Tuesday, June 18, 2013

E.W. Jackson Is Not Ready For Virginia

For those who do not know, this man - E.W. Jackson - is the man the Virginia Republicans chose to be their candidate for Lt. Governor in the 2013 election. With that context in mind, let's move on...

Jackson has every right to express his views, both as a citizen and as a candidate. Having said that, the views he is expressing do not paint a flattering picture of him. His campaign thus far has been marked by statements that are very far out of line with mainstream Virginia. For example, he went on-record as saying that practicing Yoga can lead to satanic possession. He also has gone out of his way to talk about how evil homosexuality is, even tweeting that gays are "icky." Does this sound like a man who is running for the #2 office in a swing state? If Bishop Jackson is being marginalized, it is solely because he himself has placed himself on the margins of today's Virginia.

As far as being persecuted, only overly-sensitive politicians say that. He is not being persecuted, he is being called on his crap.  There is a huge difference between the two. Politics is an arena where you have to learn how to take a hit. This is what happens when you put yourself out there in the spotlight for millions of people to see and hear. People will disagree with you no matter what position you take on any given issue. When they disagree, they will voice that disagreement. That is how democracy works. That is how freedom of speech works. Those are clearly two notions with which Bishop Jackson is unfamiliar. I guess being in a church where everyone agrees with you has made Bishop Jackson unfamiliar with dissent. Jackson needs to realize that he is on a statewide stage engaging in a dialogue with potential constituents to whom he would have to answer, not in a church performing a sermon. If he can not stomach hearing disagreement then his skin is far too thin for politics.

I also believe that it is categorically pretentious of Jackson to say that he is representing every Bible-believing Christian. Wrong again Sir. I am sure there are lots of Bible-believing Christians in the Commonwealth who hear what this guy has to say and think "Is this guy for real?" Sure, he represents SOME Christians, but only the ones who are to the far right of the political spectrum. The mere fact that Bryan Fischer, the leader of a group (the American Family Association) which is widely considered to be a hate group is on his side, speaks volumes. Both men are incredibly out of the mainstream of America in general and Virginia more specifically.

After their 2012 autopsy it seemed clear that the GOP needed to modernize and get in-line with an ever-changing America, especially in swing states like Virginia. Apparently the GOP's Virginia sect did not get the memo. Now they are stuck with a candidate who acts like he is running for Preacher-in-Chief. Instead of focusing on the bread-and-butter issues facing the Commonwealth, he is focusing on fire and brimstone. Virginia needs (and deserves) serious candidates and serious problem-solvers, not punch lines.

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