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Column: GOP Apathy Allows Nazi To Win Illinois Primary

The Trickle Down

The Trickle Down is Salute Magazine‘s weekly column by Political Writer Amanda Godula.  The Trickle Down is a weekly look into what’s need-to-know, fresh takes on trends, and the inevitable controversies from the political arena. Let’s dig in and see what’s happening this week.

A Neo-Nazi won on the GOP ticket in Illinois.

The Illinois 3rd Congressional District had only one candidate run on the Republican ticket.  With no opposition, he won. Cut and dry case – except Arthur Jones is a notorious Neo-Nazi.

The 70-year-old Jones is a Vietnam Veteran and retired insurance agent and on the Anti-Defamation League’s decade’s long radar.  A list, he deservedly lands on with statements to the Chicago Sun-Times like, “To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket.”

A Neo-Nazi won the Republican primary in Illinois in 2018.

“Even if only myself and my wife voted for me, I’d win the primary because the Republican Party screwed up big time,” Jones told the New York Times.

And they did.  Jones is not secretive with his anti-Semitic views.  Jones’s campaign site boasts Holocaust?, where he questions the event, numbers of victims, and historical accuracy, and Hate Speech?, where he pushes the view of white superiority with words from historical figures.

Albeit, the Illinois Republican Party has disavowed Jones and will not support his candidacy.

“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,” Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider previously said.

Republican apathy allowed a Nazi to win.  Democrats have dominated Illinois’s 3rd since 1975, and the incumbent, Rep. Dan Lipinski, won the Democratic primary.  Lipinski has served since 2005 and likely to win again.  By not running a quality candidate, or even a throwaway candidate, the GOP allowed a Nazi to represent its Party.

This is why apathy cannot exist in 2018.  If we ignore, forget, or take anything for granted, there are real consequences.  This time it’s Nazis winning, a real low for American politics. (And we’ve had alleged minor sexual predator Roy Moore as the GOP candidate in Alabama.)

“Arthur Jones is not a real Republican — he is a Nazi whose disgusting, bigoted views have no place in our nation’s discourse,” Schneider said in a statement.

While Schneider might be correct, we have more work to do on removing bigoted discourse.  We’ve had a Muslim ban executive order cherry-picking some Muslim countries to disallow entry, a (thankfully) failed transgender ban in the military, and countless other bigoted policies and ideas pervasive within American society.  The discourse is here and Jones reminded us why we always need to suppress Nazism, even in 2018.

Voters are showing up to have a voice, like Westmoreland County in the Pennsylvania special election or Democrats in the Illinois primary.  But sometimes when we are motivated and focused, we ignore glaring problems.  Now, the Illinois Republican Party is in a conundrum, but should be an easy moral choice: push for the Democratic candidate to win or support a Nazi.

We can’t let Nazis win.  Art Jones is a reminder of why we need to fight apathy.

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