NBC News’ Capitol Hill correspondent casually claimed that the Nazis were socialist during a discussion on Monday morning’s Morning Joe. Kasie Hunt was a guest on MSNBC’s flagship morning show, which was discussing the rising popularity of socialism among Democratic voters and young people in particular.
The conversation was about moderate versus progressive Democrats competing for the 2020 presidential nomination and the apparent disconnect between popular left-wing policies and the desire for a moderate candidate. While discussing younger voters’ views on socialism, Hunt dropped in a Nazi comparison.
“There’s such a difference in the memories and perceptions of what socialism means. You know, is the Democratic Party really grappling with that? I mean, it seems to me like most Millennials, people that I know, when you say socialism, they think Sweden and Denmark. That sounds pretty nice. It’s a democracy with, you know, additional benefits where you have a comfortable life.”
“They don’t think about Venezuela or, you know, the Nazis or all the terrible things that happened previously in the century,” Hunt said
The guest Hunt was speaking to, CNBC’s John Harwood, either didn’t notice Hunt’s use of the Nazi comparison or chose not to refute it. However, he did reply by mentioning World War II.
“No question about it,” Harwood said. “The word is not freighted for the generation of my children as it is for Baby Boomers, for people who came out of the Second World War.”
Harwood quickly moved on to discussing the Democrats’ approach to capitalism more broadly, but when host Mika Brzezinski went to break she didn’t mention Hunt’s use of the Nazi comparison.
The idea that the Nazis were in some way a socialist party has long been a popular right-wing talking point, but it has been repeatedly debunked by historians of the period. Though the official name of the Nazi party had ‘socialist’ in it, the Nazis were virulently anti-communist and carried out violent attacks against their socialist opponents. Socialists and communists were also sent to concentration camps, while large private companies made huge profits from the Nazi war machine.
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.