By Don Mohler
More and more, it is becoming clear that the Republican Party in its current form is not the party of Ike, Reagan, Bush, Romney, and McCain. It is the party of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Ron DeSantis, and thousands of local officials across the nation racing to see who can blurt out the next crazy thing that will trend on Twitter. It is the party that declares war on Mickey Mouse, but isn’t quite sure that Vladimir Putin is all that bad. They are the party that bans math books as well as a kindergarten book entitled “Everywhere Babies” that included such incendiary language as, “Every day, everywhere, babies are born.”
They are the party that has nearly 30 openly Q Anon members in the United States Congress. As James Carville stated in a recent interview, “These people talk about testicle tanning and go to Hungary for conferences. These people are not normal. By and large part of the Republican Party is out and out weird. When you have Moscow Mitch saying we need more sane people, that means you have a lot of really crazy people.”
And before some start with the, “But how about Bernie and AOC? They’re just as bad” silliness, it is important to note that disagreements over tax policy, health care, and climate change are hardly the same as accusing the other party of pedophilia. I’m sorry folks. It just is not. You know it, and I know it.
As my mother used to say, “You are judged by the company you keep.” The Democratic argument in elections for the foreseeable future might just have to be “They are crazy. We are not.” The only way out of this mess is for voters en masse to reject the madness and allow traditional Republicans a seat at the table once again. It won’t be easy, but you can’t do that by appealing to or arguing with the fringe. They are too far gone. You do it by appealing to voters in the middle—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Democrats have to make it clear that there is no turning back if this crowd takes control. We are headed over a cliff.
Just recently the lunacy reared its ugly head in Michigan when radical Republican State Senator Lana Theis sent out a fundraising email that accused one of her colleagues of grooming children for pedophilia. Once again, not quite the same as those on the left who suggest that we should tax the rich, provide universal health care, and protect the planet.
But this time, crazy met its match in State Senator Mallory McMorrow. I would suggest that the Senator shows exactly how Democrats need to address the insanity moving forward. Don’t look the other way. Don’t ignore it. Call it for what it is. And what it is happens to be bats…t crazy. Her words are so important that I chose to share the full text of her remarks:
“Thank you, Mr. President.
I didn’t expect to wake up yesterday to the news that the senator from the 22nd district [state Senator Lana Theis] had overnight accused me by name of grooming and sexualizing children in an email fundraising for herself. So I sat on it for a while wondering why me.
Then I realized [it’s] because I am the biggest threat to your [Theis’s] hollow hateful scheme, because you can’t claim that you are targeting marginalized kids in the name of quote parental rights if another parent is standing up to say no.
So then what?
Then you dehumanize and marginalize me. You say that I’m one of them. You say, “She’s a groomer. She supports pedophilia. She wants children to believe that they were responsible for slavery. And to feel bad about themselves because they’re white.”
Well, here’s a little bit of background about who I really am.
Growing up, my family was very active in our church. I sang in the choir. My mom taught CCD. One day our priest called a meeting with my mom and told her that she was not living up to the church’s expectations and that she was disappointing.
My mom asked why. Among other reasons, she was told it was because she was divorced. And because the priest didn’t see her at Mass every Sunday. So where was my mom on Sundays?
She was at the soup kitchen with me.
My mom taught me at a very young age that Christianity and faith was about being part of a community, about recognizing our privilege and blessings and doing what we can to be of service to others, especially people who are marginalized, targeted and who had less often unfairly.
I learned this service was far more important than performative nonsense like being seen in the same pew every Sunday, or writing “Christian” in your Twitter bio, and using that as a shield to target and marginalize already marginalized people.
I also stand on the shoulders of people like Father Ted Hesburgh, the longtime president of the University of Notre Dame, who was active in the civil rights movement, who recognized his power and privilege as a white man, a faith leader and the head of an influential and well-respected institution, and who saw black people in this country being targeted and discriminated against and beaten and [Hesburgh] reached out to lock arms with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he was alive when he was unpopular. And marching alongside them to say, “We’ve got you,” to offer protection and service and allyship to try to right the wrongs and fix injustice in the world.
So who am I?
I am a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom, who knows that the very notion that learning about slavery or redlining or systemic racism somehow means that children are being taught to feel bad or hate themselves because they are white is absolute nonsense.
No child alive today is responsible for slavery. No one in this room is responsible for slavery.
But each and every single one of us bears responsibility for writing the next chapter of history. Each and every single one of us decides what happens next and how we respond to history and the world around us.
We are not responsible for the past. We also cannot change the past. We can’t pretend that it didn’t happen or deny people their very right to exist.
I want every child in this state to feel seen, heard and supported, not marginalized and targeted because they are not straight, white and Christian. We cannot let hateful people tell you otherwise to scapegoat and deflect from the fact that they are not doing anything to fix the real issues that impact people’s lives.
I am a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom. I want my daughters to know that she is loved, supported and seen for whoever she comes. I want her to be curious, empathetic, and kind.
People who are different are not the reason that our roads are in bad shape after decades of disinvestment or that health care costs are too high or the teachers are leaving the profession. I want every child in this state to feel seen, heard and supported, not marginalized and targeted because they are not straight, white and Christian.
We cannot let hateful people tell you otherwise to scapegoat and deflect from the fact that they are not doing anything to fix the real issues that impact people’s lives. And I know that hate will only win if people like me stand by and let it happen.
We will not let hate win.”
The question is easy: Do you stand with Senator McMorrow or do you stand with crazy and Senator Thanos? Sometimes elections are just that simple.
Don Mohler is the former Baltimore County Executive and President and CEO of Mohler Communication Strategies. He may be reached at email@example.com.
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