The 2018 midterm elections were one of the most important and anticipated political events of 2018, arguably as important as the 2016 presidential election. Since it was the first major election that took place during Trump’s presidency, it was the first chance for voters to respond to Trump’s policies and potentially change the political landscape. Voters delivered electoral victories to House Democrats, who took control of the House, while Republicans retained control of the Senate. Amidst a news-packed election cycle, a specific candidate stood out to a lot of people, including me. That candidate is Arthur Jones, the former head of the American Nazi Party. He has run for several political offices across the country, including the Chicago City Council, Milwaukee Mayor, and most recently, the Third Congressional District of Illinois. Jones is also a popular advocate for the National Socialist Movement, the largest Neo-Nazi group in the United States (which had about 400 members in 2011). The number of members does not include White Supremacists that do not associate themselves with Neo-Nazis.
Another point I would like to make before I dive deeper into this person’s background and ideology: as a Jew and the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, I strongly condemn the issue and action of hate, especially Neo-Nazism and Anti-Semitism. Nazism is a hateful and disgusting ideology that should not be tolerated, especially in the most diverse country on the planet. It makes me so outraged that the United States has been dealing with the issue of Nazism since the beginning of World War II, to now present-day United States. It is absurd that people all over the world are still denying the Holocaust, one of the worst and most horrific genocides of all time.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Jones did lose to Dan Lipinski, a Blue Dog Coalition member and Democrat from Chicago (who got over 155,000 votes), but it is utterly baffling to me that a Neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier received 56,000 votes on election day.
Someone like this should never be allowed to run for a position like this, especially someone who still supports the suppression of one of the most unfortunately hated groups in history. According to History.com, “In much of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, Jewish people were denied citizenship and forced to live in ghettos. Anti-Jewish riots and Pogroms swept the Russian Empire during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and anti-Semitic incidents have increased in parts of Europe, the Middle East, and North America in the last several years.”
Even worse, Jones himself supports the theory that the Holocaust never happened, a theory that has sadly existed for quite a while. When Arthur Jones went on CNN months before the midterm elections, he described the Holocaust, the largest mass genocide of all time, as “an international extortion racket by the Jews to bleep and terrorize their enemies.” Jones also has an entire page of his website dedicated to the idea that the Holocaust never happened, saying, “however- there is a great deal of material- numerous books- written by Jewish Holocaust survivors, which when calmly examined, is revealed to be simply masterful, and emotional propaganda, whose purpose is designed to bleed, blackmail, extort, and terrorize, the enemies of organized world Jewry, into silence or submissiveness to Zionism and Communism- both movements founded, financed, and led by the Jews.” He is essentially saying that the books written by Holocaust survivors are full of lies designed to manipulate people, specifically the “enemies” of the Jews.
It is time for us as a nation, as a society, and as individuals to be more aware of these issues and to acknowledge that these ideologies are not the truth. Although I do believe that Neo-Nazis have a First Amendment right to protest and speak freely, I strongly believe that the ideology that they possess and the beliefs that they express are hateful, untrue, and offensive to many people. With that in mind, we need to put these ideologies behind us and progress into a new era of equality.