this simpleton to a senator and now a prospective president, lauding a parade of emperors with no clothes and no real clue how to design a policy that doesn’t threaten to destroy our economy and sovereignty. Not only do they embrace the socialist antics of Booker’s opportunism, but they also revel in the anti-Semitism of new Democratic #FreshFace Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and the open anti-Catholic bigotry of Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii. Nary a Democrat steps up to clean the house of hate and grifters. This is how the new Democratic Party was born.

Republicans don’t have to be like that, but unfortunately, they are. For all that the Right has erred in the past, there’s been some promise in recent months. After years of equivocating around the racism of Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, conservatives as a whole finally came out and condemned him following comments depicting clear racist sentiment, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Owens’ schtick as an opportunist low on knowledge and high on hackery has been evident for a long time. Her Hitler comments simply exemplify the worst of it. Patriotism, as a devotion to principles and founding values, is a normative good that can go under the name of nationalism. But unyielding nationalism, even as a nation descends into totalitarianism, is obviously bad. That Owens engaged in such reprehensible mental gymnastics for reasons unclear shows that she’s more of a liability in directing communications than an asset.

We don’t have to retrain the dregs of our supposed political tribes. The Right absolutely should purge out “the parasitic cant that defaces” conservatism, as the great William F. Buckley put it. And when grifters and hacks tell us who they are, we should believe them.

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