Rep. Thomas Massie (official photo) and Voltaire, pseudonym of François-Marie Arouet (public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Massie tweets Voltaire ... no wait, it’s actually a neo-Nazi

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

In another example of why it's important to research what you post before doing so, Rep. Thomas Massie posted a quote Sunday that he attributed to  the 18th-century French philosopher Voltaire, when the quote actually belonged to an American neo-Nazi.

According to Business Insider, Massie posted the quote in an attempt to criticize infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci. “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize,” the quote said, alongside a cartoon illustration of tired workers holding up a large hand attempting to crush them.

His own commentary included: “You mustn’t question Fauci, for he is science.”

Fauci has consistently been targeted by right-wing representatives for his role in the country’s response to COVID-19. From tweets to threats he has unfortunately seen it all.

But what’s interesting is not that Massie misattributed the quote but the person actually behind it. According to The Guardian, the quote is by Kevin Strom – a man described by Southern Poverty Law Center as “arguably the only true intellectual remaining in the American neo-Nazi movement … a bookish yet dogmatic neo-Nazi.”

A fact-check by USA Today found that the quote gained popularity last May. Strom himself also confirmed it was from an online post he made in 2017. “It's pretty clear, even to my critics, that I came up with the idea and the quote – and Voltaire never did,” Strom said in a post on his site, the National Vanguard.

In response to his quote being attributed to Voltaire, Strom said it was “kind of flattering,” USA Today reported.

The quote wasn’t the only interesting aspect of Massie’s tweet though.

One Twitter user, Kendall Brown, also pointed out that the image Massie shared was connected to an anti-child labor cartoon from the early 1900s. “Which is ironic, given Massie's vote in Dec. to protect importers who use forced labor,” Brown said.

Massie voted against a House bill to blocks the importation of products made through forced labor in China's Xinjiang region in Dec. According to CNN, he was the sole member of Congress to vote no.

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Excerpted from a story on Daily Kos written by dKos staff member Aysha Qamar.

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