A 'No' recommendation for Kennewick candidate

The Herald seldom recommends candidates in political primaries.

Almost never, in fact.

Only two exceptions come to mind.

We recommended Jim Jesernig for Congress years ago during a highly contested Democratic primary election. He lost to Jay Inslee.

We recommended Sid Morrison for governor during a Republican primary election. He did not make it, either.

Today is the third exception, but we're not endorsing anyone.

Kennewick residents in Ward 3 have three candidates from which to choose:

w Steve Young, the incumbent mayor of Kennewick.

w William Miller, who declines to discuss his beliefs, platform or intentions until after the primary election.

w Loren Nichols, whose views are so far outside the mainstream, so offensive and so steeped in bias, that we feel it is our duty to advise Ward 3 voters to pass him by.

Nichols' anti-immigrant ideas, insensitivity to the U.S. Constitution and proposal that illegal aliens should be shot on sight at the border, or face the death penalty if they're caught in the U.S., show the mentality of a bumper sticker.

Nichols would also make Kennewick an "English-only" town in all public discourse. Even he can't imagine going door-to-door to find out what language is spoken at home, but the language individuals chose for ordering a restaurant meal, for example, isn't any of the city's business either.

We thought this might be hyperbole when we first heard of it -- his rant on the radio and then to a Herald reporter.

But no. He's sincere.

He defined illegal immigration as rape.

So, in his opinion, stepping across an invisible line is the same as rape. Obviously, he has never really given any serious thought to what the word "rape" means. It's not just a handy word for a sloganeers placard.

Even when given the opportunity to back off, even a little, on his shoot-them-at-the-border advice, Nichols is relentless.

"I know that is a very drastic stand, but let me put it this way: I expect illegal invasion of our country by foreign entities to be met with deadly force. That's how I expect to see my country protected, and I feel the same way about our city," Nichols told the Herald.

Confusing civilians with a military invasion requires a willful distortion of reality. Most are poor and seeking nothing more than a chance to work. Many are women and children. Quite an army.

Such nonsense may be acceptable around the dinner table of your average racist household.

Jingoistic pronouncements are all the rage, even in Congress, but linking them to death threats is another matter.

Civil discourse -- the kind most of us try to have when we're serious about something -- requires the use of the brain.

Also, we hope, the conscience.

Hateful words lead to hateful actions.

Most older Americans learned that in Dallas in 1963.

Younger ones learned it in Tucson, Ariz., last January.

The hate talk was thriving in Dallas and in Tucson just before both of these historic events.

In light of all this:

In the primary race for Kennewick City Council, Ward 3, the Herald urges voters to just vote "No" on Loren Nichols and his hateful response to a serious problem.

We'll add that if Nichols thinks this is a campaign strategy that might work for him, we think the majority of Kennewick's Ward 3 voters will prove him wrong.

People around here are too smart to turn to extremism to address their legitimate concerns about the nation's broken immigration system.