Wingnut Week In Review: True Colors
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign says that selecting a well known white nationalist as one of its delegates in California, was due to a “technical error.” But it was really Trump’s campaign showing its true colors, again.
When California’s secretary of state published the list of delegates chosen by Trump’s campaign for the state’s upcoming presidential primary, one name stood out: William Johnson. Johnson happens to be one of the most prominent white nationalists in the country. Currently, he’s the chairman of American Freedom Party, which seeks to run racist candidates nationwide, but Johnson’s white supremacist activities go back a long way. In 1985, he proposed a constitutional amendment that would revoke the citizenship of every non-white inhabitant of the U.S.
Named after the pseudonym, James O. Pace, under which he wrote a book advocating it, the Pace Amendment read:
“No person shall be a citizen of the United States unless he is a non-Hispanic white of the European race, in whom there is no ascertainable trace of Negro blood, nor more than one-eighth Mongolian, Asian, Asia Minor, Middle Eastern, Semitic, Near Eastern, American Indian, Malay or other non-European or non-white blood, provided that Hispanic whites, defined as anyone with an Hispanic ancestor, may be citizens if, in addition to meeting the aforesaid ascertainable trace and percentage tests, they are in appearance indistinguishable from Americans whose ancestral home is in the British Isles or Northwestern Europe. Only citizens shall have the right and privilege to reside permanently in the United States.”
Johnson called for the deportation of non-whites, and believed it was critical that his amendment be enacted, otherwise non-whites would strip white Americans of rights, leading to a “race war.”
In 2009, Johnson founded the American Third Position. Its mission statement read: “The American Third Position exists to represent the political interests of White Americans.” The group advocates a zero-immigration policy, and wants to “provide incentives for recent, legal immigrants to return to their respective lands.”
Here are a few choice quotes from Johnson.
“We have in Europe, and every traditionally white country, a dramatic shift in that the founding population is being replaced by immigrants, refugees, other peoples, so, really, the white race is in peril worldwide. I want a separate white ethno-state, but I want to keep Western civilization alive.” – PRI interview; March 2, 2016
“I believe we need to be aware of this precipitous decline in the white race and it’s good for people to be proud of your heritage.” – CNN interview; May 2016
“We believe in the freedom to live in a healthy and moral society. A free people in a healthy society have strong family and marital bonds. Militant feminism and radical homosexuality have been foisted on the American people against their will. It’s time to end the hatred and demonization of men in the media and the bias against men in family law and return to a harmonious and positive balance between men and women that benefits society and nuclear and extended families.” – Letter on the AFP website; April 5, 2016
“The white race is dying out in America and Europe because we are afraid to be called ‘racist’.” – Robocall in Vermont and Minnesota.
“Donald Trump is the closest candidate to our position that is mainstream.” – PRI interview, March 2, 2016.
This is the guy the Trump campaign chose as a California delegate, and tried to pass off as a “database error.”
NEW: Trump Campaign Statement on inclusion of White Nationalist on CA Delegate List: pic.twitter.com/5HkzxAaAMN
— Candace Smith (@CandaceSmith_) May 10, 2016
Yet, Johnson was still in the database after the story broke, and received a congratulatory email from the Trump campaign, along with advice on how to complete the process. He even completed and signed the pledge form and returned it to the campaign. That’s probably because, as of Tuesday, Johnson was still on the “certified list of delegates” because the Trump campaign missed the deadline.
NEW: White Nationalist William Johnson remains on Trump's delegate list. Statement from CA Secretary of State Spox: pic.twitter.com/v7DNg0QE7v
— Candace Smith (@CandaceSmith_) May 11, 2016
Johnson is now out as a delegate. After the news broke, the Trump campaign’s California chair called Johnson and told him, “you are not being considered for a delegate position.” Johnson “took one for the team,” by resigning as a delegate. “They don’t need the baggage that came along with my signing up as a delegate,” he told the Washington Post.
Politically, this wasn’t Johnson’s first time at the rodeo.
- In 1989, Johnson ran in a Casper, Wyo. special election for Dick Cheney’s congressional seat. Johnson was explicit about his views during the campaign. He tole the Associated Press, “Whites don’t have a future here in this country, and that is … one of many issues that I am addressing.” He even hired a 19-year-old klansman as his campaign manager. Jonson lost with less than one percent of the vote.
- In May 2006, Johnson filed to run in the Democratic primary to represent Arizona’s 8th congressional district. On the “issues” page of his campaign website, Johnson expressed his commitment to deporting illegal immigrants in large numbers, and brought in anti-immigration extremist Russ Dove to bolster his campaign. Johns won only 2.9 percent of the vote.
- In September 2007, Johnson hosted a $2,000-a-plate fundraiser for Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)
- In 2008 Johnson ran in the primary for Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge. This time Johnson avoided publicity, refused to respond to a candidate questionnaire, and refused to give the Los Angeles Bar Association any information about himself. But the Metropolitan News-Enterprise newspaper published a long article about Johnson’s past and his extremist beliefs. He lost with 26 percent of the vote.
Now, Donald Trump has done something that Johnson couldn’t: usher Johnson and his extremist beliefs into the American political mainstream.
Writing this off to a “database error,” sounds a bit too much like blaming Trump’s ineptitude for getting him into another delegate mess. It’s possible that the Trump campaign didn’t vet the people who put their names forward. But Johnson reportedly disclosed his extremist political leanings in the application to become a delegate. It’s hard to believe even the most inept campaign could miss this guy’s appearance on the delegate list.
Given Trump’s connections to white nationalists and white supremacists, naming Johnson as a delegate is just the Trump campaign showing its true colors.
Trump initially refused to disavow the endorsement ex-Klansman, neo-Nazi and former Louisiana state representative David Duke, and took days to eventually do so. Even then, Trump never explained why Duke’s or the Klans extremist beliefs were wrong. Duke recently announced that he wants to be Trump’s vice president, tweeting “It’d be Trump’s best LIFE INSURANCE. The Zio NeoCon Mossad boys would not dare touch him if I was a heartbeat from Presidency.”
#TrumpDuke2016 It'd be Trump's best LIFE INSURANCE.The Zio NeoCon Mossad boys would not dare touch him if I was heartbeat from Presidency.
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) May 12, 2016
Duke even tweeted a (badly) photoshopped “campaign poster.”
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) May 12, 2016
Here’s the best of the rest of the worst in wingnuttery this week:
- They say you know a man by the company he keeps. The Secret Service is investigating Donald Trump’s longtime butler for Facebook posts saying that President Obama “should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent.”
- Sarah Palin offered herself as Donald Trump’s running mate. “I think I’m pretty much as vetted as anybody in the country could be vetted,” Palin told CNN’s Jake Tapper. Vetted and rejected, that is.
- Not having done enough harm to the English language, Palin attempted to create a new term, saying “I think Paul Ryan is soon to be ‘Cantored,’” for refusing to endorse Trump.
- Former Arizona governor Jan Brewer complained about being left off the “short list” for Trump’s VP, and then complained that there were too many women running for office. “You know, this woman thing has gotten way out of control I believe,” she told Tapper.
- Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended from the bench again — this time for ordering probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite Supreme Court rulings to the contrary. The last time Moore was suspended was over refusing to take down a washing-machine sized monument to the 10 commandments.
- Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera got caught trashing Bernie Sanders’ West Virginia victory speech on a hot mic. Host Sean Hannity tried to warn Rivera, but he didn’t really care.
- Sometimes you know, just know, that someone holds some outrageous belief, but they won’t come out and say it. But then suddenly they do. In a debate with his two Democratic opponents, Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) said, “I think that Social Security was a bad idea.” The attack ads practically make themselves.
- House Republicans must think school lunches are a bad idea. A new Republican House bill called “The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act” would live up to its name by cutting the availability of federally subsidized school lunches to low-income students, potentially cutting off food to thousands of schools and millions of students.
- Mississippi governor Phil Bryant complained that Christians are being “bullied” in his state, because not everyone agrees with a law that permits discrimination against LGBT people on the basis of religious beliefs. Apparently, we not just supposed to accept being discriminated against. We have to like to, too.
- North Carolina Republican legislators are reportedly threatening lobbyists with retribution if the businesses they represent speak out against the state’s anti-LGBT law.
- North Carolina governor Pat McCrory told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Congress should “revisit the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” apparently to allow segregated bathrooms.
- A North Carolina school will allow student to carry pepper spray, razors,and other items one school board member said they might need to defend themselves from transgender classmates they encounter in the bathrooms.
- Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick called for Fort Worth parents to oust superintendent Kent Scribner from his job, after Scribner included protections for transgender students in the schools policies.
- The Obama administration issued a sweeping letter to school districts across the country, directing schools to allow transgender students to go to the bathrooms that match their gender identity.
- Colorado state Republican legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt tied himself in to knots trying to justify discriminating against atheists.
- In response to a Twitter campaign urging Disney to “give Elsa a girlfriend,” the right-wing group CitizenGo is circulating a petition demanding that Disney “follow its normal trend and create a Prince character to fall in love” with the popular Frozen heroine. “Queen Elsa a Lesbian? Thinking about our children, this idea is frightening,” the petition warns.
- Pat Robertson warned “700 Club” viewers that support for LGBT rights is putting America’s survival at risk, and may be paving the way for the End Times.
- Robertson also expressed hope that president Donald Trump would oust Attorney General Loretta Lynch for siding with “so-called transgenders.” Robertson then lamented that Obama was elected in the first place.
- Right-wing rocker and NRA board member Ted Nugent shared a video on social media that used computer graphics to make is look like Hillary Clinton was shot by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “I got your gun control right here bitch!” Nugget wrote.
- Right-wing hero George Zimmerman tried to auction off the gun he used to murder — yes, murder — Trayvon Martin, and said he would use the money to “fight BLM violence against Law Enforcement officers … and Hillary Clinton’s anti-firearm rhetoric.” The gun was later removed from auction.