Some days I think the abiding bitterness governing my daily activity is holding me back from experiencing the best in life. That’s 100 percent true, whatever egotistical assurances I may offer to the contrary. I have moments in which I can see how constant negativity might not be the best of possible outlooks. Not saying it’s every day, but it happens.

Then I see bullshit like Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott of Ohio’s ninth district dressed in a Nazi uniform, and I know that, no, it’s not me. Everyone’s just that dumb. My high blood pressure is right.

Let’s be clear about this. I don’t for one second believe Iott (whose name looks so much like “Lott” as in former-Senator Trent “We wouldn’t have had all these race problems over the years if Strom Thurmond had been president” Lott that I had to look it up to see if some lazy reporter hadn’t just spelled it wrong and they were related) is a Nazi. He’s white and a Tea Partier and for repealing healthcare and sealing the borders, so I assume he’s a racist, but I don’t actually know that either. What I have confirmation of is that he’s an idiot.

And “idiot” is a classification that knows neither party nor creed. “Idiot” is universal.

Iott’s defense of the pictures that emerged of him in Nazi regalia was that he’s part of a war reenactment group in Ohio called Wiking that reenacts World War II battles involving the SS. He’s been into war reenactments since college, and has also performed in Civil War and WWI uniforms. Fantastic.

Here’s the thing: If you were running for national office—congress; the legislative body that, when not dickstroking corporate interests and pandering for reelection, actually makes the laws that govern our lives—and you had a hobby in which you, say, pretended to masturbate on the sidewalks outside of elementary schools, don’t you think at some point it would occur to you that, gee, in this world of 24-hour news cycles someone might take this “perfectly harmless” activity out of context and make you look like a complete asshole? Don’t you think maybe you’d give up that hobby and get another, or maybe, since you are a candidate for the House Of Representatives, at least spend more of your time concerned about the men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq actually fighting wars instead of playing grabass in your buddies’ back yards dressed as the Luftwaffe?

Iott shouldn’t drop out of the race because he might be a fascist. He should drop out because he’s definitely a moron.

The craziest part about this is it’s a lesson we’ve all already learned. Remember a few years back when Prince Harry was in his “I’m going to embarrass the shit out of my family” phase and dressed as a Nazi officer for some Halloween cocktail party? Apparently Rich Iott doesn’t, or if he does he certainly didn’t take to heart the lesson that if you’re going to be a public figure, maybe Swastikas aren’t the way to go when picking out your eveningwear. Seems like entry-level logic to me, but then, the ins and outs of politics on the national stage have always been over my head, so maybe I’m missing something.

You know what’s horrifying? Not even the thought that there might be a Nazi elected to the American legislature—there’s plenty of them around—but the thought that someone could be standing at their closet getting ready for another exciting round of pretend war and not say to themselves, “Maybe I don’t want to have my picture taken in a Nazi uniform if I’m going to run for elected office.” That scares the living hell out of me.

These are the people who comprise our government. As already noted, they make our laws, decide when it’s worth it to spend government money. I’m not saying everyone has to be Barrack Obama when it comes to media savvy—CNN just got a boner—but even the minimum amount of abstract reasoning would be a boon from either side of the aisle.

Until that magical day comes—one assumes it will ride in on a unicorn—I’m stuck being the bitter son of a bitch that I am, because much like The Godfather, just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.

Reenacting the Norman Conquest,

JJ Koczan

One Response

  1. Michael Diaz

    So he’s an idiot because he has an interest in history and has a hobby that doesn’t fit into your definition of cool? Seriously that’s all you have?

    First and foremost he’s a person who has the right to spend his free time doing whatever he enjoys as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone then we the people should just look to him and say “Oh that’s different” but that’s it.

    We have no right to cast any judgement on his free time hobbies. The fact is he did this to spend time with his son, how many fathers would dress up in a costume and risk looking like a fool just to hang with their child?

    Just because he’s an aspiring political figure doesn’t mean he can’t have a life. I can think of worse things he can be doing and if the worse thing the Democrats can say about him was that he dressed as a Nazi for a reenactment then they’re grasping at staws and it reeks of desperation.


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