I watched this story popping up in little blurbs and blips last night. As of 9AM CST, I now see The Hill is running a piece on it.Here are some of the headlines floating around:
“Holocaust denier poised to claim GOP nomination in Illinois race for Congress” ~ Chicago Sun-Times
“Holocaust denier running for Congress has no opponents in Republican primary” ~ Washington Post
“Outspoken Nazi Set to Win Republican Nomination in Illinois Congressional Race”~ Slate Magazine
C’mon, guys. Let’s play fair.
The Illinois Third Congressional District is heavily-Democratic. Ancestrally Democratic. Democratic to the marrow of its bones. Since the late-1950s, only one Republican representative has won in the district (Emmet Byrne, 1957-59) but lost reelection. Running as a GOP candidate in this district is political suicide and a waste of money. Consequently, no serious contenders attempt it. Serious contenders.
Along comes a spider, or in this case, Neo-Nazifying, Holocaust-denying, white-power-preaching Arthur Jones. If you want to know more about his fevered delusions, look them up, but he’s about as bad as white supremacists get. For years this fellow tramped door-to-door gathering signatures needed to earn a place on the electoral ballot (I‘d like to think those signing didn’t necessarily know WHAT they were signing). He tried this in 2016 and failed. This time the district’s GOP office must have nodded off on the job.
Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party Tim Schneider wasted no time in distancing the GOP from Jones: “The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District.”
Like anyone of reasonable intelligence, I worry about the current state of American politics and the increasingly loud banter (and tolerance) of hate speech. I also know the difference between a candidate accurately representing a political party and a self-righteous hate monger who slimed through on a technicality. The man will spout poison for a months, disappear and diewith full Nazi honors. No loss.
I am a Democrat and have been since eighteen, but I believe in fighting a fair game. The above-mentioned headlines show more concern for stirring sensation than sportsmanship. I’m sure they received plenty of lovely, lovely Internet traffic for the articles. But Arthur Jones is NOT reflective of the Illinois Republican Party, he is NOT a true Congressional candidate, and he is NOT a human being to be taken seriously.
If not a serious candidate then what is Arthur Jones? The human equivalent of gastric distress. Noisy and foul for a moment but always transitory.
To be honest, my real concern is this: why the Hell is a tiny, regional news blog the only voice of reason in the propagation of this story?