Thursday, February 15, 2018

Running On Empty

It wasn't so very long ago that they were making movies about how Nazis were the bad guys. It wasn't so very long ago that you could get in trouble for suggesting that Steven Spielberg made up the Holocaust. He did not. He was making a piece of historical fiction. Not a documentary, exactly, but a dramatization of actual events that occurred near the end of World War II in Poland.

Documentation about this period is pretty thorough and the genocide that was brought on by Nazi Germany gave us the phrase, "Never Again." Because genocide is horrible. We wouldn't want to repeat it.

Thank goodness we had a war that wiped all the Nazis out. Once and for all.

Except for the ones marching in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia this past summer. Chants like "Jews will not replace us," were heard on American soil, not as part of some recreation but rather as some sort of awful rebirth of a nation. A nation that we thought we were rid of once and for all. On into the fall, we fought the fight all over again. We were asked to imagine that being anti-fascist was a bad thing. Joseph Goebbels would have been so proud.

And now we begin our long slide into mid-term elections. Who could have imagined that in 2018 we would have a Nazi running unopposed for the Republican nomination for Illinois' third congressional district. Not that he's got a swastika etched in his forehead or even on an armband. Not that he's going to give interviews in front of a portrait of Adolph Hitler, but he's the kind of guy who will say whatever comes into his pointy little head that he hopes will get him elected. This includes denying the Holocaust and referring to it as "an extortion racket." The Illinois GOP has done "everything they could" to keep him off the ballot, but lo and behold, there he is in living lack of color. On his resume is a stint as leader of the Nazi Party and white supremacist. He does not bother to hide any of this.
And a couple of years ago, this wouldn't have bothered me. It's a deep blue district with two other Democrats running against him. What could happen?

I believe Jake Blues said it best: "I hate Illinois Nazis."

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