Ahhh, election season. That time between late summer and November when candidates are most likely to knock on your door or send robo-calls to your home; and patches of grass, stabbed with metal-boned campaign signs, become the literal embodiment of grassroots politicking with their messages of hope, change, and…anti-Semitism?
"WITH JEWS WE LOSE" is the message, displayed on stark black and white placards, that Robert Ransdell, a write-in candidate for the Senate in Kentucky is using to bombard unassuming passersby. In an interview with the NBC-affiliate WLWT, he said: "Online, we've had a lot of positive feedback. We're going to find out what kind of feedback we get once we go out and take it to the people here in the state of Kentucky.”
Ransdell — whose name will not appear on the ballot — is a coordinator for the National Alliance, a white nationalist political organization characterized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a Neo-Nazi group. He is technically running against incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan.
"One would hope that this sort of thing would never make it's way into any modern day discussion, let alone a U.S. Senate race," said Allison Moore, the spokeswoman for the McConnell campaign.
On Constitution Day, Ransdell addressed a room full of high school journalism students at the University of Kentucky. From behind a podium, in a room decorated by shiny red and blue star balloons, he told them about the “organized and ongoing war against white people,” and decried the fact that white people are “constantly under attack by black criminals.” In a video of the speech, students at first talk amongst one another without paying Ransdell any attention, but as he descends further into racist rhetoric, they begin to look around, alarmed. One student can be seen staring with her mouth agape in horror. After about one minute of rambling, a woman runs up on stage and directs someone to turn his microphone off. As Ransdell walks off, students can be heard muttering “go away,” and “shut up.” The incident forced a school spokesperson to make a statement claiming the institution "was not aware of the content of his remarks prior to him speaking and does not condone or endorse any political platform or agenda." They don’t have Google in Kentucky?
Ransdell has publicly acknowledged that he has no chance of winning, but would like to use his campaign to publicize his message — a suggestion of demented optimism that believes people are merely unfamiliar with white supremacy, but maybe once they find out about it, they’ll get on board. On his website, "The White Guard," Ransdell has an entire page devoted to the badge of honor that is the negative coverage of his campaign.
Ever the versatile bigot, Ransdell hates gays, African Americans, and immigrants, in addition to Jewish people. His platform includes: stopping immigration entirely until the economy improves, “halt[ing] the tolerance and promotion of this sickness in the nation” (by which he means homosexuality), and protecting the Second Amendment.” According to Ransdell: “If you want to keep your firearms you had better also support the immediate annihilation of racial integration in America because the savage and uncivilized nature of most Blacks will soon lead to laws that severely restrict or ban firearms."
The Daily Beast reached out to Ransdell to ask if he has ever been diagnosed with a mental illness. Ransdell responded with an anti-semitic term, a Yiddish word, and an accusation about rhinoplasty: “Before I let you in on whether or not I have one, why don't you kindly inform me of who removed the hook from your schnozz first, promise to get back and answer your inquiry, really I promise.”
If you have any questions you would like to Ransdell, or thoughts you would like to share about his platform, his website has helpfully provided a phone number where you can leave him a message: 1-800-488-1363. Be creative!