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WATCH: GOP Legislator Suggests Homeless People Follow Hitler’s Example To Lead A Productive Life

WATCH: GOP Legislator Suggests Homeless People Follow Hitler’s Example To Lead A Productive Life

The competition for cringiest take from an elected official has a lot of Republican entries this year, but Bootstrap Hitler is a shoo-in for at least an honorable mention. Why do right-wing politicians so frequently rush straight to Hitler as an example of everything — including, in this case, goals for homeless people?

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MARCH 12: A homeless woman helps remove trash from an encampment on March 12, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The Tennessee Senate has passed a bill to criminalize homelessness, according to NewsChannel9, sending the legislation over to the Governor for final approval. If signed into law, it will give local authorities the power to heap charges on homeless people for camping on state property, including felony-level charges.

During the discussion in the Senate, one State Senator, Frank Nicely (R), felt the need to paint a rosy picture of the prospects for homeless people to better themselves and find success, and to prove it, he invoked Adolf Hitler.

“Nineteen and ten, Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while. So for two years Hitler lived on the streets and practiced his oratory and body language and how to connect [inaudible] and then went on to lead a life that got him in the history books. So, lot of these people, it’s not a dead end. They can come out of this, these homeless camps and have a productive life. Or in Hitler’s case a very unproductive life. I support this bill.”

Without setting up Hitler as anyone’s role model or suggesting he’s a good example to follow for success, the HistoryPlace details this period in the life of the man who carried out some of the worst atrocities in human history. Among other things, it notes that he relied on a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, and other elements of the social safety net, to survive this time — making him an even less-valid example for Senator Nicely’s point.

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