CHICAGO, April 16, 2012 — Everyone and every group has a sacred, unalienable right to petition government. Lobbying is one method of petitioning government, though sometimes it stretches the definition of petition to the breaking point.
Any person or group can and should be able to register as a lobbyist, even fringe, radical and hate groups. The Taliban, Hezbollah, anarchists, pedophiles, child pornographers, and a host of others have the same right as farmers to petition Congress through lobbying activities. That is the way it is, and that is the way it is supposed to be in a free country.
Our Constitution is all-inclusive. It should be a source of great pride.
That does not mean we have to take any of the more extreme or criminal type groups seriously.
John Bowles claims to be a representative of the American Nazi Party. On April 10, 2012 he registered as a lobbyist with Congress on behalf of his party. According to his Lobbying Registration Form, specific lobbying issues are political rights and ballot laws.
He lists accounting, agriculture, clean air and water, civil rights, health issues, the Constitution, immigration, manufacturing, and retirement as general lobbying issues.
John Bowles was the National Socialist Movement’s nominee for president in 2008. He and the American Nazi Party’s website claim the term “Nazi” is used because Americans do not recognize or understand National Socialism. They recognize the term “Nazi”. Naturally it is all about branding, positioning, marketing, and messaging.
The American Nazi Party describes itself as a “Political-Educational Association, dedicated to the “14 WORDS.” (Website) The 14 words, in case you did not know, are “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children”.
The American Nazi Party claims they are a “Seperatist” group. They believe racial seperation is best for all concerned, Whites and non-Whites alike.” Evidently they do not believe in elementary education. They cannot even spell their own separatist philosophy.
Lest you be fooled, they sign their missives with “88”. “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet. 88=HH, which is code for Heil Hitler. Hitler has been dead since 1945. These people worship a man who killed himself. He was too scared stupid to escape and too terrified to face capture. It appears the American Nazi Party worships stupid cowardly courage or stupid courageous cowardice.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
George Lincoln Rockwell formed the American Nazi Party 53 years ago. The party has a colorful and infamous past. Though they are considered a hate group, they more closely resemble a comedy troupe. “The Producers” comes to mind. (See video below)
During the mid 1960s and 70s, Nazi groups were taken seriously due to the high level of racial tensions and violence, especially in the South and large urban areas. These groups devolved into cartoonish characters. They look and act as if the writers of “South Park” or “The Simpsons” created them, right down to their costumes. We could include Sacha Cohen, too.
American Nazis are nothing more than political jesters, merry pranksters, and simpleton jokers. They are a comic curiosity that some people take way too seriously.
It will be interesting to see if John Bowles actually shows up to lobby congressmen. Will he wear a suit and tie or his Nazi Halloween costume? Will he shake hands or give the Nazi stiff-arm salute? Will he walk the halls of Congress or goose step? How will he lobby legislators like Shumer, Cantor, Wasserman-Schultz, or Lieberman? What can he ask of Bobby Rush, Danny Davis, or Maxine Waters?
This would all be silliness except there are people who support or are members of the American Nazi Party and other like-minded groups. They are true believers. They take themselves very seriously. Rough estimates are 2-5 thousand people identify as National Socialists, Nazis, or White Separatists.
It is their right to do so. It is also their right to express themselves, protest, lobby, pass out literature, and even register as political parties. They have every right to dress in theatrical costumes, goose step, render the stiff-arm salute, and quote the Austrian paperhanger.
There is no intelligence, literacy, or education required to participate in the political process. They can even vote. We must legally and constitutionally respect their rights.
They have no constitutional right to be respected or taken seriously. We have every right ridicule and denigrate them. We should. There are ridiculous groups across the political spectrum. They advocate outlandish ideology. It is hard to believe that even people of limited intelligence believe their tenets. That is what makes them so amusing and great fodder for comedy.
Taking them seriously and expressing anger only feeds into their self-importance and sense of legitimacy. It makes them more important than they are, giving them a sense of power. It is better to just show them up for what they are, a traveling troupe of comedians, harlequins, pantaloons, and dancing bears.
The American Nazi Party can, and maybe should, have a lobbyist. John Bowles can go to Congress and petition the government. We can laugh at him and his carnival party while respecting their rights.
Humor and comedy is a form of expression protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. That is as it should be. The American Nazi Party and their members are comedians. We have a right to laugh at them.
The following video contains extreme graphic content of a silly, ridiculous, and demeaning nature to Nazis. Any injury to the self esteem of members of the American Nazi Party is intentional.
Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer and photographer, cook, and raconteur. He likes to be the irreverent sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys. His opinions are his and his alone.
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