Having endured members of his own party using the Democrats’ playbook to attack him, Republican Senate hopeful Chris McDaniel deserves some national credit and support.
It began in 2014 when McDaniel, a Mississippi State Senator, challenged U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in the GOP primary. Enjoying broad support from the enthusiastic tea party, McDaniel was set to win the primary and go on to be Mississippi’s next U.S. Senator.
But then Cochran’s team of establishment swamp monsters (e.g. Brad Dayspring and Henry Barbour) got a terrible idea…
In Mississippi, anyone can vote in any primary as long as they only vote in one primary. That means Democrats can vote in the GOP primaries and vice versa. So Thad Cochran’s team decided to recruit Democrat voters to help Cochran win the GOP primary.
“But how could they convince Democrats to come vote in a GOP primary?”, you might wonder. The same way Democrats convince Democrat voters to get out and vote: By calling the other guy racist.
That’s right: At a time when the Republican party can, should and I’d argue must start calling out the Democrats’ divisive and destructive dependence on identity politics, Thad Cochran’s team instead adopted it.
They went into predominantly black communities and told them that Chris McDaniel is a racist. They said the only way they could stop a racist from representing Mississippi in the U.S. Senate, was by going to the polls for the GOP primary and voting for Thad Cochran. They offered no credible evidence of actual racism. Just like Democrats, all they did was make the claim.
And it worked.
While McDaniel was the clear winner if only Republicans voted in the Republican primary, the Democrats who showed up “to stop the racist” were enough to flip the vote to Cochran.
But there was never any evidence that McDaniel is actually racist. He at one point hosted a conservative talk radio program, which means a ton of hours filled up with a ton of on-the-fly commentary. There were a few comments he made during that stretch that have been held up as evidence of racism, but upon closer inspection they don’t stand up in any meaningful way to any credible smell test.
An article from the left wing Talking Points Memo cites several examples of McDaniel’s alleged racism. Of the four examples they cite, not a single one can actually be considered even close to “racist.”
In a terribly bittersweet magnification of the smear, the headline of the TPM article blares:
“MISSISSIPPI TEA PARTY CANDIDATE MOCKS WHINY MINORITIES”
Now if McDaniel actually called minorities “whiny” then surely it would have made its way in to the actual article. But it didn’t. In fact the word “whiny” only appears once on the entire page. And that’s in the headline (screenshot, below).
Had McDaniel actually called minorities “whiny” based on their racial and/or ethnic status, then yes: That would have been racist. But apparently that didn’t happen. What did happen was that the media and establishment GOP wanted to paint Chris McDaniel as a racist to help suppress the
tea party #DrainTheSwamp and #AmericaFirst movement. And when they couldn’t find actual evidence to back their claim up, they simply manufactured claims in deceptive headlines, and leveled the accusation on the ground and in social media, and just hoped people would believe them.
And people did.
It’s not only wrong at the basic moral level of not bearing false witness against an innocent man, but it’s also extremely destructive to our nation’s progress and unity. That is why the Republican party must do a better job of exposing and indicting the Democrats’ dependence on identity politics, and that’s why it’s so infuriating that many in the establishment GOP choose instead to embrace it.
Take for example James Hasson, who apparently thinks it’s his duty to virtue signal on behalf of lazy, divisive, dishonest talking points popularized by Democrats and adopted by the establishment Republican swamp. As McDaniel gears up for his next bid at the U.S. Senate, Hasson tweets this…
I pushed back and would still welcome James (or anyone else) telling me if I’ve missed something, but as of yet have gotten no reply.
I don’t know much about James Hasson, except that he’s given a fair amount of credibility in right-minded circles — and, from my seat, doesn’t deserve it.
For as much as I complain about the right’s general lack of efficacy thanks to its prominence of professional inbreeding and subsequent apathy, this particular issue has always compelled exceptional ferocity in me. I believe there is no greater cause in our lifetime than exposing the divisive, destructive and disparity-inducing nature of the Democrats’ casual commitments to social segregation and racial disunity. And to see so many on the right not only fail to prosecute it but actually adopt the exact same tactics — forget about tarnishing an apparently good man’s name — they’re setting the entire pro-Liberty movement, and our nation in general, back several generations if not in perpetuity.
And it’s yet more evidence of people in the Republican party and conservative media doing more to hurt our movement than to help it.
If you can show me an actual example of Chris McDaniel saying or doing something racist, then I’ll gladly call him out with you. But if you can’t, then your false accusations only inspire the very division and even racism that you purport to combat. You’re manufacturing weapons of mass social destruction all at the expense of an innocent man’s reputation and — exponentially worse — a nation’s march toward progress and unity.
It’s simply not okay, and those who are watching it happen need to stand up and speak out, while those who have collaborated to make it happen owe Chris McDaniel an apology and themselves a good long look in the mirror.