US Senate Candidate's Obsession with Mein Kampf

Why did a fringe, right-wing candidate for South Dakota's Senate seat produce videos featuring copies of Mein Kampf?

Mark Langfan ,

Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf
Flash 90

Gordon Howie, a right-wing-fringe candidate in the upcoming general election for South Dakota’s US Senate seat, apparently has a positive opinion for Adolf Hitler and his ‘Mein Kampf.’ A bizarre 2012 spoof video entitled “Justice Morgan” - posted on a blog under Mr. Howie’s own name - overtly features a copy of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” as an establishing prop on the “Justice Morgan’s” bench. 

The “Justice Morgan” videos were also produced by "Life and Liberty Group", whose website specifically lists Mr. Howie as “CEO, Life and Liberty Group, LLC.”

In the video, “Chief Justice Morgan” is allegedly “deciding” the case of “The Betrayed Conservatives versus the Liberal Republican Leadership”, and proceeds to attack several local South Dakota Republicans for not being “conservative” enough.  Mr. Howie’s “Da Judge Brad Morgan, Chief Justice The People’s Court” was video-taped for the “Life and Liberty Group’s flagship-weekly half-an-hour show “Liberty Today.” 

Howie doesn’t specifically refer to the showcased-Mein Kampf in the video, but the prominently-placed, vintage-looking copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ with a portrait of Adolf Hitler appears to be used as a prop to legitimize “Justice Morgan’s” “proceedings,” as a judge would have displayed a copy of the Bible, the US Constitution, or Declaration of Independence. 

In special Life and Liberty Group fund-raising materials, the company claims that Liberty Today’s videos, including ones that featured the “Mein Kampf-toting ‘Chief Justice Morgan,’ are broadcast to “over a half-million people each week.” So, as shocking as the video was, it is likely that Liberty Today’s videos featuring ‘Mein Kampf’ were seen by many millions of American viewers.

The overt and apparently glorifying display of ‘Mein Kampf,’ a book which spawned World War Two and the Holocaust, would appear to be at odds with Life and Liberty Group’s “Mission Statement” which claims: "Our mission at Life and Liberty Group is to promote Conservative, Christian values in our families, communities and government."

The Life and Liberty Group also boasts in its fund-raising materials as having "presented a Conservative Christian message to nearly ¾ Million visitors in just the last few months." Based on company’s fund-raising flyer, the “Life and Liberty Group” uses the Liberty Today show to raise money for the production of more videos "to deliver a strong Christian message."

But even after the initial video received significant local negative publicity, Howie and the Life and Liberty Group continued to produce many additional “Chief Justice Morgan” videos featuring the ‘Mein Kampf’ cover. These Youtube postings do not seem to be gaining much traction due to their low-view-rates of less than a hundred views, and it is unclear whether Mr. Howie has still posted these ‘Mein Kampf’ videos to his own own blog. 

How Mr. Howie can proudly and overtly display the ‘Mein Kampf’ cover in videos of his own company’s making without simultaneously attacking the book’s legitimacy and still be running for the US Senate from the State of South Dakota remains a mystery.