It seems strange that one would see an actual, real-life Nazi running for a government position a little more than 72 years after the end of World War II, especially with any kind of success. However, that’s exactly what is happening with Arthur Jones of Illinois.
Jones, 70, is running unopposed to become the Republican Congressional candidate. Although it is unlikely he will win in such a left-leaning state, he still felt empowered enough by the current political climate to run in the first place.
One look at his website immediately raises two red flags: the headings “Hate Speech?” and “Holocaust?”
The first heading offers a horrifying look into why he does not believe that hate speech exists. It includes quotations of several founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln stating that black people—or “negroes,” as the site calls them—are inferior to white people.
This heading also ends with a jolting dose of antisemitism, calling Jewish teachings “satanic” and “pornographic.”
It is not surprising when a racist and anti-Semite run for government these days. What is surprising is the openness with which Jones is doing so. Most bigots cloak their hate in disguising rhetoric of safety and America first, but while Jones’s platform certainly includes that type of speech, it also includes blatant statements of antisemitism, racism and homophobia.
The second heading, “Holocaust?” is even more disturbing. Its main claim is that the Holocaust is the “biggest, blackest lie in history.” The heading contains several documents that outline Jones’s most outrageous claim: The Holocaust was a hoax made up by Jews to secretly beat the “enemies of Organized World Jewry” into submission.
It is not a good look for the Republican Party, who are understandably angry that Jones, a literal Nazi, is the only GOP candidate. But perhaps it is not as different from the Make America Great Again campaign as the GOP would like to pretend.
America First has always seemed to be about one thing: white, Christian America. It is hidden in metaphors and trick words, but it can be seen in Trump’s statement that there was violence on “many sides” after a White Nationalist drove through a crowd of counter protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia. Or his statement that immigrants from Haiti and African nations come from “shitholes.”
It is a continuation of the de facto segregation that barred black families from moving into newly formed suburbs. It is the same ideas that reduced property values around areas with high minority populations. In many Republican leaders’ eyes, it will always be “us versus them.”
If there is any good in Illinois, Arthur Jones will not win a seat in Congress. He is running unopposed for the Republican nomination, but the Democratic candidate will most likely win as long as opponents do not get complacent.
But Jones is not the only one of his kind. He is just the most visible at the moment.
Trump, Pence and all the GOP Bigwigs who support them are mere steps away from being Arthur Jones.
Americans cannot forget that silence and inaction in the face of discrimination and hate are the exact same as committing these acts. Bigotry is the beginning, but complacency is what kills hope.