First-time Illinois Congresswoman Mary Miller could have drawn from the collective wisdom of countless thoughtful Americans as she addressed the group "Moms for America" at President Trump’s rally in Washington on Tuesday.
Inexplicably – inexcusably – she invoked Adolf Hitler instead.
She must apologize, and she should be censured by the U.S. House of Representatives, the body into which she had been inducted just two days before making her remarkably tone-deaf and insensitive remarks.
"Each generation has the responsibility to teach the next generation," said Miller, a Republican elected Nov. 3 to the 15th Congressional District in east-central and southern Illinois. "You know, if we win a few elections we're still going to be losing unless we win the hearts of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said whoever has the youth has the future."
Miller, an avowed Trump loyalist, made the statement while addressing the conservative “Moms for America” group in Washington as part of the president’s demonstration in support of the his unproven claim the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Her comment rightly drew harsh criticism from both sides of the political divide.
Illinois Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger and state GOP Chairman Tim Schneider, condemned Miller’s statement.
"That language is wrong and disgusting. We urge Congresswoman Miller to apologize," Schneider said in a statement.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat who is Jewish, called the remarks "unfathomable. Let me be clear: Hitler got nothing right. This reprehensible rhetoric has no place in our politics."
The head of the World Jewish Congress, an international organization, blasted Miller's “simply outrageous” comment.
"One might expect this from white supremacists or neo-Nazis,” said Ronald Lauder, president of the organization. “But hearing the words 'Hitler was right' from the mouth of a member of the United States Congress is beyond acceptable behavior by any standards.”
We agree with and amplify that criticism.
What's so hard to understand is there are so many better people than Hitler for a congresswoman to quote. (That's a sentence we never dreamed we'd have to write.)
"An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends," said Benjamin Franklin.
"Teach the children so it will not be necessary to teach the adults," said Abraham Lincoln.
The late comedian George Carlin weighed in with: "Don’t just teach your kids to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything."
We question what Mary Miller could possibly have been thinking two days after she was sworn in as a member of Congress
This editorial was published by the Effingham, Illinois, Daily News, a newspaper in U.S. Rep. Miller’s congressional district.