Anybody can vote, as long as you’re 18 or older and a citizen, and in some states, not a felon.
You don’t need another thing. And you can be completely ignorant of what the men and women up for election are about. Which may explain how a Nazi got more than 56,000 people to vote for him on Tuesday.
Nazi is Arthur Jones and he ran as a Republican against Dan Lipinski, the long-time incumbent for the 3rd Congressional District, which includes all or part of Crest Hill, Romeoville, Lockport and Homer Glen, and reaches through Cook County to Midway Airport.
Lipinski won by nearly 100,000 votes. But Jones still got 56,350 people to vote for him. Maybe because they were completely ignorant of what the men and women on the ballot were about. Or maybe because they really wanted a Nazi congressman. Who can say?
[Shaw Media file photo]
In Will County, Jones did particularly well. He pulled in 11,576 votes, more than 38 percent of the total. Percentage-wise, He did even better than Nick Stella, who ran against Congressman Bill Foster, and who is not even a Nazi.
To be fair, Jones claims he’s no longer a Nazi. But he was definitely one for 10 years and says he only broke with them over some rift with a party leader over the Ayatollah Khomeini back in 1980.
And while he insists he’s no longer a Nazi, after he parted ways with them, he started his own white supremacist organization, the America First Committee, which seems to share virtually the same ethos as the Nazis. And once he starts talking, Jones sounds an awful lot like he is still a Nazi. He will tell you about his great admiration of Hitler, for example, as well as how Holocaust never happened, not to mention his white supremacist theories and his virulent anti-Semitism.
“They are a parasitic race,” Jones said of Jewish people.
“You should never trust the Jews to do what’s right,” he warned. “They’re always going to find a way to do something illegal and if you’re associated with them, it’s the gentile that’s going to go to jail.”
You can’t get much more vile, but none of Jones’ beliefs have exactly been secret and he still amassed 56,350 votes. He found that encouraging.
“If I hadn’t received the votes that I had, I was prepared to just walk away from politics and do something else for the rest of my life,” he said.
But now that he has so much support, he just might give politics another shot.
“I’m very encouraged by that,” Jones said, imagining voters thinking, “This guy’s got some good ideas.”
“They weren’t voting for me because I’m a Nazi,” he said. “They liked my ideas.”
Among these ideas are building a wall along the Mexican border, eradicating sanctuary cities, stopping illegal immigration and getting rid of income tax for minimum wage workers.
But before he gets back to campaigning on his ideas, Jones is going to take it easy for a while and watch some football. He said running for Congress was time-consuming and tiring. And there were all those death threats.
“I got several death threats, enough for the FBI to come see me,” Jones said.
“They call me a Nazi (expletive) who deserves to die, and I was going to die, so I said, ‘Bring it on,’” Jones recalled.
Jones said an FBI agent even sent him a letter about the death threats but he’s not sure where he put it.
“I’d have to find the damn thing,” he said.
He didn’t sound like he was in a hurry to look for it. And even as he claimed he was inspired to get back on the campaign trail, he didn’t seem terribly eager to run for something again either.
“At this point, it’s a little early for me to decide what I’m going to do,” Jones said. “If I determine that Trump is screwing up big time … then I’ll probably run again.”
• Joe Hosey is the editor of The Herald-News. You can reach him at 815-280-4094, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JoeHosey.
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November 9, 2018 at 04:11PM