As of last week, Arthur Jones is the Republican Party’s nominee for the House of Representatives in Illinois’s third district, near Chicago.
He is a former member of the American Nazi party and a prominent Holocaust denier.
Mr Jones nabbed the nomination by default because Illinois Republicans could not find a candidate to run against the Democratic incumbent — although one wonders why they had so much trouble finding someone to make at least a perfunctory bid, if only to thwart a Holocaust denier.
He tends to ramble in interviews and during our conversation demonstrated the same digressive tendencies: his tone ranged from dubious to outwardly hostile.
My first question was to ask if he still had Nazi affiliations.
“I was a member of the National Socialist White People’s Party from 1971 to 1979,” he said.
“After that, in 1980, I was involved in starting the America First Committee, which was modeled after Lindbergh’s America First group, which he started to keep us out of a war.
“I am no longer officially involved with that. I was a guest speaker occasionally. I was a guest speaker at Klan meetings in Georgia and South Carolina in 1983. As far as being a member of the Nazi party, I am not.”
I asked him to clarify his ideas about the Holocaust. Does he deny it happened?
“I deny the existence of the Holocaust as depicted in the news media, in TV series and movies,” he said.
“I don’t deny that Jews were put in camps and that people died. It wasn’t the Holiday Inn. I deny that six million Jews were gassed.”
Mr Jones then began telling me the usual revisionist tales about it being statistically impossible to kill so many people and that there was no evidence of the use of Zyklon B.
He went on for quite some time until I interrupted and asked what he thought about Jewish Americans. Does he believe, as a white supremacist, that Jews should not be American citizens?
“If they’re loyal Americans I got no problems with Jews,” he said.
“I have a problem with Zionists and communists and international Jewish bankers. Look at all the pornography: most of the pornographers are Jewish.
“The women’s lib movement was started by Jewish women upset at being abused by Jewish men.
“I’m against the Jews pushing same-sex marriage.
“I’m against the Jews who do financial crimes like Bernard Madoff, who stole peoples’ pensions, and he stole from Jews too.
“Everyone who supports abortion rights is Jewish. There was ... a Jewish doctor who became a Christian. He said he aborted 69,000 babies until he became a Christian.
“Now that is a Holocaust.”
It was quite a lot of abortions, I remarked, reaching for a calculator. If this doctor worked seven days a week for ten years, he would have performed almost nineteen abortions a day.
I asked Mr Jones: “Is that even possible?”
“That’s what he said.”
“So you don’t believe the six million figure, but you take the 69,000 figure at face value.”
“I’m just telling you what the man said.”
Mr Jones started another rant about how the Russian Revolution was funded by “Jewish Bolshevik bankers”. He then shifted into a disquisition on how Amazon, the online retailer, was removing books from its catalogue that told the “truth about the Holocaust.”
I had to interrupt him again and thank him for his time. As he did not seem to be listening to what I saying, I hung up.
A minute later, he called me back.
“We got disconnected,” he said.
“We didn’t. I was trying to tell you that I had to go.”
“You don’t give me a chance to explain why I have proof that there was no Holocaust.”
“You’ve made your position quite clear.”
“So what kind of article are you going to write?”
“Mr Jones, I’m just going to write what you said.”