We’ve noted on these pages that Kelli Ward has run an ineffective campaign for the United States Senate. But even we have been taken aback by her constant pandering and recruitment of White Supremacists and alt-right racists to her campaign.
Just as Senator John McCain received an important endorsement from Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump (an endorsement Kelli Ward herself hoped to receive), Kelli Ward made a phone call to long-time white supremacist, William Johnson, in hopes that he would support her failing campaign. Once informed that Johnson was a self-proclaimed ‘white nationalist’ Ward’s response was simply, “I’ll get back to you.”
This raises numerous questions on Ward’s judgment as a candidate for political office. First of all, how did she not look into Johnson’s history as a white supremacist prior to courting his endorsement and financial support? Second, when Johnson informed her who he was, we would expect Ward to immediately retract her request for campaign support, reject the views of such a “white nationalist,” and terminate the conversation. Instead she simply offered a non-committal, “I’ll get back to you.” Imagine someone with this poor judgement sitting on an important U.S. Senate committee such as the powerful Armed Services Committee?
Kelli Ward’s poor judgment in campaign companions doesn’t end with white supremacists. Ward has a track record of cozying up to notable fringe characters such as Alex Jones of Infowars. Ward failed to dismiss Jones’ insinuation that there was a real possibility of someone planting a bomb in her car to eliminate her as a candidate. Furthermore, when defamed basketball owner Donald Sterling was caught uttering racist slurs she publicly defended him.
If that isn’t bad enough, and for those who may have forgotten, Ward arrived on the scene in Nevada to support Cliven Bundy, the cattle rancher who failed to obey a lawfully obtained court order against him for not paying his cattle grazing fees on federally owned lands. Ward’s support for Bundy effectively obstructed federal agents from carrying out their lawful orders. Bundy’s views on slavery and on African-Americans are chilling …and yet, Kelli Ward continued to speak on his behalf.
Kelli Ward also tied herself to Milo Yiannopoulos, a cult-hero of the racist alt-right who was most recently banned from Twitter for abusing other users, like actress Leslie Jones. Ward posted a picture of Milo using the hashtag “FreeMilo”. Her support for his egregious behavior and bigotry begs the question: does Ward support online abuse of others, and is she supportive of the racists views of internet celebrities and Nevada ranchers?
Kelli Ward and her alt-right friends are not “fighting political correctness,” nor are they “standing up for free speech.” Racism is wrong, period. White supremacy and white nationalism are wrong, period. And as Kelli Ward’s long march to humiliating defeat draws to a close, she should consider rehabilitating her image slightly by rejecting, firmly and completely, the kind of bigotry that she sadly seems to have recruited in an ill-fated effort to win an election.
We won’t hold our breath.