If you go to Paul Nehlen’s campaign website, and you’ll find the typical platform of any other Republican running for a congressional seat – build the wall, stop abortion, free healthcare markets. However, hop on over to the Wisconsin businessman’s Twitter feed, and you’ll find the tirades of a lousy candidate who feeds off of mobilizing his followers against the biased “Jewish Media” and hides behind his deeply flawed version of Christianity. This is Paul Ryan’s primary challenger.
Nehlen attempted to run against Ryan in 2016, and failed miserably. With nearly 85 percent of the vote, the Speaker of the House left Nehlen running back to the safety of his army of Twitter trolls. Since then, Nehlen has gained attention for his continuously anti-Semitic and white nationalist tweets. He recently tweeted pictures of top media executives at CNN, NBC, and The New York Times with stars of David superimposed on their faces saying, “Do the people in this picture seem to have anything in common?”
Nehlen also seems to think that Christianity only applies to himself (and other whites, of course), and has maintained that Jesus was not a Jew. He recently tweeted, “Jesus is the Messiah. He is One with the Father and the Holy Ghost. Jews (and others) who do not acknowledge this fact will burn in hell.” He then leveled his attacks against Ben Shapiro, the editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire. In response to Shapiro’s condemnation of his bigoted and anti-Semitic platform, Nehlen tweeted, “Save your breath little man. Christians have nothing to learn about Christ from Jews.”
It turns out that Nehlen has a lot to learn – from Jews, Christians, perhaps even the neighbor’s dog. His version of Christianity could not be more divergent from the message found in the Bible, and the faith leaders that he continually claims support his beliefs should publicly denounce his counterfeit Christianity. Christ came for the salvation of all who believe in and choose to have a relationship with Him. However, He does not call His followers to hate those with opposing beliefs. Rather, He encourages us to share His message of love and grace with the world – something Paul Nehlen chooses to ignore.
Nehlen represents a troubling fringe movement of the alt-right that has recently gained traction among younger “conservatives”. Members of the alt-right have attempted to infiltrate conservatism and twist Christian values to legitimize their ridiculous beliefs. While the movement has been largely denounced by conservative leaders and groups of faith, social media has allowed it to stick around.
Whatever influence Nehlen may have once had seems to be waning. Steve Bannon backed Nehlen’s campaign in 2016 and he was made a contributor at Breitbart, providing him a platform to voice his controversial ideals. He even attended Bannon-backed candidate Roy Moore’s rally in Alabama donning a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. However, Breitbart severed all ties with Nehlen in December after Nehlen posted a string of racist and anti-Semitic tweets. “Nehlen is dead to us,” said Arthur Schwartz, an adviser to Bannon.
What Nehlen doesn’t understand is that even if he is somehow elected to represent Wisconsin in the House of Representatives, nothing is going to change. He won’t be able to wage a war against the “Jewish Media;” he won’t change Christian theology to only apply to white people; he won’t accomplish a thing. He most certainly will be shunned by other members of Congress and largely fade into the background, ruining the good name of his home state and the faith he claims to hold so dear. Then again, perhaps he does understand this, and his tactics simply amount to an attempt to seed enough hatred among his followers to adorn him with some sort of power.
Paul Nehlen deserves no legitimate voice in American political discourse. His white nationalist rhetoric and atrocious version of Christianity have no place in a free and democratic society – aside from the fact that he should be free to say what he believes. Still, no one should listen.
Dear people of Wisconsin,
Put this guy back where he came from. Don’t give him a platform to voice his idiocy. Continue to stand for the conservative values of life and liberty, for all.
Special thanks to Daniel Bruce, the Chief Consultant at my firm, for his help in writing, researching, and editing this article.