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Tennessee Republican Says Hitler Is a Positive Role Model for Homeless People (Video)

That’s quite a choice

A Tennessee Republican state senator raised eyebrows on Wednesday when he gave a speech about someone from whom he said homeless people could learn a lot from about improving their lives.

The inspiring person in question: Adolf Hitler.

The comments, by Republican state Sen. Frank Niceley, came during a debate over a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for homeless people to camp on public property.

“I haven’t given you all a history lesson in a while, and I wanted to give you a little history on homelessness. 19 and 10, Hitler decided to live on the streets for a while. So for two years, Hitler lived on the streets and practiced his oratory, and his body language, and how to connect with citizens and then went on to lead a life that got him in the history books,” Niceley said.

“A lot of these people, it’s not a dead end. They can come out of these homeless camps and have a productive life — or in Hitler’s case, a very unproductive life. I support this bill, thank you,” he said.

Watch it for yourself:

That last bit of his statement appears intended to head off obvious and understandable criticism for bringing up Hitler in this manner. Except, if Hitler did, as Niceley put it, lead “a very unproductive life,” then he isn’t actually someone who homeless people could turn to as an inspiring example. You know, in addition to the fact that Hitler was a racist authoritarian psycho responsible for tens of millions of deaths.

Which then forces the question, why did this person think Hitler is, as he very, very unambiguously said just prior to the caveat, worth citing as an example of someone who came back from homelessness and improved his life?

The bill, which makes “solicitation or camping along a controlled-access highway or entrance or exit ramp” a crime punishable by community service and a $50 fine, eventually passed and is awaiting signature of the state’s governor.

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