When neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier Arthur Jones became the GOP nominee for a House seat in March after winning an uncontested primary in Illinois, many Republicans dismissed his candidacy as a fluke that happened as a result of a bureaucratic snafu.
Similarly, racist and anti-Semitic Republican candidate Paul Nehlen – in the running for Paul Ryan’s Wisconsin congressional seat after the house speaker announced his retirement from politics – has been condemned by everyone from his state party to far-right website Breitbart News.
But those who dismiss these two instances as outliers who don’t reflect a new comfort level for racism in the Republican Party must now face what is shaping up to be a third case of an unabashed anti-Semite making a bid for national office under the GOP banner.
It's taking place in California, where Dianne Feinstein, 84, is seeking reelection for a sixth term, ignoring messages from within her Democratic Party that the time may have come to pass the torch to a new generation.
Sensing Feinstein’s vulnerability – both because of her age and the fact Democrats in California are shifting leftward – her field of challengers is crowded, both from the left and the right.
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It is set to be thinned out in the June 5 open primary, where Republican and Democrat Californians will vote with the the top two regardless of party affiliation advancing to the November general election. (Because it is an open primary, not separate party primaries, given the state's solid-blue status it is possible both candidates will be Democrats as happened in 2016.)
What sounded the alarm bells and started garnering attention from the national media is the fact that a local news station, KFSN-TV in Fresno, reported on the results of its own early polling. The ABC News affiliate commissioned the polling company Survey USA, which reported that “for the first time, there is clarity on [Feinstein’s] likely November opponent. It is Republican Patrick Little, who today polls at 18 percent overall, but whose rural coalition is strong enough that he ties Feinstein in California's Central Valley.”
On the basis that he polled higher than any other Republican, the station concluded that Little “will most likely be” Feinstein’s opponent in November.
What slipped past the television station was the small fact that Little is anything but a mainstream political candidate.
The clean-cut millenial preaches virulent anti-Semitism, making America “free from Jews” and creating “a government that makes counter-Semitism central to all aims of the state.”
Among the long list of racist and outlandish proposals in his political platform: “The immediate dismissal of the necessary number of Jewish jurists that would reduce their representation in federal courts and the supreme court to a number representative of their percentage of the US population.” In addition, he wants “a permanent ban on providing foreign aid to Israel, including a death penalty for any politician introducing a bill that would lead to foreign aid to Israel.” He also proposes “formally making [the] US’s stance on the holocaust to be that it is a Jewish war atrocity propaganda hoax that never happened.”
In his campaign video on YouTube, Little declares that after waking up to “the Jewish question,” he has “dedicated” his life to “exposing these Jews that control our country.”
In the video, he complained that he was not getting enough exposure in Republican circles, or in white nationalist, alt-right outlets, to get in a position to challenge Feinstein, whom he refers to as a “Zionist bitch.”
“Why aren’t you supporting candidates that are naming the Jew, are pro-white, put America first. ... I’m promising what Trump promised and more, and I’m doing it with a background that the Jews can’t control me with,” he said.
Little issued a plea to supporters to “get his name out there,” so he can win the June 5 primary and ”narrow it down between me and the Zionist bitch.”
When Little was suspended from Twitter four months ago for Holocaust denial, he protested in front of Twitter headquarters. He held a sign reading “It’s Not OK to Be White @Twitter.”
He was joined by a Jewish counterprotester, who held a sign reading “Fuck This White Supremacist,” with an arrow pointing at Little, and sang songs in Yiddish.
Like many white supremacists removed by Twitter on a temporary or permanent basis, Little’s new social media platform is Gab, where he continues to spout anti-Semitic rhetoric and conspiracy theories.