The Trump Effect – The Rise of White-Nationalist ‘Republican’ Candidates
OPINION: Self-Proclaimed Nazis are invading the US
Back in February 2018, the Chicago Sun-Times published a startling news story on Arthur J. Jones, a former leader of the American Nazi Party who, at the time, was close to securing the Republican nomination for Illinois’s 3rd congressional district. This was admittedly because no one was running against him, but the fact that the GOP is at a point where open Nazis feel comfortable enough to run as political candidates speaks wonders about the kind of world we live in now.
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Despite opposition from the Illinois branch of the Republican Party, Jones went on to secure the nomination. But the sad truth is, is he is far from being the only white supremacist running for office as a Republican. In fact, there are at least four other Republican candidates who either identity as a white supremacist, neo-Nazi, Confederate supporter, or Holocaust denier. And readers should keep that facet in mind for the rest of this article, because this is not a case of a publication pushing a label onto someone based on their sociopolitical beliefs; these candidates are proud to be bigots and hatemongers.
Take for instance Russell Walker, who is running for the North Carolina House of Representatives. This is a man who is so disturbed, he operated a radical Christian website that, at one point, had a section on it titled “GOD IS A RACIST and a WHITE SUPREMACIST”. When the Southern Poverty Law Center called him out for this, he went to add a section to his official campaign website decrying them as the “ultimate hate group.” And none of this is even addressing his advocacy for Confederate Flags to be hung in courtroom buildings:
— Yoojin Cho (@Yoojin_Cho) August 24, 2017
Walker is far from being the only Republican with these issues. Corey Stewart, who is running for the Virginia Senate, actually secured his party’s nomination and will be running against incumbent Tim Kaine in November. Stewart is an ardent Trump supporter, which would be bad enough on its own, but he has gone further by becoming a Confederate rights advocate. Following the Unite the Right Rally disaster in August 2017, for example, he was the only Virginia politician who did not condemn the neo-Nazis, instead calling out his fellow Republicans for giving in to “the left wing”:
“All the weak Republicans, they couldn’t apologize fast enough. They played right into the hands of the left wing. Those [Nazi] people have nothing to do with the Republican Party. There was no reason to apologize.”
Political parties are unable to kick out candidates, and they certainly cannot stop a constituent from voting for any person. As such, both state Republican branches and individual politicians have openly disavowed and/or condemned these neo-Nazis.
This is horrific. An avowed Nazi running for Congress. To the good people of Illinois, you have two reasonable choices: write in another candidate, or vote for the Democrat. This bigoted fool should receive ZERO votes. https://t.co/9WYlvCMKaF
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 29, 2018
But these people have to remember that there is a reason white supremacists aren’t running as Democrats since the civil rights act was passed under LBJ. There is a reason why Kim Davis switched to the Republican Party, and there is a reason why Donald Trump’s hate rhetoric incited the GOP base. These people feel the Republican Party is the best avenue for getting populist support for their bigotry. And we need to stop them come November 2018.
Featured image a screen capture from the Chicago Sun-Times YouTube Channel