We live in bizarre political times. Stranger events occur with each passing week. As a result of the venom between the president and Congress it seems nobody’s trying to do anything for the country. Cruel personal attacks and racial and ethnic dog whistles are now daily tweets.
I’d hoped the national ugliness wouldn’t reach Loudoun, but about two weeks ago a campaign flyer from Republican state Senate candidate Geary Higgins was delivered to my mailbox.
After reading the flyer, I concluded my views on the Loudoun Republican Party may be out of date and perhaps Republicans like me are about to go extinct like large dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period?
Like the asteroid or volcano 65 million years ago, the 2016 election obliterated the notion the GOP is the party of opportunity and responsible government, eagerly welcoming all who support its creed, regardless of race, religion, and sex.
The racially polarizing flyer is intended to motivate Republican primary voters at the expense of Loudoun County’s 57,096 Hispanic residents. As of 2018, Loudoun County was 14.2 percent Hispanic.
For as long as I can remember, northern Virginia legislative candidates from both parties usually boast they’ll get more transportation money to fix our clogged roads, whereas Higgins’s most ambitious goal is to “build Trump’s Border Wall.”
In my primeval opinion, it’s unhelpful to Republican minority outreach efforts for a candidate to tell Loudoun’s Hispanic residents he believes our national policy should be to wall them off for our safety. The implied message is: “You are not welcome!”
Higgins also wants to deport gang members and jail sex traffickers. He supports “tough legislation” on sex trafficking. He’s against sanctuary cities.
Geary says he has “a plan to combat illegal immigration and end MS-13 gang violence.” Of course he doesn’t really have a plan. I repeatedly called and emailed Geary, his board aide and campaign manager for copies of his plan and the draft “tough” legislation on sex trafficking he proposes on the front of his flyer. Crickets.
Since we already deport illegal MS-13 gang members, jail sex traffickers, and there is no law permitting Virginia local governments to create sanctuary cities, it’s demagogic to campaign on these issues claiming to have a plan when you don’t.
The brown men pictured on the back of the flyer beside a description of their terrible crimes promote a stereotype of Hispanics as gang members and criminals.
Whether they are painters, realtors or government contractors with security clearances, the Hispanics I have encountered in my law practice are family oriented, hardworking and religious. I cannot remember having a Hispanic man as a client who did not have a job.
In my Neanderthal Republican Party, you don’t stereotype minorities and use their skin color to scare people for votes.
After the recent local distribution of Klan flyers, I would have expected the Higgins campaign to be more sensitive about the racial and ethnic tone of their flyers.
If he wins the upcoming Republican primary, other ethnic and racial minorities won’t compartmentalize Higgins’s issues with Hispanics in the general election. Singling out Hispanics won’t give other minorities a warm feeling about Mr. Higgins or other Republican candidates.
Geary Higgins may learn the large, diverse, and economically successful population of eastern Loudoun and Prince William counties find his message obnoxious.
These days I imagine myself a European monk in the dark ages. Instead of preserving manuscripts in a monastery, I have two shelves of books in my library by authors such as William F. Buckley Jr., Thomas Paine, Ayn Rand, and Friedrich von Hayek. When the current dark time ends, it is my hope that in the future somebody will take these books from my shelves and rediscover their knowledge. As in the “Jurassic Park” movies, dinosaurs like me may roam the earth once again.
Charlie King is a member of the Loudoun County Republican Committee and the 2015 GOP nominee for Loudoun County chairman. He is supporting Republican supervisor Ron Meyer (R-Broad Run) in the 13th Senate District GOP primary.