Since World War II, it’s been a common rhetorical tactic to call your ideological opponents Nazis. There’s even a rule describing the phenomenon, Godwin’s Law, which states the longer an online argument goes, the probability of someone being called a Nazi approaches one. It’s true for real life, too: We’ve all heard of politicians being called “Hitler” or “a Nazi” before. But what happens when the politician in question actually identifies as a Nazi? Worse still, what happens when their campaigns are backed by a mainstream political party? Sadly, this isn’t a mere thought experiment. Literal Nazi Republicans are currently running for Congress.
Arthur Jones is running for the House of Representatives as the Republican candidate in Illinois‘ 3rd Congressional District. Jones is also an Holocaust denier and a member of the National Socialist White People’s Party, better known as the American Nazi Party.
In fact, he describes himself as a former leader of the American Nazi Party. Jones is an avowed white supremacist, and says he regrets his vote for Donald Trump because Trump “surrounded himself with hordes of Jews including a Jew in his own family, that punk named Jared Kushner.”
And now, Jones is the candidate the Republicans are bringing to the final election since he ran unopposed. This wasn’t Jones’ first attempt at running however as he’s always been trounced by his opponent. But this year he had no opponent, and he received just over 20,000 votes; roughly the same amount that the frontrunner received in the 2012 Republican primaries. (In that race, Jones ran, but received 11% of the vote, or just shy of 4,000 votes.)
Though mainstream Republicans have condemned Jones, they also didn’t do anything to stop him. The Illinois Republican Party couldn’t find a candidate to run against him. The party also chose not to challenge the signature petitions that got Jones on the ballot. Nor did the GOP try to find a write-in candidate or run an independent candidate.
Arthur Jones says he’s running to counter a “two-party, Jew-party, queer-party system.”
Sadly, it’s not just Arthur Jones. There are more Nazi Republicans who’ve made it through their primaries. Walker first came to the public stage by suing to force North Carolina courts to hang Confederate flags. He lost that case, and while speaking to reporters about how he doesn’t see the Confederate flag as racist, referred to Martin Luther King with a racial slur.
— Yoojin Cho (@Yoojin_Cho) August 24, 2017
Walker’s also the author of the website ChristDescendedFromJoseph.com, which includes a section titled “What is wrong with being a white supremacist?” When the Southern Poverty Law Center discovered this, the Republican Party withdrew their support for Walker, but it was too late — he won the primary.
Walker is also known for standing outside his local newspapers, The Highlands Newspaper and The Raeford and Hoke County News-Journal, holding signs reading “God is racist” and “What’s wrong with being racist?” because the newspapers refused to print his explicitly misogynist and racist letters to the editor.
Finally, it’s not just the GOP endorsing Nazi Republicans. Slate reports that the Rhode Island Democratic Party endorsed Michael Earnheart, the Republican candidate for Secretary of State over Democratic incumbent Moira Jayne Walsh.
Earnheart, though not an avowed white supremacist like Walker and Jones, has shared posts from Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, including a post from McInnes about “Muslim pedophiles.” It’s believed the Democratic Party turned against Walsh when she said in a radio interview there was an “insane amount of drinking” at the statehouse.
There are also many examples of Nazi-adjacent Republicans. For example, last week, Rep. Steve King shared a tweet from a Nazi sympathizer. Though King said he was unaware, he also refused to delete the tweet.
And, though not a politician, yesterday, conservative commentator and convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza retweeted a tweet with the hashtag “#BurnTheJews.” D’Souza claimed he didn’t see it and merely wanted to spread awareness of his film, Death of a Nation.
The GOP has a problem with Nazi Republicans. But they don’t seem interested in doing anything about it. We wonder why.
Why does the GOP keep backing Nazi Republicans?