With midterm elections happening later this year, the GOP should be wanting to do everything in its power to retain the control they hold over both the Senate and House. A GOP-led Congress has been great for the party’s leaders, but if the GOP hopes to keep its influence, allowing a Holocaust denier to run in Illinois may not be the best way to show the general public that those at the top care about regular folks in the U.S.
Arthur Jones was formerly the leader of the American Nazi Party, although he told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that he considers himself today, “an American patriot and statesman.” While Jones insists that he isn’t a Nazi, pointing to the fact that he left the American wing of the group in the 1990s, Jones’ website uses foul language to describe minorities, gay folk and other marginalized groups, insisting that what he’s spewing is the truth in America.
While Jones calls the Holocaust “an extortion racket,” and complains that Jewish people “control the media and Congress,” the GOP should be more than just distancing itself from such violent rhetoric. And while National Republican Congressional Committee members don’t necessarily support him, they haven’t stopped him from running under the GOP umbrella, either.
The party’s insistence in not removing or fighting against the likes of Jones will see more moderate Republicans voting against party lines.
“This man is equal parts disgusting and delusional,” NRCC spokesman Jesse Hunt said in an email to The Washington Post. “He has run for office for over two decades, and the Illinois Republican Party previously had him removed from the ballot. Why have you now decided to cover him? In a race to generate clicks and ratings, you all have given his heinous and despicable views the platform he desperately wanted.”
Illinois’ 3rd congressional district race currently has no other GOP members in the primary, so if the party really does not want to be associated with Jones, why haven’t they found a candidate to run against him? The seat has been a Democratic one for many years, and while there is little chance of the man winning, the party he’s running for doesn’t seem that bothered by his stance.
And while Hunt says that the NRCC doesn’t want to give Jones extra coverage online, the group could have found literally anyone to run against him in the race—but have chosen to do nothing, leaving him most likely to be declared the candidate for the party because no one has bothered to stop him.
After the absolute nightmare that Roy Moore caused in Alabama last year creating so much negative press for the GOP at the national level, you’d think that those at the top would be concerned with how it looks to allow a man so vehemently racist, sexist and homophobic to run under their name. But they seem to be hoping to just ignore Jones into oblivion.
This “just don’t look” attitude will surely create a backlash among the many moderate Republicans in Congress who not only disagree strongly with such a candidate, but who don’t want to be associated by name or brand with such ideals within their party.
The party’s insistence in not removing or fighting against the likes of Jones will see more moderate Republicans voting against party lines, making any losses the party may suffer during November’s midterms possibly catastrophic, dimming chances for their re-election in 2020.