Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
Much to the posturing protestations by the Illinois state Republican Party and the Anti-Defamation League, a self-avowed Holocaust denier is set to become the GOP nominee for the United States Congress in the Third District in the Land of Lincoln.
The 70-year-old political gadfly, whose name was not to be printed here, for he does not deserve the publicity, is Arthur Jones — people need to know who this ignorant cretin is, in order to vote against him — has been active in both Illinois and Wisconsin since the 1970s, having run for mayor of Milwaukee as well as numerous other offices in Illinois, including Congress.
A former leader of the American Nazi Party, Jones often refers to the Holocaust of European Jewry as “an international extortion racket,” and has been on the radar of both the Illinois GOP as well as the ADL for decades. The “Anti-Defamation League has been keeping tabs on him for years,” noted the Chicago Sun-Times.
This potential GOP nominee “proudly displays Holocaust denial, xenophobia and racism on his blog and website, has a long history of hateful, extremist and anti-Semitic views,” said Lonnie Nasatir, regional director of the ADL Chicago-Upper Midwest Region.
“The Illinois Republican party and our country have no place for Nazis like Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the Third Congressional District,” said Tim Schneider, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
With all the notoriety given this racist, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, it is shocking that the Illinois Republicans could not find a primary challenger to this crackpot. While he has the right to run for public office, the people should also be given choices on their ballots. The claim that this district is so overwhelmingly Democrat in its political makeup as an excuse not to field a candidate is tragic. No candidate should run unopposed for office — any office. Sadly, the complaints lodged by both the GOP and ADL are disingenuous as they are complicit in allowing someone as repugnant and truculent to attain ballot status when they could have worked together to find a challenger. Certainly even a novice should be able to defeat a Nazi.
As the GOP nominee, he would face the winner of the Democratic primary race between incumbent Congressman Dan Lipinski, a pro-life Catholic who voted against granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens, both good stances, and Marie Newman. Lipinski is considered a more conservative Democrat, especially for a district that includes parts of the City of Chicago as well several surrounding suburbs. This district’s voters has sent a Democrat to Congress the last 22 consecutive terms. The last Republican elected in IL-3 was Robert Hanrahan in 1972, serving but one term.
I understand long odds, having run for a city council seat in Baltimore, MD as a Republican when the registered Republicans totaled eight percent of the voters, but it was important to give the citizenry an alternative. Needless to say, the outcome was less than successful, but not surprising as a Republican has not been elected to the Baltimore City Council since 1939.
As a Republican I am incensed that the party went straight to surrender. As a Jew I am disgusted that the Jewish community didn’t rally together to recruit someone to, at the very least, challenge Jones to debate the issues and out him for the danger he clearly is. Perhaps voters ought to mount a write-in campaign for the March 20 primary. Were I a resident in Illinois’ third Congressional district, I would have thrown my yarmulke into the ring as a GOP contender — money or no money. Some things are simply too important.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.
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