Augustus Sol Invictus, who first came into the national spotlight as a Libertarian primary candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida, is at it again, this time running as a Republican.
He made the announcement in Washington, D.C., outside of current U.S. Senator—and potential opponent—Bill Nelson’s office. It came just days after his appearance as a planned headliner for the disastrous, violent white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Invictus’ 2016 campaign raised eyebrows because of his bizarre, theatrical manner and his past promotion of eugenics and bloody civil war. His crushing defeat in the primary a year ago did nothing to abate his extremism. Since the election, his activism on the radical right has only accelerated. He’s found a home with the greater alt-right movement, and in keeping with his fondness for playing at war, he’s become second in command of the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights, the “military division” of Gavin McInnes’ Proud Boys. His rhetoric has also become bolder and more explicit. Though he’s tried to downplay some of his most radical ideas in the past, in an interview on August 5, 2017, he admitted to Hatewatch that he is a Holocaust denier.
“Do I believe that 6 million Jews were killed by evil Hitler? Is that what you’re asking me?” he said. “Okay, then I am still waiting to see those facts.”
His campaign announcement focused mostly on last weekend’s tragedy in Charlottesville. He claimed that the city of Charlottesville “deliberately set a trap” for the white nationalists who gathered to protest, and he railed against the media’s “false narrative” designed to malign the right wing. The real violence, Invictus insists, comes from the left.
“They have waged a campaign of terror from coast to coast and all across Europe,” he said.
If that statement seems wildly overblown, it’s worth taking a moment to understand where Invictus is coming from. He’s driven not just by politics, but also by a unique self-concept. He believes it is his destiny to be a great leader in an epic war. To have a war, you need an enemy.
In his speech, he promised to “restore the Republic,” though it’s entirely unclear what that means. Knowing Invictus, the man who has spent years promoting “literal revolution” and concluded speeches with the declaration, “Hail Death,” it’s safe to say he’s not proposing a peaceful transition.