Monday, January 30, 2023

Commentary on a few political races

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Voxitatis refrains, unlike most news agencies and publications, from endorsing political candidates because political races very rarely affect the operation of schools and, when they do, do so superficially. But two races across the nation have captured our attention for students and schools.

Walker (candidate website)

First, the race for a US Senate seat in Georgia pits Republican Herschel Walker, a former NFL player, against Democrat Rev Raphael Warnock.

Mr Walker has unfailing support from many conservative Christians and from prominent Republicans, including former President Donald Trump. Although Mr Walker has denied reports and publicly opposes abortion, claims have surfaced that he once paid for a woman to have an abortion. Others in politics have also expressed concerns that Mr Walker has been accused of threatening his wife.

Rev Warnock, on the contrary, is a Baptist minister who has been called “radical” in a way that is more flattering than confrontational, suggesting sometimes a push for change in society is what’s needed. He leads the Ebenezer Baptist Church, home to the kind of Christian social activism expressed by the late Rev Martin Luther King Jr.

And while Mr Walker has excused his low intelligence by saying he is a “country boy” from a “small town,” neither of those excuses has anything to do with intelligence. There are plenty of people from the country who are brilliant, and plenty of people born in small towns who make extraordinary contributions to our world and our collective intelligence.

But that’s just the surface. What bothers me deeply about Mr Walker is that as a former NFL player, a great one no less, he’s in a position to inspire others who could really use a kindred spirit and inspiring figure in their lives like that NFL player he was. Instead, he chooses to make excuses, which I know won’t make any difference in the election but will make a profound difference in the work he would accomplish as a US senator.

In support of Obamacare, Mr Warnock is said to be fond of telling crowds that Jesus “healed the sick, even those with preexisting conditions.” He wants college to be cheaper because he went to Morehouse on the “full faith scholarship,” which means he “didn’t have enough money for the first semester.”

And then there’s the Pennsylvania governor’s race, which is between Doug Mastriano, a Republican who denies the results of the 2020 presidential election, and Democrat Josh Shapiro, the state’s current attorney general, who sends his kids to the same Jewish day school he went to.

Comments like this strike me as antisemitic, although Mr Mastriano has denied any antisemitism. He has also accused his opponent of holding a grudge against the Roman Catholic Church, perhaps referring to Mr Shapiro’s office leading a bombshell investigation into the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child sexual abuse.

Mr Mastriano also enjoys the support of prominent Republicans in the state. “The environment that Joe Biden has created for Josh Shapiro makes this year probably the only year that a Mastriano-type candidate could win in a purple state like Pennsylvania,” the New York Times quoted Matt Brouillette, the head of a conservative political group in the state, as saying. “While the Democrats want to focus on January 6 and Roe v Wade, the electorate is focused on putting food on their table and filling up the tanks in their cars.”

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.

Paul Katulahttps://news.schoolsdo.org
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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