In 1933, Germany’s Nazi party issued a decree stipulating that a person with either one Jewish parent or grandparent would be considered a racial Jew under the law, and thus would be deprived rights granted to other citizens. The party later further defined “full jews,” and “mischlinge,” those of mixed blood, under the infamous Nuremberg Laws. In 1936, Jews were told they’d be arrested if they attempted to vote.
Ann Coulter, the extreme right-wing commentator, chose the night before the US presidential election to suggest that America would benefit from its own purity test for voters.
The tweet was retweeted 6,800 times, despite (or perhaps because of) a fatal flaw in her logic: Donald Trump’s mother and grandparents were immigrants to the US, so Coulter’s ancestry test would disqualify the candidate and his children. (And, of course, his wife.) Only any future grandchildren born to Tiffany would be allowed to vote under Coulter’s rule, and the others would be disenfranchised.
Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the LA Times, and Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, swiftly debunked her argument.
Apparently that fact is of little concern to Coulter, who responded by arguing that Trump doesn’t need to vote for her statement to be true. “So what? You are like ‘Politifact,’ citing irrelevancies as if they detract from blinding truth of my statement,” she tweeted.
Coulter has proved deft at championing an anti-immigrant, noninclusive vision for the country no matter the repercussions. Quizzically, she has also declared that “if we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democratic president.”
Gabe Schoenfeld, a writer and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank, and Wired’s Steve Silberman drew parallels between Coulter’s voter test and Nazi Germany.
Joss Whedon, the Avengers director who has created several emotional high-profile ads in support of Hillary Clinton, pointed out that even those who passed Coulter’s grandparent purity test wouldn’t ensure a Trump victory.
There’s also the fact that no one has “at least” four grandparents—for the moment at least, four is all anyone gets. Coulter said she meant that the test wouldn’t go so far as requiring all eight great-grandparents or 16 great-great-grandparents to be US-born. (Good thing too, because her paternal great-great-grandparents were all immigrants from Europe.)