The California Republican Party has disavowed its top-polling candidate to take on Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein this November after it emerged that he has espoused a range of white nationalist views, including calling for a country "free from Jews."
Patrick Little, a 33-year-old extremist who last week topped other Republican Senate candidates in a poll of the field, told Newsweek on Monday that he admires Adolf Hitler, and would prefer to see Jewish Americans deported to Israel. He falsely denied that the genocide of Jews took place during World War II and incorrectly suggested that Germany was not an aggressor during that conflict.
"Mr. Little has never been an active member of our party. I do not know Mr. Little and I am not familiar with his positions," Matt Fleming, communications director for the California Republican Party told Newsweek. "But in the strongest terms possible, we condemn anti-Semitism and any other form of religious bigotry, just as we do with racism, sexism or anything else that can be construed as a hateful point of view."
Little made a series of claims and statements to Newsweek that mirror content found online as part of the alt-right movement, where Jewish people are frequently blamed for a host of problems faced by white people.
Explaining his extreme views, Little said that he was once a Pro-Israel libertarian who supported the anti-tax Tea Party movement, but his feelings about Jewish people shifted drastically after spending time talking to other white men on the website WeSearchr following his exit from the Marines in 2015. The Marines does not confirm the status of a person's discharge unless it involves a court-martial but a spokesperson told Newsweek that Little was promoted to the rank of Sergeant before leaving the service.
On WeSearchr, Little said, an anonymous "troll" recommended Kevin MacDonald's book Culture of Critique—the same book that anti-Semitic Wisconsin Congressional candidate Paul Nehlen referenced in a February appearance on David Duke's radio show regarding his own embrace of white nationalist politics. (MacDonald is an isolated academic who portrays Jewish people as a scheming enemy of Western civilization in his work, and is beloved by many white nationalists.)
Little attended a deadly rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August, when, he said, he "brought his weapons" before ultimately following advice not to carry them during the march.
"I'm not an advocate of turning the whole United States into what Richard Spencer would call an ethnostate," he told Newsweek. "I'm a fan of balkanization."
The phrase "balkanization" refers to the belief that the United States should be broken up into smaller nation-states based along racial or cultural lines. It's a theory supported by many neo-Nazis.
Little was comfortable with the term white nationalist to describe his views in his conversation with Newsweek. He suggested that "Jewish policies" were hurting whites and said that Jewish people were "trying to destroy whites in this country." To combat the influence of Jews, he advocated for a "quota system" to limit Jewish representation in academia and government.
He also went much further, stating that he wanted Jews deported to Israel by use of "force," if necessary.
"State has to use force," he said. "If things are law, they have to be enforced. And ultimately government—that is the threat of force."
When asked if his views sounded similar to what the Nazis did to Jewish people during World War II, he incorrectly denied that their genocide had happened and added that if he were a man of greater faith he would view Adolf Hitler as "the second coming of Christ."
Little's embrace of white nationalism coincided with the onset of Donald Trump's campaign for president. Little said he supported the now-president because he believed that he heard anti-Semitic "dog whistles" coming from the president, particularly when he talked about the subject of elites on the campaign trail.
Little acknowledged that his views were fringe and that coming out with them publicly would impact his ability to work. He said that in the past he made over $100,000 per year as an IT specialist.
"I will figure out how to have an income and how to eat after this campaign is done," Little said.
The comment suggests that even Little realizes he has a marginal chance of being a serious factor in November's election for a Senate seat Feinstein has held since 1992, even if the most recent poll indicated that he was her nearest challenger.
"There's been no campaign to speak of. All the discussion has been between Feinstein and [Democratic challenger] Kevin de León," Matt Barreto, a professor of political sciences at University of California, Los Angeles, told Newsweek last week. "I don't believe that this candidate has much outreach."
Norman J.W. Goda, a professor of Holocaust studies at the University of Florida's Center for Jewish Studies, told Newsweek that historians do not debate men like Little, who "willfully ignore" the massive amounts of evidence demonstrating that the genocide of Jews took place. In response to Little's description that when he "woke up" to his feelings about Jewish people he spent a week "trying not to scream," Goda said the language was similar to that found in Hitler's infamous anti-Semitic tirade Mein Kampf. Little's rhetoric, Goda said, borrowed from dangerous but longstanding conspiracy theories that have been circulated to demonize Jewish people.
"It suggests that he could sort of pierce this veil that hides this reality for us," Goda said. "It presupposes that anyone else can awaken."
Little is not the only candidate to have espoused radical anti-Semitic views who is running for office in 2018 on a Republican ticket. He joins Nehlen and 70-year-old Arthur Jones, who will be on the ballot this year representing the GOP in a race for Illinois' Third Congressional District. Goda called the influx of anti-Semitic candidates in American politics "alarming" within the context of history, even if their views are regarded to be fringe.
Of Little's rhetoric, Goda warned: "These were the kind of things that the Nazis were saying during the 1920s."