The election of candidates like Donald Trump opened the door for candidates like Roy Moore to win primaries and run in the general election on a national stage. Roy Moore has opened the door for Arthur Jones, a bonafide, full-blown Holocaust denying former member of the American neo-Nazi party who wants to be Congressman of Illinois' third district.
It's a district that encompasses parts of the city of Chicago, as well as several southwestern suburbs. The 70-year-old Jones will run unopposed in the Republican primary March 20th, and will likely then face off against the favorite on the Democratic side, incumbent Dan Lipinski in the November general election. Lipinski, in power since 2005, is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, the more conservative wing of the Democratic Party.
Lipinski faces a primary challenge from liberal newcomer Marie Newman.
The third is a heavy blue district and has been for some time. It's also an intensely gerrymandered district, as evidenced by the extremely ridiculous shape it has. (view the map below)
Still, after failing in several previous bids to win public office, Arthur Jones might see his best chance realized this fall. Yes, he's a long shot like a #16 seed in your March Madness office pool, but his platform is just about in line with the #MAGA and #AmericaFirst voting blocks.
Here are some of the political slogans you'll see on the Arthur J. Jones website:
"No more sanctuary cities," "No amnesty for illegal aliens," "Repeal Obamacare," "Repeal treasonous trade treaties," "Pro-life — Yes!; homosexual agenda — No!"
In an era when Sherrif Joe Arrpaio is running for Senate in Arizona, Brexit triumphed in England and a man who began his Presidential campaign by deriding Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists won the electoral college, one should not underestimate what percentage of the electorate will find xenophobia, bigotry and racism appealing.
Here's more on Jones from the Chicago Tribune:
In 1976, Jones ran for mayor in Milwaukee. He said he appeared in TV commercials dressed as an American storm trooper with slogans billing himself as “the White People’s Candidate.” Jones also said he featured swastikas in a newspaper ad for a candidate he supported for school board in Wisconsin. In the 1970s, he said he marched in Skokie in full Nazi regalia.
On his campaign website, Jones calls the Holocaust “the biggest, blackest lie in history.” In a phone interview Sunday, he defended concentration camps.
“The point of the matter is I’m not running for chancellor of Germany,” Jones said.
On his website, Jones recounts his parents’ service in World War II.
“My father like so many others fought because he thought it was a service to his country,” Jones said. “If they had seen what was going to happen … (despite) all their sacrifices, he and a lot of others wouldn’t have put their lives on the line.”
Jones has been strongly condemned by the leadership of his own party in this state. Both Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider and Governor Bruce Rauner have publicly condemned Arthur Jones in the strongest manner possible.
At the same time, Jones is going from obscure to nationally relevant in a very short period of time. He did a guest segment on CNN, was the feature of a Washington Post article and was even made a punchline on The Daily Show.
So now it will be on us, Chicagoans and Chicago suburbanites, to make sure he's resoundingly defeated come November 3rd. The fighting 3rd district is where I was born and raised. It's where my parents still live. We'll do all we can to help the same cause that Jones' parents fought for- defeating Nazis.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune corporation blogging community Chicago Now.
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