No Sympathy for the Devil: Yes, Another Take on That Times Article on a Nazi You Can Love

I'm sure we're all sick and tired of reading about that article in the New York Times, the one about Ohio resident Tony Hovater, the one that painted him and his movement as everyday white Joes, just eating at Panera while denying the Holocaust and gabbing about how cool Hitler was.

See, the Times editors believe that the point of Richard Fausset's story "was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think," which, if you parse it, are really one and the same. Fausset himself admits that one huge element missing is a fuller understanding of why Hovater believes what he believes.

The issue here is not the quotidian banality of Hovater's evil, where he sits around the local Applebee's talking about separating the races. We know that we live and work among racists and sociopaths. Nor is it the contradictory nature of that evil, where a Jew-hating Nazi can love Seinfeld, one of the Jewiest shows ever. Consistency of belief is not really a hallmark of the modern fascist. It's that Hovater is evil, as in legitimately, objectively evil in a way that is almost universally defined as "evil," and Fausset and the Times let him off the hook for his evil.

While the article gives some examples of exactly how vile Hovater's beliefs are, there are so many more that the article ought to be overwhelmed with those, not what's in his kitchen drawers. Here's some of what Hovater wrote at the blog of the "Traditionalist Worker Party" (which is a long way of saying "Nazi"):

In a post titled "Ethnic Cleansing, Voting, and You!" Hovater offers, "The masses of nonwhites clearly hate you and will vote against what they perceive to be white interests at the polls. The ruling elite of (((financiers, business owners, media conglomerates, and politicians))), sorry all those echoes at once, hate you." The "echoes" are shorthand to indicate that what he really means is "Jews." His solution to the fact that "America is beyond saving"? "It’s time to push for balkanization of the empire and geographic relocation for our people." Somehow, Hovater's use of the accusatory parentheses didn't make the article.

In another post, Hovater says, "Another legend seems to have worked up the ire of a certain protected ethnic minority. Ted Nugent, a man who the media already despised more than any other living man on the planet aside from Donald Trump, stepped right in it. Ted Nugent named the Jew." This is followed by a defense of Nugent's antisemitism.

And, oddly, Hovater has shown up in multiple other places as one of the Nazis that reporters go to for comments. In the New Yorker back in August 2015, Hovater is quoted hoping that Donald Trump will just openly say he wants more European (white) immigrants in the U.S. and not try to hide it.

In fact, Hovater and another "Traditionalist," Matthew Heimbach, appear in so many articles, that it looks less like the white supremacist movement is growing and more that there are a couple of jerks who news outlets keep interviewing because they fit a narrative that the white supremacist movement is growing, which, in turn, helps the white supremacist movement grow.

It's in another article that Hovater elaborates a bit on one reason (mentioned in the Times piece) that he became a white supremacist. It's because that when he was touring with his metal band, he went to areas of great poverty in Appalachia: "You see how a complete system failed a group of people and didn't take any responsibility for it and has done nothing to help."

Right there is the inflection point, where you have a choice to make when you realize that people in poverty aren't getting the help they need. It's right there that Hovater could have decided that he needed to head left and advocate for programs to help people out of poverty, like job training and, you know, health care. But that takes work, that takes allying with people different from you. Instead, he took the easy path, the one that said the problems of poor white people aren't the problems of poor black people, and, in fact, poor white people are the victims of politics that only seek to help poor black and Hispanic and other non-white people, likely in a way that profits Jews, the puppet masters, of course.

Listen to some of what Hovater says on Heimbach's podcast The Daily Traditionalist on the Radio Aryan website (research is so fun). It's all about how whites are just constantly being victimized, that DeAndre Harris wasn't beaten by neo-Nazis in Charlottesville - he was asking for it, just like Trayvon Martin; that Jew-hating is a reasonable stance because Jews control everything, including our very thought processes through their insidious professoring at colleges. But then, all of a sudden, one episode veers into discussing how drug addicts are railroaded into for-profit prisons whose corporations donate heavily to politicians and I think, "Oh, c'mon, how are you not making the connections here? How inundated with nonsense and lies do you have to be in order to remain so blind?"

Now, it might seem that I'm having sympathy for Hovater, but I'm not. Because his turn to white power and Hitler love was a choice made by a grown-up. And there are a hell of a lot of white people who faced the same fork in the ideological road that Hovater faced and decided to make common cause with the all the poor, not just the white poor under the guise of a fake white genocide. Where are the damn stories about them?

As for the Times article, it's all well and good to show how Hovater lives an everyday life. No one is doubting that Hitler might have loved a good fart joke, ate pastries, and wiped his ass like anyone else. But we don't remember Hitler for that. We don't remember the mass population of Nazis and Nazi-supporters for their dinner parties and their honeymoons. We remember them for their hatred and their evil because that is what they chose as their legacy. And that's, frankly, the only way we should think about the Nazis in our midst.