Corey Stewart: Blowhard for Governor
I just attended a meeting of the County Republican Committee in Virginia near where I live. The guest speaker was Corey Stewart, Republican Candidate for Governor of Virginia. The only things I knew about Mr. Stewart prior to the meeting were that he was Chairman of the Prince William Co. Board of Supervisors and he previously worked with the Trump Campaign and was dismissed from that role (read about that in the WaPo here). So it's safe to say I went into the meeting with an open mind, or as much as one can have when you're relatively politically aware.
To be blunt, I don't think I've ever come away with such a negative impression of a candidate in such a short period of time as I did today. Mr. Stewart undoubtedly has energy, but it's the kind of polarizing energy that is almost visceral. It's the kind of energy and arrogance that makes a discriminating mind come away and say, "who the hell does this guy think he is?"
While he was speaking, I sent a text message to someone very close to me, who is also conservative and who lived and owned several businesses in Prince William County most of his life:
"Do you know Corey Stewart?", I asked.
"I've met him at a few political functions", he replied.
"What do you think?"
"He's the biggest blow hard, cocky, self-righteous piece of s**t I know."
He went on to say that Mr. Stewart's policies on the Prince William Co. Board of Supervisors caused his property values to plummet in half. Not the success story Corey was putting out to us at the meeting, I assure you.
The point about Mr. Stewart's attitude was further driven home in a statement made by Mr. Stewart and a subsequent exchange with an attendee. He stated openly in the meeting that in the coming week(s), he'll be working with the Trump Administration to "hunt down", apprehend and deport criminal illegal aliens. This caused one of the Committee members, who is African-American to call him out on this statement, telling Mr. Stewart, in part, that he was being inflammatory and yes, racist (paraphrased). The gentleman went on to say that he's never walked out of a meeting before, but he walked out of this one.
I'm one of the most politically incorrect people you'll ever meet (if you ever meet me), but I have to agree with this gentleman who called out Mr. Stewart. The gentleman's point was further proven when Mr. Stewart subsequently assumed and labeled this member as a "liberal", ostensibly because of his skin color (I can think of no other reason why he would think an African American man at a Republican meeting was a liberal). After this exchange was over, another member informed Mr. Stewart that the African American gentleman was in fact a good Republican and long-time member. Corey doubled-down on his statement, saying that Republicans need to "stand up for themselves"... Wasn't that exactly what this gentleman was trying to do before you erroneously labeled him a "liberal" for disagreeing with you and your incendiary proclamation?
Well, Mr. Stewart, I'm standing up for myself and that gentleman who called you out. You may have energy and ideas, but you're a jerk. Not only are you a jerk, but you are part of the problem, not the solution. My biggest message to everyone on both sides these days is, let's all be reasonable. If you are unreasonable, you really can't be part of any substantive discussion, because the discussion will turn emotional and eventually mean and nasty and nothing will get accomplished. Unreasonable people walk around with a self-righteous mindset, thinking everyone else is wrong and then they double-down when they're called out on their bullshit (and yes, I realize the blog is called O'Hanrahan is Right).
And again, as a thoughtful conservative, I would urge Corey Stewart, and indeed everyone who reads this, to think about something from another perspective: If you were an African American, an illegal (or legal) immigrant, a person of Jewish descent or pretty much any other minority attending a public gathering and you heard a Candidate for public office say he was going to help "hunt down" people, possibly of your minority group, don't you think that would bring back some bad memories of history? It may or may not have been a racist statement, but it sure was insensitive, unreasonable and stupid. Furthermore, I'd like to know how any politician thinks they'll pay for this manhunt. Hell, at least the fabled "war on drugs" generates revenue. This proposal sounds like a gargantuan money-suck and one that I'm not 100% sure I'm on-board with paying for.
Maybe Corey Stewart fancies himself another Donald Trump. Maybe he thinks he can rally the silent majority to a call to action and get them to turn what once was a red state back that way again. Maybe he actually believes that the populous wants the government to "hunt down" people apprehend them and deport them, but if he does, he's in for a rude awakening. Incendiary talk like that will have even the conservative base turning on you, as I saw first-hand at the meeting this morning. Corey Stewart succeeded in polarizing and offending what should have been a very friendly crowd.
Be reasonable, Mr. Stewart. And deflate your ego by a few hundred PSI, it'll do you some good. As it is, you're not inspiring anyone who is reasonable to join you... In my humble opinion.
In the interest of fostering [what I hope will be] a substantive exchange and discussion about this blog, I've turned on the comments portion. Please be respectful... And try not to make me regret it. Thank you.