Those of us who do not live in Wisconsin have likely never heard of Paul Nehlen. He ran in the 2016 Republican primary against House Speaker Paul Ryan, and lost … bigly … by about 70%. When Steve Bannon and Breitbart come out in support of a candidate, that should tell you all you need to know. Paul Nehlen will be once again running in the GOP primary in Wisconsin against Paul Ryan, and it is important we know just what he stands for.
Nehlen is a white supremacist in extremis who blasted House Speaker Paul Ryan for criticizing white supremacists in the days after the rally/march in Charlottesville, Virginia in August.
At the same time, Nehlen tweeted that the rally was an “incredible moment for white people.”
A few things we all need to know about Nehlen …
Nehlen was also a major proponent of Mike Cernovich’s imaginary “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory and told the Associated Press in August that he still believed it to be true.
In 2016, when Ryan was vacillating about whether to endorse then-candidate Trump, Trump connected with Nehlen and praised him for supporting him in his war of words with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a Muslim Army captain. Nehlen called Paul Ryan a “double agent” who is working for Hillary Clinton because he disagreed with Trump on Khan.
In an interview with a Chicago radio host in 2016, he was asked if he supported deporting all Muslims from the U.S. He responded, “I’m suggesting that we have a discussion about it. That’s for sure. I am absolutely suggesting we figure out how do we, we, here’s what we should be doing. We should be monitoring every mosque. We should be monitoring all social media.”
His invective against Paul Ryan is jaw-dropping. “A soulless globalist from the Democrat wing of the Uni-Party.” An “open borders politician” who was “grown in a petri dish in D.C.” and added, “He is all in for the cheapest possible labor for Wall Street. That’s what Paul Ryan’s in for. Paul Ryan’s in for Paul Ryan. He is not an American Patriot – he is a Globalist.”
Nehlen campaigned for Roy Moore, the Senate candidate from Alabama who was twice removed from the judicial bench and also accused multiple times of pedophilia and other sexual misconduct, claiming to have raised more than $1 million for Moore’s campaign.
After a back-and-forth debate on Twitter regarding gun rights, Nehlen tweeted to New York Post columnist John Podhoretz, “Do us all a favor, Podhoretz. Eat a bullet.” He also told Podhoretz, “self-deport you steaming dung heap.”
On social media, Nehlen shares memes — like Pepe the frog — associated with the “alt-right,” and has appeared on the podcast Fash the Nation, a project of white nationalist Mike Peinovich. Nehlen has also praised Identity Evropa, a self-styled “identitarian” group that holds to the basic white nationalist belief that whites are doomed to extinction amid a “rising tide” of brown and black people controlled or manipulated by Jews.
Though Steve Bannon and Breitbart have supported Nehlen, that support appeared to come to an end late last month. Amid rumours that Speaker Paul Ryan is considering stepping down this year, Nehlen upped his ante and espoused his white nationalist, white supremacist position more strongly than ever.
On December 18, Nehlen was a guest on a Breitbart radio show, Whatever It Takes with Curt Schilling. During the interview, Nehlen explained that he has adopted increasingly radical positions to “move the Overton Window” to the right. The Overton Window refers to what the public considers acceptable political discourse and policy at any given moment and how conservative or liberal politicians can be and still win elections. The Overton Window is frequently discussed by white supremacist groups, who believe their current mission, rather than directly impacting national policy, is to push the Overton Window further to the extreme right in order to legitimize white nationalist ideologies. ie., bigotry and racism. The interview was posted on Breitbart’s site, but shortly thereafter was removed, and now Breitbart claims that they cut all ties with Nehlen months before.
Eleven days later, on 29 December, Schilling tweeted an invitation to Nehlen: “@pnehlen let’s have you on the show Wednesday, some things I think people want to hear and some questions I think you need to answer. 1:19 PM – Dec 29, 2017” Nehlen replied: “Sounds great, Curt. Looking forward to it. …3:57 PM – Dec 29, 2017”
I think it becomes obvious that Breitbart has not, in fact, cut all ties with Nehlen, however after ThinkProgress reported on the scheduled interview, it was abruptly cancelled. At least twice since December 2016, Nehlen has appeared on “Fash The Nation,” a white supremacist podcast. Nehlen is also promoting his candidacy on Gab, a social media network that caters to white nationalists. Its app was banned by Google and Apple for hate speech.
I could cite endless tweets and comments from Nehlen that would turn your stomach, but I think you get the picture. He is indisputably a nasty character, an arrogant and bigoted person. Just as I said about Jan Morgan a few days ago, this person would have been run out of town on a rail two years ago, but suddenly, I have no confidence that the people of his state will not support him. Times have changed with the election of the ‘man’ in the Oval Office. While I am not a big fan of Paul Ryan, as he has been licking Trump’s boots for a year now, he looks nearly like a saint when held up in comparison to Nehlen.
Why, you may ask, am I highlighting these unlikely and unsavory candidates? I think they bear watching. I think their ability to garner any significant support, even if they do not win the election in November, speaks of the national temperament. Frankly, I spent more than six hours reading and researching Mr. Paul Nehlen, and now that I am finished, I feel dirty … I need a long, hot shower, for I feel that I have delved far too deep into the rabbit hole and am infested with the filth I encountered there.