“Republicans voting on Tuesday in Illinois’s 3rd congressional district primary will get to decide if they want Art Jones, a lifelong white supremacist, to be their candidate. The state’s GOP is actively campaigning against him. They are still embarrassed that Jones was their 2018 candidate, after the party had forgotten to field a primary opponent to ensure that he wasn’t their candidate in the general election in a strongly Democratic district. And later that year, despite ample publicity of his views, Jones received 57,000 votes (26 percent) in the general election.
But Jones, and his perennial campaigns, are not a random product of one man’s idiosyncratic commitment to bigotry. Rather, they are the direct result of neo-Nazi activity in Chicago, and Illinois more broadly, which goes back to the 1960s. These have included Nazi-led rallies which have drawn thousands, as well as electoral campaigns which have also produced unusually high outcomes.
The continuing influence of neo-Nazi organizing, a half-century after its heyday, should be a warning about the “alt-right.” Even though its influence is subsiding, we should be prepared for the thousands of young adults who’ve become white nationalists through the movement to remain politically active for decades. The alt-right has created a new generation of racist activists, breathing fresh life into what previously was a moribund movement.”