Stacey Dash Defends Neo-Nazis in First Campaign Interview
Stacey Dash – best known for her role in the movie Clueless – defended neo-Nazis in her first interview after announcing she is running for Congress in California’s 44th district. The Trumpian defense employing the notorious ‘both sides’ logic offered more insight into Dash’s platform than anything else during her interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber.
Throughout the interview Melber attempted to gain insight into Dash’s stances as a congressional candidate in a Democratic stronghold with little success. While Dash claimed she would be a “catalyst for change,” she couldn’t offer any granular details on what made her positions different from others.
Platform – Or Lack Thereof
Melber first asked Dash her thoughts on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ retaliatory sanctuary cities actions.
“We have to respect law enforcement, we have to respect laws,” Dash said, ignoring the argument that California state and local law enforcement officials shouldn’t be forced to carry out federal initiatives. It’s actually a popular Tenth Amendment argument conservatives used frequently (with a large degree of success) under the Obama administration.
“Go on,” Melber said, expecting a more substantial answer.
“That’s it,” Dash replied.
Melber attempted to probe her answer further by pointing out a good number of state lawmakers and citizens believe undocumented immigrants without criminal records shouldn’t be the target of immigration enforcement – particularly since California’s economy depends largely on migrant labor to prevent crops from rotting.
Melber moved on to reform to reduce gun violence from there, asking Dash if she supported the majority of voters in her state that want reasonable gun control measures. Dash proclaimed, “I support the Bill of Rights. That’s what I support.” She added:
“You know, but I also do not like the tragedies that are occurring in our country. And I think it goes deeper than gun laws. I think it goes to moral integrity. And I think that runs from family, you know, family is the key. And parenting and being aware of mental illnesses and taking care of those issues.”
As a reminder, mental illness only accounts for a small fraction of gun violence. A history of domestic violence and radicalization, however, account for a large percentage of gun violence – particularly mass shootings over the last few years.
Melber moved on from gun violence to a topic Dash should have had a more prepared response to – health care.
She started off by unequivocally stating “yes” to a question of whether the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) should be repealed. Her subsequent responses, however, betrayed her lack of nuance and platform development.
When asked what would happen to the people that lose their insurance coverage once Obamacare is repealed, Dash said, “Well they’ll get…I mean there’s…of course there will be another solution.” She added, “But Obamacare is not working. We know that.”
“What is the other solution?” Melber pressed, offering Dash an opportunity to present a ‘replace’ solution other Republicans have thus far failed to present as a part of the ‘repeal and replace’ GOP mantra.
“Well that’s where I’m going to go and listen, and pay attention and have a dialogue to come up with a solution,” she responded, offering a non-answer.
He offered her a second opportunity to discuss what her plan would be to ensure millions of people that would lose insurance access through a total Obamacare repeal would be, to which she outright refused to answer.
That’s when Melber moved on to Trump’s penchant to pal around with white nationalists and neo-Nazis.
Melber began by replaying Donald Trump’s now-infamous remarks following the white supremacist and neo-Nazi march on Charlottesville that resulted in the murder of Heather Heyer.
“I think there’s blame on both sides,” Trump said. “You look at both sides, I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it. You don’t have any doubt about it either.”
Melber asked Dash, “Was that wrong?”
This should have been an easy answer for Dash as a rational political candidate would never put counter-protesters on the same level with white supremacists and neo-Nazis who literally believe in genocide and – in the case of Charlottesville – committing actual murder. Alas…
“No,” Dash answered emphatically. She added:
“I think he’s absolutely right. There were two extreme sides. And here’s what it boils down to: our right. They had a right to assemble. Both sides had a right, but they were both extremes. And here’s what I said in the beginning: we have to listen to each other. If we do not listen, there will be no solutions.”
Forgetting for a moment that the U.S. fought a world war against the genocidal ideology Dash says deserves to be listened to, no evidence exists that anti-racism and anti-Nazi counter protesters were anywhere near as “extreme” as the crowd who actually murdered someone. Moreover, if the gauge for extremism in America is now opposition to white supremacy and Nazism, Dash may be the most right wing politician running for Congress.
Melber attempted to clarify Dash’s remarks as they appeared to place those opposed to white supremacy and Nazism in the same category as actual white supremacists and neo-Nazis. He asked:
“If the white supremacists were the hate on one side, what was the hate that would be equivalent to that on the other side? That’s what has enraged so many people about those comments the president made and stands by is, there was not another hate group there. It was the white supremacists in Charlottesville that organized those rallies. What other hate do you see there?”
Backtracking slightly on her emphatic agreement with Trump, Dash said, “Well no, I’m not saying there was hate on the other side or that I’m justifying hate on the other side. What I’m saying what their constitutional right was. They were exercising that. There should be no hate at all. Hate is not the answer.”
“And I agree,” Melber began as Dash continued speaking.
“For anything,” Dash added.
“I agree with you on their First Amendment rights, and that is law, that is in our Constitution,” Melber said as Dash began speaking over him again.
“And that is what the president said,” Dash interjected. “He wasn’t siding with the neo-Nazis…”
Correcting Dash, Melber said, “Well he said, I just played it for you. He did say there’s blame on both sides. Why is it hard to say that that was wrong in the context of a white supremacist rally?”
Flustered, Dash responded, “Well…because…what happened. It became violent. Didn’t it. So violence on either side is no good.”
“When he says there are good people on both sides, good people at the white supremacist rally, do you co-sign that?” Melber asked.
“I’m not here to judge,” Dash replied after judging people for counter-protesting white supremacy and Nazism. “The only one who can judge is God.”
(We’ll also point out the time Dash definitely didn’t ‘judge’ others when she called former President Obama an “Islamic fascist”.)
She added, “Do I know everyone in the neo-Nazi party if they have a good heart or not? No I don’t. Do I know every member of a gang if they have a good heart or not? No I don’t. Do I know every heart of a man in prison if he has a good heart of not? No I don’t.”
The false equivalency of comparing prisoners and gang members to Nazis aside, can everyone agree that anyone who believes in and attends a neo-Nazi & white supremacist rally doesn’t have a good heart? After all, one of the core tenets of Nazism (and white supremacy, to a large degree) is genocide and ethnic cleansing. It’s not optional; if you’re a neo-Nazi, you want to “cleanse” the earth of entire groups of people.
And Dash isn’t sure she can judge if someone with those beliefs has a “good heart.”
Perhaps in an unintentional feat of excellence, Melber was able to goad Stacey Dash into admitting something she’d never admit anywhere else. When asked if she is a Clueless or a Legally Blonde person, Dash didn’t hesitate before answering:
“Come on, of course I’m a Clueless person.”
Many of your potential constituents may agree with that statement, candidate Dash.
Here’s video of the segment courtesy of MSNBC:
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