Politics are like a game of limbo: how low can you go? And we may have (today's) winner: Clay Higgins, Republican congressman from Louisiana, who seriously decided to film a political ad at the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, including a segment inside an actual gas chamber.
Going to a historical site once used by Nazis to exterminate millions of Jewish people, and using it as a tool for political gain? No, this is not an extremely dark joke; it's an extremely dark reality. You can watch the 5-minute video, shared by NOLA.com, here (if you can stomach it):
"This is why homeland security must be squared away, why our military must be invincible," says Higgins, while standing in front of the ovens where millions of prisoners were once cremated. He adds that the world is a "smaller place" now and the U.S. needs to be protected from "the evils of the world."
This is the same politician who made headlines last month for writing "kill them all" on his Facebook page about "radicalized Islamic suspect[s]." So, needless to say, him standing in a place where people were murdered for their beliefs sends chills down our spines.
The official Twitter account for the Auschwitz Memorial has responded to the recent video by criticizing the congressman for using Auschwitz as a "stage":
"Everyone has the right to personal reflections," they tweeted. "However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It's not a stage."
They also included this photo of a sign at the entrance, asking visitors to "show respect" for those that lost their lives.
Twitter is enraged, calling Higgins' actions "self-serving," "disrespectful," "embarrassing" and "stupid" among other unsavory adjectives:
But this might be the best response:
This seems like the perfect time to quote that old adage often told to children visiting historic sites and nature reserves: "Take only pictures; leave only footprints; don't be a poop whistle."