Frankly, we’re embarrassed that he is even on the ballot here in southeastern Wisconsin.
Paul Nehlen, a challenger to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan in the 1st Congressional District, added to his “credentials” as a bigoted anti-Semite and a racist over the weekend by insulting the mixed-race fiancée of Great Britain’s Prince Harry.
In a tweet on Friday, Nehlen posted an image of the royal couple in which a dark-skinned prehistoric Briton known as “Cheddar Man” is superimposed over the features of actress Meghan Markle standing beside her fiancé.
Nehlen tweeted along with the image the caption, “Honey, does this tie make my face look pale.”
Predictably, the racist tweet drew immediate international condemnation. The British newspaper The Mirror quoted Patrick Adams, a co-star with Markle, as saying, “You’re a sad sick man with no sense of shame or class. Get a life and don’t go anywhere near MM — she’s got more power, strength, honor and compassion in her fingernail than you’ll ever know in this lifetime.”
Twitter responded by suspending Nehlen’s account on Sunday.
If only it were that easy to suspend him from the ballot.
The racist tweet comes only days after Nehlen posted a list of his critics and wrote, “Of those 81 people, 74 are Jews, while only 7 are non-Jews” and added their phone numbers, e-mails and Twitter handles — which, according to news reports, resulted in a flood of harsh messages to them.
“This is not political discourse. This is hatefulness,” responded Elana Kahn, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council for the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.
Indeed, it is.
Nehlen, who was once the darling of the alt-right and whose candidacy was pushed by the Breitbart website in his 2016 run against Ryan was roundly repudiated by Wisconsin voters in that primary and got only 16 percent of the vote compared to Ryan’s 84 percent.
It saddens us that he even polled 16 percent. But Wisconsin — like other states — has its share of racists and anti-Semites. It was not too long ago that Alabama Gov. George Wallace — fresh from standing in the schoolhouse door to block integration of schools in his state — peddled his segregationist message here in Wisconsin and took a third of the vote in the Democratic presidential primary in 1964.
We expect Nehlen’s campaign will go down in flames as it did last time. We hope it is by an even wider margin. He would do the voters of the 1st Congressional District a favor by withdrawing now and stop spewing his message of bigotry and hate.