Minn. Republican Candidate: Owning Slaves Is A Personal Choice. If You Don’t Want One, Don’t Own One

At the very moment the Republican Party is hoping to convince Americans they aren’t as backwards as some of their policies seem, a Minnesota congressional candidate is literally advocating for America to return to the way it was before the Civil War.

Jason Lewis hates the government. That’s why he’s running for Congress – to kill it from within. He hates the government so much, in fact, that he has written an entire book that explores the idea that banning the owning of slaves represents one of many examples of government tyranny.

In his book, “Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States’ Rights” Lewis also wrote that President Abraham Lincoln “exploited the issue” of slavery, adding the Civil War, or what Lewis called the “War Between the States,” had “more to do with secession” than slavery.

But Lewis takes the argument much further than simply pretending the Civil War was about “states’ rights.” He views laws against owning people as symptomatic of a government run amok. His theory: If (white) people want to own (black) people, then it should be up to them. (Presumably, the would-be slaves have no say in the matter.) In the “bonus commentary” in Lewis’ recently released audiobook, he remarks:

In fact, if you really want to be quite frank about it, how does somebody else owning a slave affect me? It doesn’t. If I don’t think it is right, I won’t own one, and people always say ‘well if you don’t want to marry somebody of the same sex, you don’t have to, but why tell somebody else they can’t.  Uh, you know if you don’t want to own a slave, don’t. But don’t tell other people they can’t.

Get the logic? Me neither!

To their credit, Minnesota’s Republican Party hates Jason Lewis more than anybody. Chris Fields, the Deputy Chair of the Republican Party and an African American, condemned Lewis, his candidacy, and a growing list of terrible opinions the would-be congressman has.

Provocative comments like that demonstrate ignorance, a lack of sensitivity, and they exacerbate the racial divisions in America” said Fields, who added that Lewis’ comments about women, slavery, and race “are contradictory to the values Republicans share and principles the party was founded upon.

Lewis isn’t just a repugnant racist, though. He is an equal opportunity offender. As the Star Tribune dryly noted, Lewis once said Hurricane Katrina victims were “a bunch of whiners.” He later said white people were committing “cultural suicide” by not reproducing more. He believes women can’t understand economics and only “care about abortion” and watching ‘The View’. He has thus far never apologized for anything he’s said.

None of this probably means much to Lewis who, by even his own statements, is a racist. It also might not make a difference in the congressional race. Lewis may be a white supremacist who advocates for a return to slavery, but this is Minnesota, a state with more white people than snowflakes, and who repeatedly elected Michele Bachmann despite her obvious mental instability.

If the Republican Party was hoping to show they could be better than their worst stereotype, then it’s going to take Republican voters not electing Jason Lewis – a walking, talking conservative stereotype. It’s difficult to say whether we should be optimistic or not.

Featured image via KSTP TV

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