Just when you think that a Republican candidate for higher office might be a relatively normal, “moderate” person, they go ahead and provide evidence that…nope, they’re pretty much “Tea Party” through and through.
Case in point? Last night, the frontrunner for the Virginia GOP nomination for U.S. Senate against Sen. Mark Warner this year, Daniel Gade, was asked on a Facebook Live chat about the (totally false) choice between protecting people from COVID-19 and “shut[ting] down the economy for extended periods of time,” as Gade put it. Of course, that’s a false dichotomy and bizarre “framing,” as the reality is that the economy’s not going to get back on track unless/until we get the public health situation under control. Also, clearly, you can’t make a virus go away via wishful thinking, or by ranting and raving about “tyranny” or whatever. The virus simply doesn’t care about any of that. And anyone running for public office, let alone U.S. Senate, needs to understand that – or not be taken seriously, let alone supported by anyone.
With that, here’s Gade’s response, which goes completely off the rails – into praise of the irresponsible, far-right “MAGA”/”LOCK HER UP!” protesters Wednesday in Michigan and even into encouragement of similar protests in Virginia, because…TYRANNY!
“It’s very difficult to balance our civil liberties, our right to worship and speak and associate freely, with our responsibility to keep our fellow citizens safe. And here’s the problem: in too many places we’re going in the direction of basically tyranny. Of demanding that people give up their right to worship and assemble and speak and all of those things, in favor of some government rule on that. And there’s starting to be a backlash about it. Yesterday in Michigan we saw a peaceful protest where people were driving around the Michigan capitol honking their horns and with signs and everything. And that’s a big deal. We need to care about that.
There’s a possibility, I think there’s actually something like that brewing in Virginia right now. There are some people who are trying to get peaceful protests going. And I think that they’re right. The essence of that question is ‘does government have the right to take away my civil rights, civil liberties for the sake of my own safety.’ And that’s an important question. That’s why the constitution is written the way it is. So I am aware of the balancing act there. I think we need to be careful about it. And I’m deeply concerned about these long-term shutdowns that are done by government fiat. It just feels like tyranny to me and I’m worried about that. As a civil libertarian and someone who believes in individual liberty I’m deeply worried about that – and I think you should be too.”
In conclusion, this guy just proved himself to be totally unqualified for public office, let alone *higher* office. This November, let’s all make damn sure we reelect Sen. Mark Warner by a huge margin.