Ben Carson keeps digging, calls Anti-Defamation League’s Holocaust history “foolishness”

Ben Carson isn’t a politician. Sometimes that’s good — he gets to say he isn’t a politician, and Republican voters hate politicians. Sometimes that’s bad — he doesn’t know basic things that politicians are supposed to know, like what the debt ceiling is.

But you know when being a politician really comes in handy? When you talk some nonsense about the Holocaust and have to walk it back as gracefully as you can.

Not-politician Ben Carson spoke some nonsense about the Holocaust this week, and he isn’t walking it back at all, let alone gracefully. After saying that gun control was one of the causes of the Holocaust (one of many awful things Carson’s said in the last 72 hours), the Anti-Defamation League, among others, stepped in to say that, no, that’s not how it went down. As they said in a statement, quoted by ABC, “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate. The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”

That last point is thoroughly outlined in this article from Tablet Magazine.

If you’re a politician, you know this fight is over. You aren’t going to win a debate over the history of an oppressed people with a group whose primary function is to serve as an arbiter of that people’s oppression. At times like these, your best move is to pack up your things and go home, living to fight another day. But Ben Carson is not a politician, and is therefore unconstrained by these unwritten rules of the political game. Which means he is going to spend at least one more day doubling down on the his radically offensive and historically ridiculous gun control analogies, starting by calling the ADL’s statement “total foolishness” on Good Morning America today, adding:

I’d be happy to discuss that in depth with anybody but it is well known that in many places where tyranny has taken over they first disarm the people. There’s a reason they disarm the people. They don’t just do it arbitrarily.

Yes, of course. Per Carson, the only reason one could want to pass any regulations concerning who can own which types of guns is because they intend to form a violent, tyrannical regime. I mean, have you seen what’s going on in Australia and Great Britain lately? Two steps away from totalitarianism, for sure.

Something tells me that Ben “Fire Hose of Awful” Carson is by no means done here. The gun-control-as-Hitler meme is straight-up catnip for the Republican base, and I’m sure it’s not lost on Carson that this is allowing him to overtake Donald Trump in terms of airtime, which correlates with support. This is the same guy who said yesterday that the victims of the UCC shooting should serve as a lesson for other would-be shooting victims, and that “their sacrifice may be the thing that will trigger an appropriate response the next time so that not as many people will be killed.”

A politician would recognize their offense, cut their losses and stop talking. Ben Carson is not a politician.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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