Allers: Fixing Problems like Mr. George
Let’s assume we are all surprised by Reagan George’s bigoted comments at Bull Elephant. I had to write an immediate response and rebuttal to Mr. George (if that is even his real name) the second his controversial comments snaked through my Twitter feed. Not only am I offended as a Catholic; I am offended as a Republican, as well as an American.
Now look, I am not a millenial just peddling outrage culture. This is a legitimate push-back. A firm rejection. If you are not outraged, you are a part of this bigoted bile that has soaked into the cloth of conservatism in Virginia and in the country for far too long.
This is not just about his clumsy, “non-PC” analogy, comparing his settled vision of the Republican Party as a large Protestant church being overrun by Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and Wiccans. This is not just a scolding about a poor choice of words. This is about how this man and several voices in the party (and the Bull Elephant) really feel.
He could have used so many different analogies. But he chose this one — in an effort to be not politically correct, edgy, since that makes you cool; he used his public platform to sew inter-party division and to demonize the “other” — this time the other being Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and Wiccans — all in some quest for purity.
Corey Stewart. Freddy Burgos. And now Reagan George. What an accepting group of people. More ignorance from people that try to raise the scarecrow specter of the “other” to blame for their problems and insecurities.
Mr. George, in Virginia we register as voters, not party members. We have the freedom to vote for the person, not the team. We believe in the best man winning. In Virginia, both parties have the chance to expand their tents to all kinds of Virginians, even if they are Catholic or Muslim. Or Wiccan. From someone who claims to be for “true” conservative principles and the free market, one would think Mr. George would understand this.
But the vision of George’s Republican Party is a lonely, small Protestant church. The congregation is, if I were a betting man, white. Probably elderly. With boarded up windows, locked doors. And don’t worry — us Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and a few from the Wiccan fellowship prefer the woods. Who needs the Whigs anyway?
Michael Allers Jr. is an educator, politico, and artist. He lives in Herndon.