Nohl Rosen has been the face of some of the most troubling scenes in Arizona during this election season. Now, Rosen has joined team Kelli Ward.
As the founder of Rally for Law Enforcement, he has ironically drawn the ire of the police force by staging a contentious rally outside of a Phoenix mosque last year. According to the Arizona Republic, the Facebook page Rosen runs told protesters to bring American flags and firearms to protest Islam, leading counter-protesters to the scene in what many feared could become a dangerous conflict.
A few months later, he was outside a Phoenix Walmart, protesting that company’s decision to stop selling Confederate flags in the wake of racially-motivated shootings in the South. Rosen’s group waved American and Confederate flags and clashed once again with protesters. Then, in March of this year, Rosen was at a Donald Trump rally, his 9mm in his leg holster, ready to “back up the police if trouble broke out.”
Rosen seems intent on stirring up contention, pushing for violence so that he and his group can respond in kind. He has referred to Black Lives Matter activists as “Nothing but terrorists,” who throw “temper tantrums” when they speak out at Trump rallies. He called for a boycott of both Beyonce and the NFL after her role in the Superbowl Halftime show. His Vimeo page description reads, “I love cats, guns, the Constitution, and cosplay.” Clearly we aren’t dealing with someone fully invested in reason.
So who does this sterling member of the community support this election? Obviously Trump, whom he idolizes for his immigration positions. But also Brian McDuffie, a police officer running for sheriff of Richmond County who was previously fired from one office for using excessive force on a teenager. Maybe most importantly, he’s yet another on the roster of increasingly more extreme supporters of Kelli Ward in her race to take John McCain’s senate seat.
Candidates are responsible for distancing themselves from their extremist supporters, which is what makes it all the more troubling that Ward in turn supported Rosen by attending his Back the Badge rally in February, less than a year after his armed anti-Islam protest. One month after that protest, Ward courted a new supporter, far-far-far-right wing nutjob Alex Jones, who fed into her theory that John McCain was planning to kill her.
Will Kelli Ward publicly renounce Mr. Rosen’s support, or will she continue to remain silent, effectively accepting his endorsement?
Ward seems intent to not only accept extremist support but to ally herself with them and encourage their behavior. Not that she isn’t herself a bit extreme. Keep in mind, this is the same woman who said all of these things. Ward is also on record courting outlandish chemtrail conspiracy theories. Lastly, and more troublesome, she once embraced noted racist Cliven Bundy. If this was a scientific experiment, some would say have a strong pattern of embracing conspiracy and extremism. It’s apparent that her brand of political ineptitude attracts an interesting cross-section of voters.
For those following the senatorial race, think long and hard about who you want representing your state. Someone like Ward who supports Nohl Rosen’s anti-Islam, anti-black, pro-cosplay powderkeg protesting? Or someone like McCain who supports those Arizonans who would rather not have every visit to Walmart ending in violence? Maybe you don’t have to think that hard after all.